If you are like me, you are in the thick of wondering WHY on earth you do this rental thing. (Yes. Even me.) This is the hard part...the last few strokes to the end. But don't lose your game face. Your house may look at bit "Storm Before the Calm"...with sheets and towels stacked in the living room, bedding folded on the dining room chairs until the morning you actually move out, etc...But you WILL get there!
Here are things to remember in these last (slightly terrifying) days:
- Be sure the batteries in your smoke detectors are new and fresh.
- Check under beds and behind doors for stray items.
- Put away personal mail, photos, toiletries.
- Lock up things that cannot be replaced, such as silver.
- What is your plan for your mail?
- Does every bathroom have a plunger and air freshener?
- Are your fire extinguishers easy to find and fully charged?
- If you have a propane grill, is the tank full?
- Who will deal with the trash cans and getting them to the curb?
- Do you have a welcome basket of treats and perhaps some wine/beer in your fridge?
- Is your fridge sparklingly clean?
- Did you check with your insurance agent for any Masters coverage rider fees?
Walk your property. Take a notepad and list out any last minute things that are important. Of course there are things you could have done in a perfect world, but list only the things that will truly make a difference in the quality of the renters' stay....they don't care if your lampshade could have been whiter, but they might appreciate a nice basket of extra pillows in the bedroom hallway for those who are pillow-picky.
We put little signs out in each room, stating that the closets and drawers that are cleared for their use have green ribbons. And then we tie ribbons on those that are cleared for guests.
We also leave a toiletry basket in each bathroom with everything from extra toothbrushes to plastic ponchos.
Take a breath. You have accomplished a great deal and soon, you will return to a most beautiful home. And when it is time to leave, walk away. Don't worry. Allow your guests to truly enjoy your home and take some time to rest. (No driving by, no wishing you could just put the trash cans where they really belong, no peeking from a neighbors house.) If things went wrong with houses, no one would rent. The likelihood is that your guests will have a wonderful time and you will return to a beautiful house, just in time for gorgeous weather.
Congratulations on a job well done. If I could send a laurel crown to you, I would. But if you have followed this blog, you will be contributing to the wonderful hospitality that Augusta is famous for every April. Relax. Enjoy. And maybe make a few guesses on who will wear the real green jacket this year. It will be here and over before you know it.