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Essential items for the perfect short-let

Homeowners often ask which items should be left in a home and which should be hidden away during short-letting. It’s a case of striking a balance between making your home feel authentic and loved and guests feeling overwhelmed by someone else’s lifestyle.

One of the main reasons guests opt for a home rather than an impersonal hotel is because they want somewhere with personality where they can ‘live like a local’. What guests don’t want is to be surrounded by items that may be special to you but not them. Your comfy slippers and old bike won’t have the same value to guests as they do to you! Less is often more and decluttering creates space.

Finding a happy medium is the answer. Guests want some personal touches and interesting features, good decor and importantly a fully-functioning home. Items that make a house into a home, like colourful local artwork, alongside practical things, like kitchen condiments are examples of what should stay.

In this blog we divide items into essentials, ‘nice-to-haves’ and definite ‘no-nos’.

What is an essential item?

Essentials are items that make a home ready to move into. Starting with the kitchen - enough crockery and cutlery for the maximum number of guests. Include side plates, bowls, water tumblers, wine glasses, a salad bowl, placemats and coasters to prevent marks on your table. A chopping board, cheese grater, potato masher, can opener, garlic crusher and corkscrew are also important.

In terms of appliances, there are the obvious large white goods like washing machine and fridge and smaller ones like a kettle and toaster; coffee machines are more of a necessity now than ever before, even a basic cafetiere will do, and a juice extractor, blender and electric whisk are recommended.

Basic condiments should include olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, basil, chilli flakes, sugar, tea and coffee. It’s a nice touch and often you’ll find a guest leaves you an exotic ingredient as well as replacing what they’ve used up - all part of the sharing economy.

For the bedroom, install good light-blocking curtains and a couple of efficient tower fans are an absolute summer must-have.

A TV and Wi-Fi are also essential.

Flowers and cookies on a table

Keeping cleaning standards high.

We clean your home before and after guest visits. However, homeowners are responsible for maintaining high standards so your home is already at a good level when cleaners arrive. Effective cleaning requires the right products and tools so make sure the vacuum cleaner works, there are brooms, dustpan and brushes, cloths and dusters. Keep a good supply of cleaning products and bin bags. Everyone has their favourites which is why our cleaners use yours but that relies on them being there. Remember washing machine detergent and dishwasher tablets. Having all the right products encourages guests to keep your home spick and span and for us to uphold our 10 point hygiene promise.

When you’re home, book a window cleaner, get carpets cleaned, descale the kettle and defrost the fridge.

This information and lots more recommendations such as essential Health and Safety requirements can be found in our Home Ready Guide.

Cleaning a mirror

‘Nice-to-haves’ and definite ‘no-nos’.

‘Nice-to-haves’ include local journals, What’s-On guides and your favourite recipe books, especially those using local ingredients. Decor-wise, colourful throws and cushions are always a welcome sight; rugs are a lovely accessory and can save the life of an expensive carpet or floorboards. Paintings on the wall that reflect you, your travels and local community are great and pot plants add colour. Leave a list of your favourite restaurants, the local gym, swimming pool and places only a local knows. A welcome note will never go amiss!

Definite ‘no-nos’ include toiletries, toothbrushes, bath sponge, medications, perfumes and cosmetics. Lock away sentimental items, whether valuable or not and confidential paperwork. In the bedroom tidy away shoes, clothes, pyjamas and random socks! They can all be put neatly into a sealed-off wardrobe or cupboard. A garden is a real selling point so weeds, dead plants, leaves and broken furniture are a definite turn-off as is an unkempt lawn.

Books and a cactus

If you get the balance right the vital 5 star reviews will follow – think of a review as doing the hard work for you!