Managing Your Vacation Rental

Tips for preparing your home for the rental season

Written by Becky Fischer
4/5 - (3 votes)

When we visit a vacation home to provide our photography, video, or consultation service, we consider several factors in evaluating its preparedness as a rental.

Homeowners ask for this feedback, and we share our honest observations.

Here are a few of the top items we evaluate:

  1. Check all decorative pillows and blankets for visible stains, mildew, or a musty smell. Either wash them or toss them.
  2. Look closely at the lamp shades – are they yellowed, ripped, frayed? Toss them.
  3. Are there adequate kitchen supplies? We recommend that you provide enough silverware, plates, cups, etc., for twice the number of guests your home accommodates. Check for wine glasses, a few cooking pans, and some basic cleaning supplies. Replace any tired looking plastic Tupperware, cups, etc.

Your vacation rental home means so much to you. Like many homeowners, you might refer to it as your “happy place.” So, it’s only natural that you might feel sentimental about your family décor and the comfortable, casual feel of your furnishings. Keep in mind that your guests far prefer the look and feel of a clean, fresh, and uncluttered home. The bottom line is this: If this was a vacation rental you were staying in, would you feel comfortable with its cleanliness and impressed by its décor and supplies?

Please visit our previous blog posts for more information about Tips for a Thorough Spring Cleaning and The Problem with Clutter.

And here is a nice wrap-up of décor ideas specific to a vacation rental, Decorating Your Vacation Rental: 5 Tips . Our favorite piece of advice – “Be clean and uncluttered. Resist the urge to walk around your primary residence, saying “ ‘I don’t want this anymore, so maybe I can send it to the vacation house?’ ”

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


  • Thank you so much for linking to our article advising against clutter! It’s a constant struggle not to give in. Oh, how the heart wishes to send beloved, useless items to “the other house.”

  • Nicely said . . . it’s so important for a house to have decor that is clean, fresh, and “fitting” to the house. A jumble of extras available to the homeowner is never attractive. Absolutely agree with, “Resist the urge to walk around your primary residence, saying “ ‘I don’t want this anymore, so maybe I can send it to the vacation house?” Sometimes a piece will fit, but more often it should be donated/discarded. Great advice. Thank you.