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Preparing Your Home for Guests in 2020: Autumn/Winter Edition

Whether you have a second home, have to travel for work, or fancy a change of scenery yourself, if you have a space that is available for short-letting over the cooler months this is a great way to earn some extra cash. Autumn and winter are popular periods for staycationing, especially during the October half-term and Christmas holidays – so it’s worth spending some time to make sure your home is in superb shape! In this blog we’ll take you through the house, room by room, giving you our top preparation tips to help you get everything in order.

Find your perfect night's sleep in our Spacious Chiswick Home - choose from five gorgeous bedrooms.

The Bedroom

Did you know that the average person sleeps for about a third of their life? As such, it’s important that the bedrooms are welcoming spaces for your guests – and little touches can make all the difference. Fresh flowers, scented room sprays, and extra pillows will make the room feel inviting at any time of the year. Don’t forget to rotate or turn your mattresses regularly, too; and consider investing in a decent mattress topper to ensure the bed is a comfortable as possible.

As the days grow shorter and the weather cooler, there are additional things you can try to ensure the bedroom is warm and cosy. Thick curtains – which will help to retain heat – are a good idea; and a good-quality winter duvet is essential. Consider adding throws and blankets to the foot of the bed in case your guests get chilly.

Our Majestic Mayfair Penthouse is perfect for a relaxing city break - or just a dip in the tub!

The Bathroom

Many homes now have underfloor heating in the bathroom, which is controlled by a different thermostat than that of the main heating system. On cool autumn mornings, stepping onto tiles that are toasty underfoot feels like a real luxury – so do make sure the heating is switched on and that the instructions are accessible for your guests, in case they wish to change the settings. A heated towel rack is also a nice touch.

Simple tricks – like putting a diffuser in the bathroom to keep it smelling fresh – are worth considering all year round.

Cook up a storm in the stunning kitchen of our Immaculate Wansdworth Home.

The Kitchen

One of the great bonuses of staying in a home, for guests, is the ability to prepare one’s own food (unlike in a hotel, for instance): particularly important during the current climate, when hygiene and safety standards are so critical, and when eating out might not be a possibility, depending on what is open and where you are (and, in autumn or winter, what the weather is like – if it’s torrential rain, for example, a cosy meal in might be much more appealing than a trip to a restaurant!).

That said, your guests will not be well acquainted with the space like you are, so do spend some time organising the space: make sure things are clearly signposted, protect your surfaces with plenty of pan stands and chopping boards, and tuck away any special kitchenware (if you’d rather the guests didn’t use your Le Creuset pan, for instance, lock it in a cupboard just to be safe!). Provide good-quality oven gloves and tea towels. Stocking up on the basics – kitchen roll, washing-up liquid, oil, and salt and pepper – is also a nice touch.

Separate bins for recycling, general waste and food waste – all of which should be clearly labelled – are also really useful. If there are specific rules about how items should be grouped, and how and when these should be disposed of (will your guests need to take them outside to external bins, for instance?), be sure to spell this out.

Cosy up in front of a movie or gaze at the roaring fire in our Stylish Mayfair Penthouse

The Living Areas

Living areas have taken on particular importance during 2020: whether they need to function as a relaxation space, a quasi-office, or even a home cinema, leisure areas are super important. After all, staying in is the new going out! During autumn and winter, when the weather is colder and more unpredictable, creating a cosy space for your guests to unwind in is vitally important.

Provide plenty of blankets and throws so that your guests can snuggle up in front of a film, and reduce clutter by tidying items away into sideboards. Storage trunks or ottomans can be a great style feature as well as providing useful storage space. If there’s a fire, provide logs and matches as required, and instructions on how to spark it to life.

Do you have a smart TV, Sky, or access to streaming services? Consider setting up guest access for your visitors – being able to browse the Netflix catalogue feels like a lovely treat! If you’d rather they didn’t use your account, be sure to sign out of all platforms each time you leave the home, or set up a PIN so that material can’t be downloaded or streamed without authorisation.

In the entryway to the home, a welcome mat, shoe rack and coat hooks are invaluable – particularly during autumn and winter. This will ensure that feet are wiped and muddy shoes discarded at the door!

General Maintenance

It’s a known fact that as the weather changes and we all head indoors, things start to go wrong in the house! As such this is the ideal time to do a general maintenance check. Is your boiler and heating system working correctly (and do you have instructions ready for your guests?)? Do you have gutters that need clearing? Or door hinges that need tightening? Or perhaps a lick of paint would rejuvenate your interiors? Whether it’s a small or large job, harsher weather conditions are less forgiving than milder climates, so it’s well worth spending time and a bit of money (if necessary) to make improvements now.

UnderTheDoormat are here to help. Our maintenance team can assist with these jobs and more: simply email us with some images of what needs attending to and we’ll organise it for you – we can even undertake deep cleans if these were missing during the spring. If you’re one of our existing homeowners, we have your keys, so you don’t even need to be there: leave it all to us!

Do you have any helpful preparation tips to share with us? Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter - and be sure to keep an eye on our blog for further handy hints and advice!