The fine details of personal space
Welcome to March Week 3. Hopefully you have dealt with the common areas of your home. I was stunned to find my kitchen took two full days to complete! So today I have just one more common area to tackle before beginning the bedrooms and baths.
I begin each bedroom by washing everything that is washable....comforters, bedskirts, mattress pads, etc... Then I vacuum under the bed and all around each mattress. Don't forget to dust the headboard, especially the wall-facing side, which can attract dust over the year.
Next tackle the window treatments. If you have mini blinds, take your vacuum attachment and clean them. Curtains should be vacuumed as well. I take this time to vacuum every window sill, opening each window and being sure they are free of dirt and cobwebs. A good cleaning of every window and window treatment will bring out the best in the sunlight. If you have ceiling fans, be sure to clean these as well.
If you have children, it is time to take down the child-centered art and box up the toys. Leave one small basket of toys available for these last few weeks. When our children were small, we had a basket of Masters bedding and art that easily transformed their rooms into more adult rooms. Remember that adults will be using these bedrooms. Are there working locks on every bedroom door?
Be sure your rooms have bedside reading lamps, tissues, doors and a way to darken the room from the early morning sun. Are there accessible plugs for cell phone charging or do you need to get a surge suppressor that allows for more accessible charging? We also leave a notepad and pen on each nightstand. We added the touch of inexpensive sound machines in each room to allow guests a bit of white noise while they sleep.
Next pay attention to your drawers. I straighten each drawer and take note of which two drawers will be emptied for guests to use. During the last week of preparation, these drawers will be emptied and a green ribbon will be tied on their handles.
Straighten your closets and vacuum the floors of your closets. Will your guests be using your closet or will you provide a sturdy clothing rack? Whichever you are doing, this is a good time to purchase a box of matching hangers to make each room look uniform and welcoming. We also have luggage racks for our guests, but that is not necessary if you provide adequate storage for their belongings and a place to put their suitcases.
Bathrooms are next. Thoroughly clean each bathroom. Be sure there is no mold on the ceilings or floors. Check your shower curtains. Are they pristine or should they be replaced? Purchase large bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash for each shower. Each sink should have pump soap. We leave a basket of toiletries in each bathroom, stocked with toothbrushes, toothpaste, body lotion, tissues, sunscreen, mouthwash, razors, aspirin, nail clippers, and even a few ponchos for unexpected rainy days. Be sure to purchase several bar soaps for each bathroom as they may be changed out frequently if your house has a good bit of changeover.
In our house, each commode has a pretty basket adjacent to it, filled to the brim with toilet tissue. Fully stock each bathroom with plenty of towels for guests. If the weather is unusually rainy or very hot, they may take several showers per day. Be sure there are enough towels to accommodate that sort of use.
Is there a plunger next to each commode? Is there room deoderizer in each bathroom? Hooks for guests to hang robes and towels? An easy care bathroom rug? Does your exhaust fan work and is it free of dust? Be SURE the door locks. If you have tub mats, be sure they are solidly attached to the bathtub floor. Do you have a nightlight that will lead guests to the bathroom in the night?
You will be living in these rooms for a few more weeks, but attention to them at this point will help so very much in that last, fast approaching, hectic week!
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Need help with your rental? Laurie Easterlin is a home stager and professional Masters preparation specialist. She is available for in home visits to walk you through each room with a preparation checklist and purchase suggestions. If you are new to town and need suggestions on what to do to get the biggest return for your investment, contact Laurie before making large purchases or remodeling. There are ways to create more income! If you are a DIY style renter, purchase the book at