I have been hosting Airbnb for almost two years now. Having dealt with 300+ people I have learned that when you don’t want guests to use your personal things then you have to remove them as an option. Seriously, they can’t be accessible. Guests can’t always be trusted to ask if they need something additional than what’s provided. More than 50% of people do not read the details provided in the listing. It is surprising that I haven’t had more issues because of the lack of reading. Equally frustrating are the people who rather ask for forgiveness than permission. Little do they know, I would be more than happy to share (if asked).
The bathroom and the kitchen are the places were guests seem to get into my stuff the most.
Bathroom: I have a dedicated shelf for guests with a chalkboard sign I write their name on. There is a shower caddy in the shower area with communal soap and shampoo’s various guests have left behind. It states in the listing which amenities are provided and I provide q-tips, cotton balls, hairdryer, soap, toilet paper, and towels. I used to keep a personal shower caddy in the bathroom that was hidden. The shower I have is the kind that has the curtains that go all the way around it. Well, mine go almost all the way around. There is a 5 inch gap that is perfect for the communal shower caddy to be visible. You had to pull one of the shower curtains back to reveal my personal caddy. I use expensive products since it’s just me I’m providing for. Even though my caddy was hidden, products were still getting used. It became such an issue that I removed all my items, including the caddy and switched to a college dorm room shower bucket. Now I bring down the bucket when I use the bathroom. Whether its to wash my face, brush my teeth or take a shower. I’m in my 40’s feeling like I’m in my 20’s. Thanks peeps!
Kitchen: I have a dedicated shelf for guests that has a laminated sign above it “Guest Shelf- Help yourself” The shelf contains 2 large plates, 2 small plates, 2 bowls, 4 mason jars, 3 coffee/tea mugs, French press, Stump town already ground breakfast coffee, sugar, a big glass jar with a variety of teas, and a honey bear. Guests are welcome to use the paper towels that are out and silverware which is found in the middle drawer. Fridge space is available for leftovers. There is a toaster oven to heat food up. Pretty much everything else is mine and not up for grabs. I have come home to find pans/kitchen utencils that were used from breakfast being made. I have come downstairs to find people using my dedicated tea mug that lives in a wooden box along with my personal tea selection and honey above the stove. Not in the same room as the guest shelf. Guests have even gone into my shelves labeled private property and gotten Tupperware for their left overs.
When I am home to greet new guests, I give them a tour of the entire place. We start with their room and then go downstairs to the bathroom. We move over to the kitchen where the guest shelf is and I point to it and say. “If you’re at home and would like to have some water, maybe coffee or tea in the morning, please feel free to help yourself to anything on this shelf without asking” Which is why I am surprised to find them using my personal kitchen items.
Where is the disconnect in communication? Are people just not remembering what they heard? What are the reasons guests use hosts personal items without asking?