Written by Whitney Suelflohn
As the economy reopens in California, vacation-rental brands, like Airbnb, are hastening to prepare for the upcoming travel surge in the U.S. this summer. According to a recent study, 74% of Americans will take a domestic trip and 13% will travel internationally. While the extra bookings are nice – preparing for all these guests can quickly become an Airbnb host’s worst nightmare. Minimizing Airbnb hosts’ laundry time and expense is one of the biggest wins when looking to minimize the stress around home preparation. Here’s how:
- Create a mental plan for each booking: Consider using a laundry planner to plan out your laundry for the week. In general, planning out anything is always more beneficial as it allows you to stay organized and proficient in your tasks. Saturday and Sunday evenings are great times to analyze the coming week’s bookings and plan accordingly. If you already create a weekly meal plan, it is so easy just to tack on 10 extra minutes and think about your weekly laundry plan. To brainstorm your own laundry plan, start with simple questions like, “what bookings do I have this week?” and “how many guests will be staying in the house during this booking?” Some people prefer using to-do lists, if you are one of these people ensure these questions are answered and write them down.
- Incorporate a laundry gadget: Washing and drying several beds’ worth of sheets used to be intimidating. Inevitably they would tangle, twist, and ball up, sometimes sending the washer off-balance, never coming out fully clean, and always taking several cycles to dry. Check out the new, game-changing laundry gadget, Wad-Free® for Bed Sheets This innovative gadget attaches to the four corners of both the flat and the fitted sheet and prevents the dreaded sheet wad. Not only do sheets come out cleaner, but they also dry in a fraction of the time with fewer wrinkles to boot. Using Wad-Free, you can fill your machines to capacity and run mixed loads, so your laundry time will be slashed at least in half.
- Make your dryer more efficient: Make it a habit to check — and empty — the lint trap before each load. A full lint trap reduces efficiency and becomes a fire hazard. If you don’t clean it out, it prevents the dryer from being able to exhaust hot air, causing it to overheat. Failure to clean the dryer’s lint trap is the leading cause of home laundry dryer fires.
- Keep bedding simple: When it comes to choosing the right bedding for your Airbnb, keep in mind that combining a variety of prints and colors can make laundry day more complicated than it needs to be. Laundering bedding is so much quicker and easier when all your sheets and pillowcases are white (or at least one uniform color). For example, have you ever noticed that hotels always use white bedding? This is because it acts as a signal of hygiene, and you can use bleach to help maintain the cleanliness.
- Designate drop-off spots: Avoid wasting your time by running around the house looking for dirty towels and sheets. Designate hampers, baskets, or even drop-off spots throughout the house that visually tell you something needs to be washed. This can be as simple as tossing a dirty washcloth on the staircase – just find a working system where you know that if something is there, it needs to be washed.
- Laundry & multitasking: “Multitasking” has become a bad word because some people believe our brains can’t handle focusing on multiple things at once, but that doesn’t mean multitasking is evil. If you are in a time crunch to set up the house for your next guests, multitasking can become your best friend, you just have to learn how to get the most out of it. The best way to do this is to limit yourself to two big tasks at once. You can do this by simply planning 20-30 minutes per wash load to fold the previous load and place any items you don’t immediately need back in their original spots. Then spend the second half of the cycle making beds. Before you know it, your laundry time was just condensed and you can move onto other projects!
- Avoid laundry mishaps: A simple yet effective way to reduce your laundry time is by reading the care instruction labels on things like sheets, towels, and blankets before you buy them. This is because some household items require a certain temperature of water, air, and iron which can lead to longer wait times and expensive maintenance. A label that reads “Dry Clean Only” means just that, and it can cost a considerable amount to keep it clean.
- Fold & put away ASAP: Most people can stand the washing and drying portion of laundry day but dread the idea of folding it all. All those clean sheets and towels get tossed load after load into some pile and can look intimidating to tackle. But, if you can spend just 10-15 minutes after each load is done to fold and put everything away, your life will become so much easier. This is because that pile you were once intimidated by won’t exist anymore, meaning less procrastinating.
Obviously, laundry plans among Airbnb guests are going to look wildly different. But the premise stays the same: Name the event, determine the number of people it involves and decide a deadline by which to have the laundry ready. You will be more in control once you create an organized system for ways to make laundry easier— not harder!