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17369 Views 36 Replies Latest reply: Feb 7, 2012 5:05 PM by lrbaldwin RSS
New Member 2 posts since
Jan 26, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Jan 26, 2011 11:15 AM

how to handle personal belongings??

what is the best way to deal with personal belongings? clothing, ect. since we also live in our home part-time.

  • amyg Active Contributor 323 posts since
    Dec 10, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 26, 2011 12:56 PM (in response to carolsellers14@msn.com)
    how to handle personal belongings??

    Do you have a closet that you can dedicate as an owner's closet?  That's what most VR owners seem to do.  If you don't, is there a place in your home that you could create a built-in?  We did that at one of our cabins using wasted space under a dormer.  If you have an extra large closet you can block off one end, put up shelves and build a door to access it.  As a last resort, if you have larger items like tools or Christmas trees and seasonal decor you may need to rent a small space at a storage facility.

  • murdockvacationrentals Contributor 41 posts since
    Jan 28, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 28, 2011 10:38 PM (in response to carolsellers14@msn.com)
    how to handle personal belongings??

    Ideally, you do not want your guests to encounter many, if any, of your personal belongings. You want them to feel like they are staying in a true vacation rental and not coming to visit your personal residence. Be careful not to leave too many family pictures out, but keep the decor more neutral and fitting for the locale and the property.

     

    Converting a closet to an "owner's closet" and putting a deadbolt on it can work well. If you have a garage you could purchase a large storage cabinet that can be locked where clothing and other personal items could be stored. Depending upon how many personal items you have that need to be stored it may be necessary to either reduce the amount of personal items you leave there or to find outside storage options so that the guests can have the space that they need and you can have the access to the things you need when you come and visit.

     

    -MurdockVacationRentals

  • laura.clark New Member 1 posts since
    Feb 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    how to handle personal belongings??

    We are fortunate to have a place in our VR to store things, but I read (somewhere) that it is good to leave some personal belongings in view of the renter, because then they do realize that it is YOUR vacation home  and that they will take better care of it.  I think it needs to be a good balance.  You want the renter to feel like it is their house while they are there, but you don't want it to be so "generic" that they don't care either.

    • New Member 6 posts since
      Feb 11, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Feb 11, 2011 5:26 PM (in response to laura.clark)
      how to handle personal belongings??

      I am dealing with this issue right now, and we have an entire bedroom locked off for personal effects. 

       

      We don't leave any personal effects out other than decor and necessities, but the place is furnished and decorated nicer than a true dedicated rental.  Unfortunately, that has made no difference to some guests.  Where some guests leave the place so pristine and spotless when they leave that our housekeeper wonders if anyone was ever there, a lot of people trash the place then get defensive and make incredible excuses for the mess.

       

      I am frustrated and at a loss as to how to deal with it.  There is nothing irreplaceable, but why should I have to worry about my decor, which I consider to be "personal effects"?  I just recently added another page to the guest book with a personal statement from us about how much we enjoy sharing our cabin and how much it means to us, and that it breaks our hearts when our guests don't treat it respect.  I find it appalling that I had to do that, but even the security deposit does not seem to register that we want protection from loss and damage.

       

      I have decided that some people don't care that it is someone else's home.  They will use and abuse whatever is there, even if it is obviously someone's personal items.  Do not leave out anything you can't stand to lose.  We actually had guests break into our private room because they had used it in the past, and ignored the fact that it was no longer a part of the rental.

       

      Sorry for the long post.  You will probably see me talking about this more than anything else. 

      • Currently Being Moderated
        Feb 18, 2011 7:28 PM (in response to tracib)
        how to handle personal belongings??

        You know, it really is a shame the way some people behave...

         

        On the one hand, I fix my rental and deposit rates to a fairly high level, which does help to weed out much of the undesirable guests.

        However, as far as some people are concerned, the fact that they are spending "big bucks" entitles them to do as they wish with my property.

         

        You just never really know with a guest, so you have to protect yourself and your property.  This might require you to make some changes you would not have otherwise have considered, but would give you some peace of mind.

         

        One important thing about locked doors and cabinets:  many insurance companies will not accept padlocks as security systems.  If a guest breaks in and damages any property protected by a padlock, you are out of luck!  Spend the money on a good locksmith... 

        • New Member 1 posts since
          Feb 20, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Feb 20, 2011 6:40 PM (in response to manouche)
          how to handle personal belongings??

          We don't keep any personal items of real value in our vacation condo, but do like to keep some clothing, non perishable food items, drinks, and toiletries (as well as some tools, cleaning supplies).  We have installed some cabinet locks in difficult to access kitchen cabinets (above the fridge, corner cabinets) that are of no use to our guests anyways.  We also purchased a locking lane cedar chest for our master bedroom for our clothing (decorative and not that expensive, and useful for seating and luggage).

           

          We also have an outdoor storage closet, and installed a locking hurricane shutter to secure the back half of this closet for personal items (grill, kayaks); this leaves the front half of the closet available for beach chairs, umbrellas, and other items we keep out for guest use.

  • wiffle Contributor 217 posts since
    Feb 23, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 23, 2011 12:58 AM (in response to carolsellers14@msn.com)
    how to handle personal belongings??

    We use a centrally located closet as an "owner's closet". It has an exterior keyed lock on the door. This is where we keep our housekeeping supplies. Our personal belongings, primarily toiletries and cosmetics, are kept in Rubbermaid bins on the upper shelf.

     

    We have another locked cabinet over the stove where we keep a small stash of non-perishables, my husbands nice scotch, etc.

     

    Other than that, we leave everything for the renters use: games, books, videos, tons of linens, etc.

  • karen.rigganforce New Member 9 posts since
    Feb 24, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 24, 2011 10:02 AM (in response to carolsellers14@msn.com)
    how to handle personal belongings??

    In our condo we have signs.  Yes, it's a bit ugly but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.  We have an owners closet with a padlock.  On it is a sign that specifically says Not For Guest Use! You also need to spell it out in your contract that guests are not to enter the owners room that's padlocked.  If the room is disturbed or the lock broken then you're entitled to charge the guest an outrageous amount of $$ plus the guest is no longer able to rent from you.  Period.  We've had two guests who are not allowed to come back to our unit after being destructive and they honestly do not understand why.  I actually had one person (after putting large holes in my leather recliner) accuse me of being a racist when I charged them $300 which was less than half to replace the chair.  Go figure.  Thank goodness for digital cameras!  I sent the person proof of the damage, a copy of the signed contract and told him if he wanted to pursue it we could but it would cost him my attorney fees plus his.  Anyway, when you talk to the potential guest reiterate the room is off limits.  In the contract do the same.  Lock it, put a sign on it and if it's still opened you have a legal course of action.

     

    Good luck.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 24, 2011 12:37 PM (in response to carolsellers14@msn.com)
    how to handle personal belongings??

    We clean many vacation rentals, and I have never seen anyone bust in an owners closet, not to say that people won't. A deadbolt is perfect for an owners closet instead of a padlock.  Padlocks make people curious.. A locked door is a locked door.

     

    In our case, the management company goes in before we do and checks the home out for damage, but as a contract cleaner, we check as well. Since we do the properties over and over again we have a detailed knowledge of where everything goes and if something is missing or out of place.

    If we find something that is missing or broken that might have been overlooked, we contact the mgt company immediately. 

    It's a partnership between us and the mgt company to keep the properties in pristine condition- and it works, and has paid off as we are busy year round.

     

    We are in Montana (Red Lodge specifically) and don't get a huge party crowd of renters like some of the coastal states do. People that come here usually come to ski or hike and don't tend to be very rowdy.

  • terirusso Contributor 101 posts since
    Mar 30, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2011 7:50 AM (in response to carolsellers14@msn.com)
    how to handle personal belongings??

    We have a shed at our property that I use to store larger things that we need when we want to use the house ourselves. Anything small enough (sheets, towels, toiletrees, etc) goes in a locked storage box that slides under my bed. There should not be any clothes or personal effects in the closets. A friend rented a condo last year and when she checked in, the owners clothes took up one whole closet and dresser in the master bedroom, and food (mostly staples) were left in the kitchen cabinets. She called the realtor that she rented the condo from and asked him to find her another unit.  A vacation rental is just that, a VACATION. Our renters don't want to feel like they are visiting someone. As much as these properties are second or vacation home to many owners, it is still a business and needs to be treated that way.

    • Contributor 38 posts since
      May 28, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jun 1, 2011 10:19 AM (in response to terirusso)
      how to handle personal belongings??

      I don't understand the comment about kitchen staples.  Do our renters not enjoy the use of them?  We have always left them in the cupboard for the use of our renters.  Except for the spices, most of them are not touched.  What are others' thoughts on this?

      • debi Contributor 38 posts since
        Feb 24, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jun 1, 2011 10:56 AM (in response to mooreva)
        how to handle personal belongings??

        In an upper cupboard, we have some 'emergency supplies' of canned foods and a small variety of noodles, etc.  It's important to leave plenty of space for guests to store their own food, so we leave two large lower cupboards for them.  When I send the directions to the property, I also tell our guests that there are condiments and spices available for their use, and a small supply of family things in the upper cupboard, which they are welcome to use if they like.

         

        Our experience has been that people love having these options, and so many times we have been told how lovely it is to walk in to a place that feels so much like home.  Many people prefer not to cook at the house, so obvioiusly they don't use these supplies.  Others cook, and then leave things added to the cupboard.  I don't try to keep it filled, it grows and shrinks but I don't expend energy trying to maintain it, other than pitching outdated items.

         

        The other houses we have don't have much storage space, so I don't take up pantry space, other than keeping spices and a few condiments available.

         

        I've had no complaints, only thankful appreciation.

    • New Member 11 posts since
      Aug 31, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Sep 22, 2011 2:50 AM (in response to terirusso)
      Re: how to handle personal belongings??

      Ideally, I kind of agree, but we've had great luck renting our HOME as a vacation rental.  We have had nothing but rave reviews for our condo, and our master closet is taken up with our belongings (there is a second closet left entirely empty with hangers for their use in that room), as well as the kitchen holding staple food and supplies the guests enjoy using. 

       

      Perhaps the important difference is that we do, in every way possible, want to accommodate the fact that our renters are there for a vacation and deserve to not feel that they are intruding on someone's home.  Ours looks and feels like a model home, it just happens to have some lived-in-ness to it, as well.

  • debi Contributor 38 posts since
    Feb 24, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2011 12:16 PM (in response to carolsellers14@msn.com)
    how to handle personal belongings??

    I've noticed a difference in how our properties are treated.  One is a small house - 2 BR, 2BA, and I market to honeymooners, anniversary guests, and limit the number to 5 people.  We have separated out 1/2 of each bedroom closet, partitioned it off, and simply hung a paper sign inside that says 'family side'.  No locks.  We get little or no disturbance with our private things - clothing, some tools, papers, we even keep coffee beans in there to refill the container where we keep the beans for our guests 'starter pot' of coffee.  We get repeat clientele and rave reviews.

     

    The other house is a 3 BR, 3 BA house that sleeps 10 or more.  We keep very few personal supplies in the house, had a locking cabinet in the garage which was broken in to repeatedly.  We have replaced that now with an incredibly heavy and secure gun case.  We keep cleaning supplies and paper goods in it.  We've had guests break furniture, bring pets to our allergen free home (including putting their poor dog in the hot tub), leave incredible messes including torching off fireworks on our trex deck and melting portions of the surface!  We no longer rent to bachelor or bachelorette parties, and are very skeptical of any wedding party.  (I would increased the security deposit to $1000 or more for a wedding!)  We also have a minimum rental age of 25, and during Spring Break week next year, I will insist on speaking with a renter as well as increasing the security deposit.. unless I know for a fact that I am renting to a family.  The families don't abuse the house.  In our experience, renting the smaller units decreases the amount and type of abuse... which none is outright vandalism, just thoughtlessness, probably combined with alcohol or drug use.

  • New Member 2 posts since
    May 28, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2011 9:51 AM (in response to carolsellers14@msn.com)
    how to handle personal belongings??

    Interesting I saw this thread today.  I am spending my Memorial Day Weekend building a closet in the garage of our vacation home.  We are doing so because it meets the needs of our guests and ourselves.  They will have better closet space and don't have to look at our lawn equipment, tools etc that are currently in the garage.  We will have plenty of storage for our ski clothes, ski equipment, and sledding tubes that we don't want the renters to use.  Unlike the others on this post, we have not had problems with renters in any fashion.  So we are just looking for ways to improve our time and theirs while at our Colorado home.

  • meredith HomeAway Employee 384 posts since
    Nov 18, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 1, 2011 10:54 AM (in response to carolsellers14@msn.com)
    Re: how to handle personal belongings??

    Hi Everyone,

     

    Send a picture of where you keep your personal belongings to community@homeaway.com, and we'll create a fun slideshow, highlighting your property.

     

    Can't wait to see how you all keep your stuff safe.

     

    Thanks!

     

    Meredith

  • terirusso Contributor 101 posts since
    Mar 30, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    how to handle personal belongings??

    I agree that some renters like to find a house with condiments, maybe some spices, etc, but I think beyond that, they don't want to share a closet full of clothes with an owner. That also brings up the problem of what you do when something is missing or damaged. Most renters are really good, but all it takes is one that thinks anything in the house is fair game to use. I still think any personal effects should be put out of sight, and locked.

    I like how Debi handles it, by telling renters that they have supplied the house with the spices,etc. Otherwise I think when people move in they just think that the previous renters left the stuff behind, and might not feel that the house was cleaned well.

    • Currently Being Moderated
      Jun 1, 2011 2:18 PM (in response to terirusso)
      Re: how to handle personal belongings??

      As a company that cleans rentals, I have seen both the good and the bad.

       

      In the state we work in, the board of health says- nothing gets left in the cabinets except maybe salt and pepper. Despite the fact that we want to think everyone has good intentions- it only takes one guest to do something awful that could lead to another guest getting sick, or worse.

      Rather than have that liability, the state says nothing gets left. I prefer it. I work with an owner who fights me on it tooth and nail-  they insist on leaving used condiments in the fridge- I explained to them that we will not clean that shelf or touch anything on it- I won't assume that liability- it's on them and its in the contract. 

       

      As far as other things like clothing, etc- nobody wants to see that- the more minimal the property, the better and cleaner it looks.  Lock it in an owner's closet.

      I just worked with an owner who had stuff everywhere- we cleaned it up and the home looks so much better. They had issues with people using the home "as a party house". I explained to them that the more stuff you have around- people can view the house as -eh, they won't notice-  the more minimal it is, people tend to be more careful because they know any hiccup will be noticed immediately.  We clean over 20 rental properties, and these are my experiences.

      Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

      • mike-dfv Community All-Star 811 posts since
        Mar 5, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jun 1, 2011 7:40 PM (in response to beartoothcleaning)
        Re: how to handle personal belongings??

        Thanks for sharing. As a villa owner, it's interesting to read the perspective of a cleaning company.

      • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
        Aug 30, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Sep 24, 2011 3:39 PM (in response to beartoothcleaning)
        how to handle personal belongings??

        I don't see the big deal about items left in the fridge as long as they are either condiments in clean containers that are not expired OR ELSE other food items that are both not expired and sealed/unopen.  What else are you supposed to do with guest who leave several items in the kitchen (especially the fridge) because they can't take them on an airplane or long car trip?  I can't see constantly moving everything to your own fridge at your own home (quickly filling it up) every time a guest checks out -- and throwing away good food in my opinion is wasteful, especially in these times.

        • Contributor 60 posts since
          Sep 21, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Feb 4, 2012 5:04 PM (in response to swlinphx)
          Re: how to handle personal belongings??

          I have my cleaner remove everything from the fridge and have given her permission to take anything home she wants. Otherwise she dumps it. I don't like the idea of wasting food either but I know I wouldn't want to show up at a  rental and find partially used food items in the fridge

          • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
            Aug 30, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Feb 5, 2012 6:21 AM (in response to drrental)
            Re: how to handle personal belongings??

            On the contrary, I've had guests grateful if there are already some things for them so they don't have to buy every little thing, especially just for a week.  Nothing wrong with fresh eggs or margarine or condiments.  I can't imagine arriving somewhere and having to start up a whole new kitchen including spices, condiments, etc. just for a week.  I wouldn't leave certain food items, but common sense tells you what would be acceptable or not.

             

            People realize that previous guests can't take a lot of food on airplanes (or even frozen items if by car).  The main thing is that they are fresh, in good condition and not unappealing in appearance.  Otherwise I take them or throw them out. Part of the nice thing about a vacation rental is previous guests buy supplies and leave whatever they didn't use or what's left for the next.

            • sophie Senior Contributor 964 posts since
              Mar 4, 2011
              Currently Being Moderated
              Feb 6, 2012 1:34 PM (in response to swlinphx)
              Re: how to handle personal belongings??

              Exactly true.  Normally people enjoy having ketchup, mustard, worstershire sauce, etc.  But, I always check expiration dates and clean off the bottle/jar if it's dirty. If someone leaves something unopened, I will normally leave it but it it's been opened, I will toss it. ie: like potato chips, ice cream, butter.

              • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
                Aug 30, 2011
                Currently Being Moderated
                Feb 6, 2012 1:46 PM (in response to sophie)
                Re: how to handle personal belongings??

                That's pretty much how I do it, except if the butter or margarine is clean and fresh I treat it like a condiment and leave it.  Unopened soft drinks, beer or other fresh items (like veggies someone bought and never opened) I leave too.  I would never leave opened ice cream or snacks.

  • Contributor 166 posts since
    Mar 30, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 4, 2011 10:43 PM (in response to carolsellers14@msn.com)
    how to handle personal belongings??

    Like the other members of the forum, I have a closet dedicated to personal belongings. I also use the shed house for personal outside items.  In terms of kitchen items, I don't have anything that is locked up for us. All the condiments and everything else is available to guests.

  • sarah.bromfield New Member 1 posts since
    Jun 13, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 13, 2011 9:18 AM (in response to carolsellers14@msn.com)
    how to handle personal belongings??

    How interesting I should stumble upon this. All of the properties that I own and manage here in England are (and always have been) Vacation Rentals and have been furnished and decorated as such so we've never had this problem. However, after the success of my vacation rental company in England I've decided to rent out a second home that I have in Staunton, Virginia.

     

    Here in the UK my office is less than a 5 minute walk from all of our properties so managing one that is thousands of miles away is going to be a real change of pace for me! One thing that has only just occurred to me recently is how much work it is going to be to store everything away after living there part-time for the last 4 years!

     

    Great to read everybody's advice! I will be travelling out to the property next month and I expect it will take me a lot longer than I thought to store everything in a safe and secure place that leaves the guests feeling like the space is their own.

     

    Thanks so much for all your tips everyone!!

  • New Member 3 posts since
    Feb 16, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2011 11:33 AM (in response to carolsellers14@msn.com)
    Re: how to handle personal belongings??

    We also have a rental property that we live in part time.  For owner storage, we use a variety of methods, which have been expanding as our personal effects grow.   

     

    Right after we purchased the home, as we were furnishing and setting it up, we moved our washer and dryer out of the large laundry room into the garage right on the other side of the wall.  This did involve getting a plumber (approx. $200) and electrician (approx $75) and installation of a dryer vent and drywall repairs by my husband, but this was much less than what an official "dryer vent" company was going to charge us (over $1000).  As a result, we now have a 5' by 8' air-conditioned storage room, which we outfitted with inexpensive IKEA storage shelves and a small bar fridge to hold all of the condiments, etc. that we don't want to throw away each time there is a renter. 

     

    We do not leave anything at all in the main fridge, but do have a small spice cupboard that we stock with PAM (to save the nonstick frying pans), various spices/grill mixes, and the disposable/sealed S&P shakers that can be purchased at the grocery store for $1 or so (sealed so that there is no issue with tampering).  When we leave and have rental guests, we generally put all of our clothing on a metal rolling clothing rack and simply roll it into this closet.  We had a locksmith come and install locking door handles and hang a sign that says "Owner Storage - No Access", and so far haven't had any problems (keeping fingers crossed).

     

    The next step was to have some garage storage cabinets installed - to store the items that would not be affected by heat (an issue for Arizona rentals!)  These both have a lock built in at the top of the unit, and then we loop a standard cable bike lock through the handles.  One unit holds tools and various chemicals that I wouldn't want kids to get into - pool chemicals, yard chemicals/fertilizers/weed killers and so on.  The second unit is used for all of the linens and has clear plastic bins inside to organize by sheet size, pillowcases, bath towels and so on.  The lock for this is separate so that I can provide this to a cleaning company if needed - although right now I'm doing all of the changeovers myself. 

     

    Finally, most recently we had a locksmith install locking door handles on one of the two walk-in closets in the master bedroom.  Sadly, this had to be done due to the size of my ever-expanding wardrobe, after one of the rolling clothes racks collapsed on the way to the laundry storage room (funny in retrospect, but not at the time!)  We hang the same "Owner Storage - No Access" sign on this.  It works well as we store my clothing, my husband's clothing and all of our bathroom and office personal items in there.  The laundry room storage holds my clothing from the other bedrooms, all of the kitchen items, and everything else.  I wasn't sure how it would go, locking off one of the two walk-in closets - but so far there have been no complaints/concerns expressed by any guests. 

     

    Hope this helps - I've found this forum invaluable in figuring out how to set up and run a rental property!

  • aznative Contributor 103 posts since
    Feb 8, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 23, 2011 12:01 AM (in response to carolsellers14@msn.com)
    how to handle personal belongings??

    We don't keep any personal belongings in our home.  We don't live there, and if we decide to come for a short stay, we bring our toothbrushes! We want our guests to feel as though they are checking into a five-star hotel... but better!

     

    We do have a bin that we keep in the house for our housekeepers and for ourselves, and we keep it stocked with replacement things like soaps, shampoos, shower puffs, tissue, pamphles and brochures for local area attractions, and things like that.  We don't have any place in our home that can be closed off for these things, as we give the guests the bedroom closets, and we only have a hall closet that is full of games, the ironing board and iron, and the guests need to have access to that.  We also live in Arizona, so we can't leave anything in the garage in the heat.  Below is a picture of our bin that we got at The Container Store, and it has a place on both ends for small combination locks. We keep it in the far, mostly unused side, of one of our largest bedroom closets.

    StorItallTrunk_l.jpg

  • New Member 11 posts since
    Jun 20, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 24, 2011 12:24 PM (in response to carolsellers14@msn.com)
    how to handle personal belongings??

    There are a couple of ways storing personal items. It depends on how much you use your vacation home.

    My rental, for instance, is actually my primary home. I'm an artist, so  it shares the grounds with my work studio which is really a one bedroom  seasonal cottage. I'm on premises 7 months of the year occupying the  studio space. I got tired of dragging all my personal items across the  property to the other cottage so I installed an 8x10 shed behind the  rental house.

    I move all my person items in there now as well as keep  chang-over cleaning, restock supplies and welcome gifts. I've totally depersonalized the cottage, meaning NO personal photos, clothing, or toiletries in the bathrooms.

    Most people think the house is VERY personalized. But it's generically decorated so renters feel at home.

    Installing the shed was the best thing I could have done. Now I always know exactly  where I've put my person items from the house and where I can store  restocking items without invading my own studio space. For very short  money I would suggest one if you have room on your property.

    Owner Shed 2.jpg

    • amyg Active Contributor 323 posts since
      Dec 10, 2010
      Currently Being Moderated
      Feb 4, 2012 8:02 PM (in response to sowellfleetian)
      Re: how to handle personal belongings??

      Okay, that's just the cutest "owners closet" I've ever seen!  Not to mention one of the biggest.  Nice

      • lrbaldwin Active Contributor 754 posts since
        Feb 16, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Feb 7, 2012 1:05 PM (in response to amyg)
        Re: how to handle personal belongings??

        I have to show off my storage solution.  We spend a lot of time at our cottage, and our lr, dr, and kitchen are on the 3rd level, so carrying all our personal stuff down 2 flights of stairs to the storage room is a pain, not to mention bringing it all back up after renters are gone.  We will also spend a mid summer week there with renters coming the weeks before and after.  Clothing isn't a problem because the OBX is casual to the extreme, so a small locked cabinet in one of the bedrooms holds that.  The problem is the canned and dry goods, my Japanese knives, printer, liquor, and loads of other things we use frequently.  I had really shallow cabinets (12" deep) built at either end of the dining room and we liked them so much we had them built in the living room.  It gives us about 20 running feet of storage space.  They actually make the area look bigger! We had locks installed on each cabinet door.  One cabinet even hides the DSL modem, router, weather station, and little old laptop that uploads the weather stuff to the internet so we can see what's happening when we're at home.  We also have temp and humidity sensors scattered around the house that we can access remotely.

         

        Dining room before cabinets

        olddr2.jpg

        Dining room after cabinets

        newdr1.jpg

        Living room before cabinets

        oldlr1.jpg

        oldlr2.jpg

        Living room with new cabinets (got rid of the old Walmart "entertainment center").

        newlr1.jpg

        • amyg Active Contributor 323 posts since
          Dec 10, 2010
          Currently Being Moderated
          Feb 7, 2012 1:50 PM (in response to lrbaldwin)
          Re: how to handle personal belongings??

          Laura, love the cabinetry idea.  The storage cabinets that flank either side of the dining table remind me of a narrow buffet.  Very attractive solution!

           

          Do you let guests know that these are your cabinets?  We've heard quite a few stories where overly-curious (and not very nice) guests will pry locked cabinets and doors open just to see what's inside.  I hope they are considerate of your beautiful craftsmanship and do not try something silly like that.  Thanks for sharing your pictures.

          • lrbaldwin Active Contributor 754 posts since
            Feb 16, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Feb 7, 2012 4:23 PM (in response to amyg)
            Re: how to handle personal belongings??

            Thank you!  I don't have a creative bone in my body (I majored in math and physics), but I'm obsessed about storeage, so I actually designed them.  They're not "furniture grade" by any means, fairly primitive (can you say rustic?),  just built of the same cedar as the wainscotting by our carpenters who certainly couldn't be called furniture makers, and it's a stretch to call them trim carpenters.

             

            I haven't actually told any guests that they're off limits.  They just have little brass knobs, and I've always figured that if they try to open them and can't, then they'd just assume they are locked.  We've had them for either 2 or 3 seasons with no problems.  Now the cabinets under the TV are not locked.  They hold games and things for the renters.  We do keep a set of keys to the various cabinets hidden, so in an emergency I can tell guests where to find them.  For example, if the router or modem need resetting, I have the key to that in a special place so they can access that if necessary.  However, that key does not open the liquor cabinet. We rent only to small family units, so we don't have the problems of those with big houses who rent to wedding parties, reunions, etc.

             

            Oh, those rugs.  They're olyfin or something, basically plastic but don't look like it.  I take them out to the driveway and wash them with Dawn, Oxyclean, a soft push broom and a hose at the beginning of each season.

             

            Thanks so much for liking my cabinets!

             

            Linda

          • lrbaldwin Active Contributor 754 posts since
            Feb 16, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Feb 7, 2012 5:05 PM (in response to amyg)
            Re: how to handle personal belongings??

            Thanks Amy!  Yes, we use the cabinet on the kitchen end as a little buffet and the one at the other end as a bar, works out great.

             

            No problem with nosy guests.  We have a small cottage and rent only to family units.  I interview every one of them by phone before I send out a lease agreement.  We do have some spring and fall regulars every year, and I leave all the cabinets open for them.  I know that if they use anything, they'll replace it.

             

            Linda (not Laura).  I need to remember to sign my posts.

        • anja Senior Contributor 1,555 posts since
          Aug 9, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Feb 7, 2012 3:38 PM (in response to lrbaldwin)
          Re: how to handle personal belongings??

          Soooo nice what you did!   Your place looks beautiful...it's wonderful ...I love it.  I want to come over. {Those are my colors, too!}. It looks bigger, brighter and streamlined ...the area carpet is a big "lift" too, to the room...it's holding the sofa sections together without competing with the pretty color scheme you have. Very nice place you have.  How are you informing the guests that the cabinets are "hands off"...meaning don't try to pry them open?

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