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Owners: Managing Your Owner’s Closet

Mary Waldman9 Aug 2016Homeowner KnowledgePost a Comment

So, you’ve made the leap and decided to rent your vacation home. However, like most owners, you want to enjoy your home throughout the year as well. To make it easy to pop into your vacation home for a weekend or an extended stay, you’ll want to have a lockable owner’s closet where you can keep anything you that you don’t want your renters to see or use behind closed doors. We recommend that you install a deadbolt or an electronic lock on the closet door for enhanced security.

Remember: Anything that is left out and available to guests is “open game” — that is, guests will assume that it’s there for them to use. Why wouldn’t they? Vacation rentals are marketed as a way to enjoy “the comforts of home” while vacationing. If guests know they can use all the appliances and dishes in the kitchen, why wouldn’t they assume they can use any spare ski jackets, sports gear or anything else they find in the house? After all, in their minds, they paid for it.

So, create a space where you can keep the clothes and gear you and your gang need to enjoy your time in your vacation rental, as well as keep these items “out of sight, out of mind” for guests. And, it will save you hours of packing and planning every time you come for a stay. A well-stocked owner’s closet means you can pop in for the weekend without spending hours packing for the trip.

Which closets work best?
Again, think “out of sight, out of mind.” If possible, pick a closet in a hallway, garage or basement. Try not to use a closet in a bedroom — particularly the master bedroom — as guests typically expect closet space for their clothes. A “kids room” closet isn’t a great idea, either; the temptation to “see what’s in there” might be too great, leading to attempts to force the door open. And, don’t use a utility closed where furnaces, water heaters and other home utilities are housed. Local safety regulations usually prohibit this.

What about garages?
Remember, if people can see it, they’ll probably want to use it and/or play with it. Try to keep your garage free of things you don’t want guests to use. And, if you don’t have anywhere else to store larger items like bicycles, lock them up.

What should you keep in your owner's lockout closet?
The broad answer is any personal items you don’t want to transport back and forth from your permanent home. Of course, this can vary depending on your location. In Summit County, you’ll typically find owner’s closets filled with skis, snowboards, boots and other winter sports items. In a beach town, it might be surfboards and other beach gear.

Here are some standard items that most owners like to keep in their closets:

  • Linens. Many owners like to have their own towels, sheets and pillows for personal use.
  • Tools. It’s nice to have a few basic hand tools (screwdrivers, pliers) available to guest, often in a kitchen drawer. Keep any larger tools you want to stay in your rental in the closet.
  • A supply of extra tin foil, sandwich bags, garbage bags, toilet paper, and other disposable items.
  • Wine, beer or liquor.  
  • Basic toiletries and first aid items. Why pack your own soap, shampoo, razors, bug spray, bandages, and other items every trip? Just leave a supply there.

An owner’s closet should make your life easier — and your trips to your vacation home simpler and more enjoyable. If you have any tips on handy things you keep in your owner’s closet, please leave them in the "Comments" section below!

Watch the following video for more information about your owner's closet from Owner Mary Waldman and Owner Operations Manager Kristen Werner.

View even more helpful owner videos here.