Managing Your Vacation Rental

Tips for preparing your vacation rental for the season

Written by Becky Fischer
4.7/5 - (23 votes)

Updated March 2024

With the rental season just around the corner, it’s time to start getting your vacation rental ready. Here are some tips for sprucing up your rental before guests arrive.

1. Give your home a deep cleaning

A deep cleaning prior to the season is essential. Consider hiring professionals, but if you prefer to handle the task yourself, here are some Tips for a Thorough Spring Cleaning.

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 Home Services Directory.

3. Update your technology

Replace old TVs with flat-screen smart ones.  Make your home a “smart home” with technological advances like digital locks and security systems, noise detector, climate control, etc. Read more about Technology Advances for your Home.

4. Jazz up some blank walls

An inexpensive option is to take some scenic photographs around the Cape or Islands, get them printed locally, buy some frames from a craft store and — voila — instant art. It not only adds visual interest but a personal touch. Consider Tempaper, which is a peel-and-stick temporary wallpaper. Simply remove the backing to apply, and peel it off to remove.

5. Replace worn decorative pillows

Buy some new pillows or pillow covers for your sofas and beds.

6. Buy some new towels

Vacationers love soft and fluffy towels. Check to see that yours are not threadbare and are free of stains and tears.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. Upgrade tired bed linens

Sheets that are 400 count or higher are softer and tend to last longer. Old, flat pillows? Ditch them and opt for some new ones. Beds need to look inviting and feel fresh and comfortable. Take the time to evaluate how yours appear. (Even sleep in them when not renting!)

10. Replace sagging, lumpy or just plain uncomfortable mattresses

Firm mattresses tops tend to last longer.  Mattress toppers extend the life of those mattresses as well. Sleepless nights may result in grumpy guests!

11. Do away with bar soaps

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.

12. Replace chipped or mismatched dishes, glasses, and mugs

Target, Pier 1, and Ikea are just a few of the many stores that offer boxed sets of dishes.

13. Check to be sure your lampshades are clean and in good repair

If there are any stains, discoloration, or they appear worn, replace them.

14. 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.

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

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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