Simple ways to elevate your home for guests

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Simple ways to elevate your Airbnb

In the past five years or so, I’ve realized that one of my favorite things is putting together events and/or creating beautiful experiences for people. A lot of times, this manifests in me putting on parties that are, like, a liiiittle bit extra, but since becoming an Airbnb host, it’s been something that I’ve been trying to put into how I set up my home for my guests. I like to have fresh flowers in the house for every guest, I like to have little snacks and quick and easy breakfast items available, and I spritz some fresh essential oil in each room before the new guest arrives. Having little things around that make a guest feel special or comfortable is something that I love, and if it’s easy and quick to do, even better.

When I learned about Angel Soft® with Fresh Lavender-Scented Tube toilet paper I knew that’d be a super easy way to elevate my guest’s experience with something simple and everyday. Plus, I don’t have to do any extra work since I have to have toilet paper anyway! There’s lavender scent right in the tube, so every time a guest uses it, they’ll get a nice subtle lavender scent. I happened to already have some lavender hand soap in the bathroom, and I have some dried lavender hanging in my kitchen from last year’s lavender harvest in my garden, so it kind of matches a little lavender theme I have already going on!

My mom is a great host, and while throwing parties stresses her out (whereas I revel in throwing parties), she too enjoys creating a lovely space for guests to stay, so I definitely learned from her! Her and my dad have a couple vacation rentals, so seeing how they set up those spaces for guests helped me consider extra little touches I might not have thought of. My mom always has extra little travel lotions, toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, and tissue for people to grab in case they need it, so I included some of those little things for guests. As my friend was helping me clean the Airbnb one day, I saw her put the little triangle on the toilet paper and I was like ah! of course, that’s such an easy little thing to do, but it makes the bathroom feel like it’s been cleaned and prepared for every new guest, and it’s a very hotel-y touch.

When I travel, I almost always stay in vacation rentals instead of hotels, so I’ve experienced a lot of different ways people host. One of my favorites was the artist loft I stayed in when I was in Paris. The host left me a bottle of wine, cheese, and a baguette— very French and felt special!

I’m always on the lookout for new ways I can make my own guests feel special too, and while Angel Soft® with Fresh Lavender-Scented Tube probably won’t be the ultimate memory that stays with them, it will definitely contribute to the overall sense of care that I like to take with creating a space for them to stay!

Want to stay at The Brave House on your next trip to the Seattle area? We’d love to host you!

Easy ways to elevate your Airbnb
Easy ways to elevate your Airbnb
Easy Ways to Elevate your Airbnb

Airbnb tips from... you!

Tacoma's best airbnb tips

Before we put #thebravehouse on Airbnb I wanted to get some feedback from my followers on Instagram as to what amenities they thought were necessary, and also what little details made their Airbnb stays feel really wonderful. There were a lot of duplicate suggestions but I wanted to make a list of them, both to use myself, and to share in case any other Airbnb host wanted some ideas!

  • Local Guide Book- I’m working on this one! I’ve got a bare bones one in my house manual, but I’m working on a more comprehensive Best of Tacoma guide! I love this city so I definitely want to share it with my guests!

  • Bottle of wine + snacks- Depending on the guest I may get a bottle of wine or champagne (we have a couple guests staying before/after their wedding), but snacks are definitely a must have!

  • coffee with a good creamer- Coffee is definitely a must! We have grounds, a coffee maker, locally sourced half and half, creamer, and sugar and sugar substitutes. I almost forgot all the extra stuff for coffee because I just drink mine black, so this suggestion was a good reminder!

  • good towels- I’ve got two bath towels for each bedroom, a small washcloth, and a black washcloth for makeup removal!

Airbnb amenity ideas from guests
  • a microwave- Another good reminder for me! We haven’t had a microwave for like 9 years, so I grabbed a little one to put in the Airbnb!

  • local goodies/beer- Working on this one, I’d definitely love to make sure the coffee I offer guests is at least locally roasted at one of the amazing roasters in town.

  • granola bars/fruit- I’ve got a basket of granola bars, fruit, and instant oatmeal for people to grab for breakfast!

  • phone chargers- This is a great idea and one that I’d like to eventually implement.

  • coffee maker- duh!

  • toiletries: q-tips, cottonballs, shampoo/conditioner- Done, done, and done! Plus: body wash and extra travel sized toothbrushes, lotion, and toothpaste in case a guest forgot theirs!

  • Feminine hygiene products- I LOVED this suggestion. Definitely wanted to have these available for guests who may have forgotten their products or had their cycle surprise them! I’ve got tampons, pads, and pantyliners on hand in the bathroom!

  • tea- I need to get some breakfast tea, as most of the tea I have at the house was for sleep aid, haha, but a good earl grey or english breakfast tea is great for those morning tea drinkers!

  • throw blankets- I need to get a couple more, but thankfully it’s summer so this one probably isn’t as important as it will be come October.

  • brochures for the area- I’m thinking of going around town and getting brochures, but I also want to just have all those activities/businesses in one place in my local guide.

  • fresh flowers- I feel like flowers make a house just feel very welcoming. I’ve got some fresh blooms on the dining room table and sprinkled around the house in mini vases

  • good wifi- duh.

  • salt/pepper/condiments- definitely!

  • chocolate- kinda want to do little tiny chocolate bars on the towels I leave on each bed. I remember having tiny mint chocolates at hotels when I was a kid and it was so special!

  • dog friendly destinations/activities - Since our Airbnb is dog-friendly, I’ve included some info about local dog parks and such in my guidebook

  • pack and play- we’ve got one!

  • board games/cards- We put a bunch of games in our living room credenza for guests to use, plus I left some of Jack’s toys to play with for the younger kids.

  • first aid kit- This was a great suggestion, and one I wouldn’t have thought of without the suggestion! We’ve got one in our house now!

  • deals with local businesses - This is one I’d love to implement but haven’t had time to orchestrate yet. Having some discount cards to locally owned businesses that I love would be a really awesome to add value for my guests and support businesses in Tacoma!

  • instructions for house quirks- I tried to do this with my house manual, but I’d still like to go around the house and put up a few notes for some of the things about the house that might not be super straightforward.

Airbnb tips and tricks

That Airbnb Swiffer Life

Swiffer WetJet Wood

Now that the #thebravehouse is an Airbnb, I’m cleaning it a LOT more frequently.  Like, I wish I had cleaned it this often when we actually lived there! For the time being I’m the “cleaning lady” getting things all prettied up between guests, and with a very limited amount of time between reservations (usually just a few hours!), having a quick and easy process is absolutely essential.

Since I partnered up with Swiffer to try out their WetJet Wood, keeping my hardwood floors clean takes just a couple minutes, which is perfect for those whirlwind days when a guest checks out in the morning and another checks in later that afternoon. While my sheets are getting clean in the laundry, I can easily give my floors a swipe with the Swiffer so they look clean and new for the next guest.

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I’m pretty excited with how well our Airbnb bookings are going! I’ve definitely got my work cut out for me, acting as the cleaning service on top of managing bookings and such, so I might eventually hire out my cleaning to a professional. We initially just wanted to see if the house would even do well as a vacation rental and I figured I’d costs low by doing the cleaning myself.  I’m going to reevaluate at the end of the month (June is booked up at like 80%, so imma be buuusy cleanin!), and decide if I want to keep grinding at the cleaning myself, or get some help!

In the meantime, it’s me and my trusty Swiffer gettin’ her done! Check out the Swiffer WetJet Wood on Amazon here!

Swiffer WetJet Wood

The Brave House is... an Airbnb!

Best Tacoma Family Airbnb

That’s right! Our cozy little home is now on Airbnb! You might be wondering, “well wait… where are you going to live then?” and that answer is: the flip house! I haven’t been able to do much work on the flip house because my only free time is during Jack’s naps… and I kind of have to stay home while he naps, you know? So we are finishing the flip house enough that we can live in it (flooring in, at least one bathroom finished, kitchen functional) and then we’ll be finishing it as we live in it.

In the meantime, The Brave House will be rented out to travelers looking for a place to call home while they’re on the road! We’ve already listed her and have quite a few bookings already! I’m excited to share the home I’ve put so much heart into with others, especially because I love Tacoma and am looking forward to sharing my love for the city with those who might be experiencing it for the first time.

If you or someone you know is coming to visit the Seattle/Tacoma area and is looking for a place to stay, send them my way! I wanted to make our place very family and pet friendly because as a parent and dog-owner, I know how frustrating it can be to find a good place to stay that can accommodate my dog and is also designed with a kid in mind. I’m in the process of creating a really fun bunk room that, while available for adults, will be an especially fun space for kids. Jack’s nursery upstairs has been converted into a regular bedroom with a queen bed, there’s another bedroom on the main floor with a queen, plus the bunk room, so it’ll be able to sleep 6, and we also have a pack-and-play available for anyone with a baby or toddler who doesn’t have one or want to travel with theirs.

I’ve got a lot of fun ideas I’m thinking of incorporating but for now, we’re in the thick of finishing up some projects on our (now) Airbnb house and working our butts off to have the flip ready to move in by mid-late May! In the meantime, check out our listing and share it with anyone who’s doing some PNW travel this summer!