Monday, May 12, 2008

The Laundry Test

I've had a request to write a bit more about our experiences running a B&B.  And you know?  I totally do requests!*

Before I launch into scare tactics and horror stories, let me just say that I really enjoyed doing B&B.  For the right people, it's a great way to make a living. 

And how do you know beforehand if you're the right person for the job?  Just loving to stay in B&B's isn't quite enough. 

You need some idea of what goes on behind the scenes.  And how do you know that before you're in over your head?

Well, I'm here to help!  I've devised a couple of tests and exercises that should give you some idea of what you're getting into.  The first one is The Laundry Test.  'Cuz B&B?  It's all about the laundry!

So here's what you do:

Strip the sheets off every bed in your house.  Empty your linen closet into the hamper as well.  You need at least five laundry loads to work with.

In the interests of saving water and electricity, I recommend that you do a laundry simulation (unless, of course, it's actually time to wash the sheets).  Sort a load of sheets into a basket.  Put it on top of the washing machine and set the timer for an hour, or however long a cycle is on your machine.

While you're waiting for the timer, go do a lot of dishes and sweep and tidy your dining room.

When the first load is done, move it to the dryer, start another load of washing and set the timer again.

Go upstairs, tidy the bedrooms and clean the bathrooms.

Keep doing this until all the laundry has been cycled through and your house is spotless.

Re-make all the beds.  Fold the extra sheets and towels and put them away.  Put away all your cleaning supplies.

Tomorrow, when you get up, run the test again.

And the next day.  And the next day, until you've run the test every day for a week.

This will give you a good idea of whether or not you can handle the basic day-to-day of B&B life.


*Where appropriate and within my abilities.


M said...

hmmm... since renting a house in the city (Seattle), we find ourselves in possession of a "summer cottage" on an island in Puget Sound. we are thinking of renting it as a vacation rental once our corporate rent subsidy ends this fall, this sort of information might prove to be be very helpful...

Barb McMahon said...

I hope it's helpful!

Renting out a cottage can be a good way to make some extra money. But it's always good to be prepared....