dull knives

In addition to being a host, I travel often and am also frequently in the guest role. This post is part of my Guest Perspective Series. Enjoy the love, insight, snark, and fair warnings!

I’m staying at an Airbnb in Toronto for a conference. There are five of us total, and last night we wanted to host a dinner party for our newly married friends.

We were planning to prepare some stir-fried veggies, rice and a salad. Nothing huge.

And yet.

Instead of a single good chef’s knife, we found three tiny dull paring knives and two dull steak knives. After much hunting, we finally dug up a wok and then had to clean it, because it was grimy and dusty. And when we wanted to pour wine, well… read on.

My girl friend, while attempting to chop fibrous vegetables with a sad, sad paring knife, said: “You can use this as fodder for your site.”

Yes, I think I will.

Fellow hosts, I hate to be the one to tell you:

If you think you can leave your dullest knives, cheapest pots and most uncomfortable couches at your Airbnb listing (while you reside somewhere else with all the upgrades) and we won’t notice—you’re wrong. We will.

This kind of place is slightly different from the place that is sparse and one-dimensional. Instead of giving the feeling of sterility, it gives you a feeling of… confusion, and mild-to-major frustration.

You might find yourself asking things like:

  • Why can I easily find dead AA batteries but not a single good knife?
  • Why do I sense that the owners really don’t love horse pictures as much as their walls represent?
  • Why are there 5 bottles of mostly empty shampoo in the shower?
  • Why is there an uninstalled air conditioner sitting on my desk?
  • Why, when looking for a pair of wine glasses, can I only find colored goblets the size of bowling balls?

This kind of Airbnb will give you the feeling of what I call a “cluttered void.”

While the place might not be cluttered quantity-wise, what it has to offer you is from the general category of clutter. Useless kitchenware. Unloved art. Discarded sofas.

So what can we learn from this, as hosts?

Even if you don’t live there, treat your Airbnb listing with love and intention. Treat your guests—even if you never meet them—as you would yourself, or a loved one.

Guests want to cook. We want to drink. We want to be comfortable. And we can feel it when you don’t care.

In fact, leaving us your used-up leftovers you don’t want anymore is actually worse than simply forgetting to leave things for us—because you put thought into being careless.

(This isn’t to say that you can’t repurpose older things of yours and put them in your Airbnb. Just make sure they are functional and clean, and that well loved doesn’t actually mean well worn.)

Bottom line: If you are stocking your Airbnb listing with faux-everything, or things you don’t like anymore or are sick of looking at, that’s exactly how it will feel. Fake. Unloved. Discarded.

Excuse me while I sip wine out of what I believe was originally a trophy.

Thanks for reading! Have a question that wasn't answered here? If you'd like more specific help, I'd love to work one-on-one with you. Or, if you want to work collaboratively in a group with fellow motivated hosts, find out if the next Abundant Hosting Mastermind group is open. I also wrote a book, Cleaning Up, where I give you the nuts and bolts (and so much more) of finding your perfect turnover assistant, thereby upleveling your profit and success on Airbnb. Have a beautiful day!

Guest Perspective: Stocking Useless Kitchenware and Lame Art at Your Airbnb? Yes, Your Guests Notice
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