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Whether you’re looking to rent out your entire home while away on vacation, have an extra property nobody’s permanently living in yet, or just have a room to rent out for a little added cash, getting your home ready for rent can be a bit of a process.

Don’t despair just yet! There’s plenty of easy ways to declutter your home and get it ready for rental no matter how big or how long you’ll be renting it out—it just takes a little motivation, imagination, and the right organizational supplies. Read on for a few tips on preparing your home for rental and figure out how to get everything clean for your new guests!


Protect your damage-prone items: We all have a few things in our house that we have to be a little more…careful with. That coffee table where the glass falls out if you bump it, that stain-prone carpeting, the couch with one foot missing that squeaks a little if you sit on it too hard—you know what we’re talking about. Budget allowing, replace some of these items with newer living room furniture to better entice renters (and prevent further damage!) And for everything else, just make sure everyone is as careful as possible. Let your renters know about the door that sticks or to use a tablecloth to prevent further scratches on your mom’s old dining room table.


Repair major damage as able: Of course, some things are too big to throw a tablecloth over, and these issues should be patched up as fast as possible before your renters settle in (or before you even put the house on the market, ideally). Take a look around for big structural issues like leaky roofs, musty basements, broken doors/cabinets/etc, and get those repaired before you welcome your new guests, or before they move in at all.


Declutter what isn’t needed: There’s going to be something of a balancing act to strike when it comes to decluttering your home for renters. Some things may be better left for them—excess plates and dishes, that stack of bath towels you never use—but some items could get tossed out no matter who’s renting from you. Ditch things like stacks of old magazines, dead batteries, ancient phone chargers (you know, what you could be decluttering anyway) to both free up space and make your home a little more appealing to potential renters.


Work on curb appealbut not too hard: Speaking of, a good tip for renters is to try and make your home seem aesthetically pleasing and comfortable from the first glance, like a mowed lawn and trimmed hedges. That being said, try to avoid making it look like it’ll be a pain to upkeep. Not every renter is going to want to take over your gardening duties, and having an overly-complicated front yard could be a turn-off for some potential tenants. Stick with the easy stuff like a neat and tidy yard, leave out some entryway furniture to make it look more welcoming, and maybe skip the rhododendrons until the rental period is over.


Leave behind some creature comforts: As opposed to an apartment, a lot of renters move into a home expecting it to be at least partially furnished if not fully. Even above and beyond the big obvious fixtures like beds and couches, make sure to provide things like coffee tables, nightstands, and the like so they’re not forced to bring in a bunch of their own furniture (especially for shorter-term rental periods, such as vacation homes). Things like closet storage and wire shelves for the basement are always welcome in rental properties to help them organize whatever it is they’re bringing with them.


Don’t leave anything too personal: Finally, it’s a tip that might sound obvious but is worth mentioning—don’t leave anything too personal behind in your home while you rent. This can run the gamut from a number of things, but it’s important to ask yourself: is this too valuable for me to leave here (ie expensive jewelry, family heirlooms, etc), not something you want leaving unsupervised (medical records, sensitive documents), or just plain old too personal (pictures of you on vacation)? These are all good candidates for taking with you or moving. Get a safety deposit box for your valuables and needed documents, or take them with you if possible, and clean the wall shelves of those pictures of your last family trip to Myrtle Beach. The memories might be important to you, but the person renting it probably doesn’t care.


Have you recently rented a room (or your entire home) and have some decluttering tips? Leave a comment below!

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