Decluttering your space to delight guests

An orderly place is comfortable for guests and manageable for cleaners.
By Airbnb on Feb 10, 2020
3 min read
Updated Mar 8, 2023

Guests value a clean and organized space. Whether you welcome guests in a private room or an entire home, try these tips from Hosts to declutter your space.

Making your place cleaner than ever

“I find that the less clutter there is, the more clean and tidy the space,” says Kath, a Host in Albany, Australia. Guests care a lot about cleanliness. An unclean space is one of the top reasons for a negative review, according to Airbnb data.

“Reducing clutter and objects on flat surfaces is important,” say Superhosts Jay and Lynne in Blanco, Texas. “This makes cleaning much easier, gives guests space to put their things, and helps guests not forget things, because they can see them as they give the room a final scan when departing.”

Leaving space for guests’ things

Guests need places to put their clothes, toiletries, and other personal items. Keeping some drawers and closets empty might require you to purge unnecessary items. “If I haven’t used it or worn it in a year or two, it gets chucked,” says Sarah, a Host in Sayulita, Mexico. 

You may want to free up even more space, especially if you welcome guests for long-term stays like Jessica, a Host in Seoul, South Korea. “I’m sure they’ll have books, souvenirs, family pics, and their own ‘clutter’ of stuff they want to keep on the bedside table or desk or on a shelf,” she says.

Organizing amenities

Think about the best way to display amenities so guests can find them easily. Chantal, a Host in Yvignac-la-Tour, France, has a guest-dedicated cabinet: “It’s got everything from small water bottles to toilet paper, all arranged by shelf and category in separate baskets.”

Once you’re organized, remember to take inventory of linens and other supplies, and donate or discard anything that isn’t in great shape.

Focusing on the kitchen and bathrooms

“I personally don’t like it when it looks like everything in the kitchen in the listing is from a jumble sale or stuff that was discarded from elsewhere,” says Alexandra, a Host in Lincoln, California. 

Supply what guests really need in the kitchen and bathrooms, and remove the rest. Most will appreciate things like a bottle opener and hair conditioner, but they don’t need three types of each.

Discarding leftovers

It might feel less wasteful to save supplies previous guests left behind for future guests, but it’s not a good idea. Michelle, a Host in Chicago, only keeps “sealed as originally purchased” food and drink, like “bottled water, soda, and single-use condiments.”

Finding balance

“Everything in the room should have a purpose,” says Kelly, a Host in Austin, Texas. “That doesn’t mean the room shouldn’t be stylish or have a lovely, warm, cozy feel.” 

The right balance between functional and cozy will vary from place to place, but here are a few basic tips  to consider:

  • Don’t get too personal. Keep guest areas free of things like family photos, kids’ artwork, and clothing and shoes.
  • A little flair is welcome. Framed local artwork, a quirky piece of furniture, or a one-of-a-kind mirror can make your space stand out. 
  • Add some decoration. Items like plants and pillows can give your space a homey feel—as long as they’re used sparingly and arranged intentionally.
Feb 10, 2020
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