housekeeping tips making the bed

Housekeeping: Overlooked Tasks When Cleaning Guest Rooms

Your housekeeping staff works hard to ensure the best experience for your guests.

Humans are a messy species. Your housekeeping staff likely has some fascinating anecdotes about the strange things left behind by guests at your hotel. They should have a checklist of all the common things they need to do after a guest checks out, like change the bedding and towels. But there are a lot of other small things that should be considered while your staff is in the room. These small tasks can add up to big savings by keeping guests happy and avoiding the hassle of switching rooms or offering refunds should the guest find something amiss.

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Check The Nooks and Crannies

Whether traveling for business or pleasure, hotel guests often have places to go and people to see. These busy schedules make leaving behind clothes, bags, and other important items in closets a big possibility. Checking the closet allows housekeeping to help out guest services. If a guest has realized they lost or forgot an item, the service desk of their hotel will be the first call they make. Closets, as well as drawers and cabinets can also be likely hiding places for garbage – like dry cleaning bags or even pizza boxes – that didn’t quite make it to the proper receptacle. Trash is usually out of sight, out of mind, so make sure your staff knows to check all drawers and cabinets when cleaning the room.

Another area that amasses a collection of trash are the spaces in and around the sofa and other seating. Wrappers, pocket change and other small bits naturally fall out of pockets or are brushed away while your guest is busy entertaining. Housekeeping staff should not only inspect seat cushions for stains, tears, and other damage that needs to be repaired, but should also check under cushions for spots that need to be cleaned or vacuumed. These inspections should be done by removing the cushions for your staff’s safety. Reaching into spaces blind could cause injury from broken glass or used medical syringes.

Sweat Your Small Electronics

housekeeping tips bedside table alarm clock

Image courtesy of Flickr user Maya83.

Hotel rooms are full of small electronic devices that make your guests lives easier. The alarm clock, the coffeemaker and the TV are all expected to work properly when a guest checks in. Housekeeping can do their part by making sure these devices are plugged in while checking a room. They should also do a quick power switch check to make sure everything is functioning. The bedside table clock’s alarm should off when a room is empty. Unnecessary alarms going off at strange hours can cause a hassle for more than just your guests – imagine your staff running around the floor, searching for the noise. Avoid the guessing game by having your housekeeping staff check alarm clocks.

Many small electronics run on batteries rather than being plugged into the wall. The TV remote should always be checked for functionality and the screen set at moderate volume and the same channel. Make a note of other devices in your rooms that need batteries, like clocks or small lights. Every housekeeping cart should be stocked with the types of batteries housekeeping needs to keep these devices running.

Keep Your Kitchenette Clean

Many travelers choose hotels with a kitchen area to save money during their trip. Eating out all the time is expensive. Your rooms may have a full kitchen, a countertop with a microwave or maybe even just a mini fridge with a few spirits inside. Your staff should take the time to make sure that nothing gets left behind in these spaces and that any food mess is promptly cleaned up. Food prep and cooking is messy work, so it’s up to housekeeping to make sure that those problematic drips, drops and spills don’t cause bigger problems down the road when it comes to cleanliness.

Even if your rooms don’t have a kitchen space, your staff should still be on the lookout for food waste. Take out containers and pizza boxes end up in unlikely places. Check carpeting for stains and other messes. Food left behind attracts all kinds of terrible pests. Cleaning it up now can mean avoiding problems if bugs come home to roost.

Restock Your Consumables

Most housekeeping checklists make sure to keep one major paper product in stock; toilet paper. A lot of hotels, however, have other papers that need to be refreshed in the room after a guest clears out. If your hotel still offers stationary and pens, make sure those are refilled and also put back in their proper place. Also make sure that any brochures and other elements from your in-room papers are in order. Keep the room service or hotel menu up to date and replace any pages that are torn, missing or damaged. Many guests prefer to use their own electronics these days to find places to eat or things to do, but keeping up the guest book tells people you have a handle on the small details.

housekeeping tips housekeeping door plaque

Image courtesy of Flickr user Josh Hallett.

Housekeeping should also keep an eye out for burnt out light bulbs. Replacing a light bulb on obvious lighting is easy, but make sure to turn on and desk lamps, reading lamps and other small lights that may not get used all the time to make sure those lamps are in order. Preventative maintenance can keep these lights on, but it doesn’t hurt to have a small spot check while housekeeping is refreshing the room.

Your housekeeping staff works hard to ensure the best experience for your guests. Check closets for guest items and errant hangers that don’t match the ones you’ve provided. Keep couches and chairs free and clear of the natural trash that occurs from use. Reset small electronics. Replace batteries as needed. Clean the kitchenette and remove all hidden trash. Replace paper products that have been used. By suggesting these overlooked tasks, they’ll also be working smarter to make your hotel run smoothly.

Featured image courtesy of Flickr user Les Roches International. All images licensed under CC by 2.0.