Managing Your Vacation Rental New to Renting

15 Tips for Preparing Your Vacation Rental for the Season

Some scenic photographs and craft store frames create instant wall art.
Written by Becky Fischer
15 Tips for Preparing Your Vacation Rental for the Season
19 4.8

Rental season is just around the corner, so it’s time to start getting your vacation rental ready. Here are a few tips for sprucing  up your rental before guests arrive.

  1. See a checklist of cleaning tasks from Mayflower HomemakersGive your home a deep cleaning. Consider hiring professionals to do a thorough cleaning of your vacation rental. If you prefer to handle the task yourself, here is a checklist (provided by Mayflower Homemakers) of steps to take to get your house sparkling clean.
  2. Repaint or do some touchups. You might not need to paint the entire house, just the most used and/or visible areas (living room, entry way, or kitchen) . You can do this yourself, or choose one of the painting companies from our homeowner directory.

Some scenic photographs and craft store frames create instant wall art.3.  Jazz up some blank walls. An inexpensive option is to take some scenic photographs of the Cape or Islands, get them printed, buy some frames from a craft store and–voila–instant art. It not only adds visual interest but also a personal touch.

4.   Replace worn decorative pillows. Buy some new pillows or pillow covers for your sofas and beds.

5. Buy some new towels. Vacationers love soft and fluffy towels. Check to see that yours are in good repair and free of stains and tears.

6. Invest in new area rugs. If you are in the market for some new rugs, you might consider purchasing indoor/outdoor rugs. They have the look and feel of regular area rugs, but are made for high traffic, and the best part is you can hose them off, let them dry, and put them back in the house. Ballard Design, Pottery Barn, Dash and Albert, as well as Home Depot and Lowes offer these types of rugs.

7. Install dimmer switches. Being able to control the intensity of light is a real bonus. Turn them up for reading; turn them down when watching a movie or for mood lighting.


Property ID 17637 – Nantucket

 8.  Upgrade tired linens. Sheets that are 400 count or higher are softer and tend to last longer. Flat pillows? Ditch them and opt for some new ones. Beds need to look inviting and feel comfortable. Take the time to evaluate how yours appear.

 9. Replace sagging, lumpy or just plain uncomfortable mattresses. Those without pillowtops tend to last longer. If you want to create a more plush bed for your guests, invest in a memory foam topper for your mattresses.

10. Do away with bar soaps. Instead, opt for some decorative pumps that you can refill with liquid soap. They aren’t as messy, and you won’t have to consistently replace partially used bars.

11. Replace dishes, glasses, and mugs that are chipped or mismatched. Target, Pier 1, and Ikea are just a few of the many stores that offer boxed sets of dishes.

12. Check to be sure your lampshades are clean and in good repair. If there are any stains or they appear worn, replace them.

Keep outdoor furniture sparkling with oil soap and outdoor cushions.

Property ID 8553 – Sandwich

   13. Examine your outdoor furniture. Clean wood or painted furniture with Murphy’s Oil Soap. Check painted furniture for chipped paint, and touch up spots as needed. New cushions can do wonders for outdoor furniture. Look for cushions that are made of indoor/outdoor material, as these withstand the elements better.

   14. Spruce up a blank wall with temporary wallpaper. Tempaper is peel and stick wallpaper. Remove the backing to apply, and peel off to remove.

   15.  Replace old TVs with flat screen ones. Non-flat screen TVs can instantly make a room appear dated.

If you make visible upgrades, don’t forget to take pictures and update your listing showing your latest improvements!

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About the author

Becky Fischer

Becky Fischer - I have worked for since 2003 and have lived in Brewster with my husband and three children since 2006. I grew up outside of Boston, spent summer vacations on Nantucket, and was married in Orleans. My favorite activities on the Cape are walking on the CCRT, deep breaths at the beach, oystering, yoga classes, and working with my community to support the schools and local events. Wearing several hats at work, I offer photography and video services to homeowners, work closely with the Chambers of Commerce, promote the site through social media, and distribute thousands of buckets, frisbees and lawn signs! You should see my garage! Email Becky

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