End-of-Stay Cleaning Checklist for Holiday Rentals
Your holiday is drawing to a close, and you and your pets are ready to say goodbye to your temporary home. But how can you make the most graceful exit possible from your holiday rental? Here are a few things you can do that will be much appreciated, from taking care of coffee and red wine stains to wiping down the bathroom sink.
Before you begin
Many holiday rental agreements will include guidelines for end-of-stay cleaning, so read these carefully and make sure your host’s requirements are satisfied. A lot of places will have an inventory of household items, so it’s worth going through and making sure that everything is accounted for. If anything’s damaged or missing, contact your host or rental company. Accidents happen to the best of us, and your host is more likely to be gracious about a smashed plate, a broken glass or a couple of red wine stains if you’ve taken stock and been upfront about any mishaps.
Whether there are specific instructions in your rental agreement or not, though, there are a few things you can do to straighten the place out before you leave. Here are some key areas to pay attention to:
When clearing the kitchen of your holiday rental, it’s good form to wipe the worktops, sweep up crumbs, take out the garbage, and treat any stains you might have left on the table linen. More importantly, there are two critical things to remember:
- Empty the fridge and food cupboards
Any perishable food items – particularly milk, meat, or fish – need to be disposed of before you leave, or taken away with you. It might be OK to leave behind some specific things, like ketchup, with a note for the next guest, but it’s generally best to clear out whatever you brought in.
It’s a lot easier to do this with cupboards, given that most of what you bring in will be non-perishable and easier to transport. If you’re short on luggage space or need to travel light, it might be acceptable to leave behind condiments. You might also be able to get away with leaving behind excess pet food, provided it’s well in date and still sealed. If you’re not sure, play it safe: check with the property owner or dispose of the extra food.
- Clean the dishes and put them away
Whatever the host has arranged in terms of cleaning between guests, they should not have to worry about coming in to find a sink full of dirty dishes. Make sure you thoroughly wash every dish you’ve used during your stay, then dry everything well and put it back where you found it. Think about what you’ve used for your pet, too; clean the can opener before you leave, and be just as thorough about washing any food bowls you might have borrowed for the stay. Give the feeding area a once-over as well – wash any mats and make sure any dried-on food remnants have been taken care of.
Living areas and bedrooms
Your host will expect the living areas of the house to have seen a little wear and tear – after all, you’re likely to have spent most of your time indoors in the living areas and bedrooms. Show goodwill by stripping the beds just before you leave. If you’ve left any marks on the soft furnishings – be they red wine stains on the couch cushions or makeup stains on the bedding – it’s also a good idea to try and clear those up before you leave.
Your pets will also have spent a lot of time in the living areas, so be sure to clean up any messes specific to them. If they’ve tracked litter around or brought in any “presents” for you, make sure those have been seen to before you check out. If your pet sheds a lot, you could also take the trouble to vacuum any furniture that’s been sat on, as well as any pet furniture that might have been included in the package.
Remember to turn off the TV, air conditioning, and lights before you leave. Don’t leave anything on standby – this can be quite expensive for your host, especially if there’s a long gap between rentals.
In the bathroom, a little effort goes a long way. Take a couple of minutes to clear any hair from the plug hole, wipe down the sink, shower and tub, and put a little cleaner in the toilet bowl. That last one can wait until just before you leave – after all, you don’t want to risk the health of an adventurous pet wanting to take one last look at the place. If your pet’s litter has been stationed in the bathroom, be sure to clean up any mess that might have been tracked around. These are small things, but they could make a big difference to your hosts and their cleaning staff.
Give the rental agreement a last check for any specific information about what you need to do before you vacate the property. In most cases, you won’t be expected to perform a full deep clean – the owner will have arranged for a professional to do that after you leave and before the next tenant arrives. However, following these simple tips can work wonders for your relationship with your hosts, so they’ll be happy to have you again next time around. Have a safe trip home!