Have you ever stayed somewhere and found that the knives weren’t sharp; the laundry basket was broken, there were no cleaning supplies? Doesn’t it drive you mad?! Doesn’t it make you wish that you had stayed at home and got you in a bad mood?
This was my first experience when I rented a house in January, in Cornwall whilst revising with friends for my finals exams! There were almost NO knives and those that there were a) blunt b) clearly rejects from other houses. The linen seemed equally off!
There was not enough wood for the fire for more than 3 hours (it was snowy on the ground!) and the cottage hadn’t been pre-heated a all! The electricity meter ate 50p coins like it was going out of fashion and yet we did our best not to use much! The beds felt damp – as they hadn’t been aired… and so it went on! In short it was pretty awful to then try to study in these circumstances.
Well, I learnt a lot from that experience! 25+ years on I have tried to think of the little things that will make anyone’s stay welcoming, hassle free and a home from home.
You know how at home – you know where the spare light bulbs are, or the elastic bands or there are pots and pans for large groups as well as for smaller requirements. Well.. that kind of thing!
My philosophy is simple –
I want YOUR stay to be a success!
So here are just some of the measures that I have taken to have you you enjoy your holiday as much as possible. I call this my “Welcome Hamper” but its rather more than that as it is clearly not just food related and they aren’t all in one place.
- 2 new laundry baskets for Living Elements that have retractable legs to stand up on! How simple is that! The benefits – less leaning over to pick up washing and do your back in. (Remember I am also an Osteopath so I can fix you up if you do do something silly!) The baskets remains off the ground – so no dewy or dirty bottoms either.
- The washing basket at Nature’s Elements can be rested on one of the outside chairs to make packing and unpacking easier.
- A good supply of dishwasher tablets (unwrap the plastic packaging!!) and we regularly check the salt and conditioner levels too.
- Plenty of cleaning supplies! We try to use environmentally friendly products that still work, wherever possible. These are made by a company called GNLD and are American originally. This includes their general heavy duty cleaner – Super 10 – comes in a spray bottle; and their light duty cleaner (LDC) that is in the washing up liquid and basin liquid soap dispensers. We also use their G1 washing powder as its doesn’t clog up the machines OR leave a residue in the linen and towels. If you are interested in buying some for yourself – speak to Gayle directly or order from: GNLD’s Home care range. There is also the old fashioned vinegar and baking soda – for those in the know!
- Cotton ear buds and makeup remover pads in the bathrooms / bedrooms. Getting mascara and makeup on the towels and linen causes aggravation all round! It’s really hard to remove, and if we can’t – you, the guest, will get charged! Please dispose of them in the bin, NOT down the toilet.
- There are a plentiful supply of black bin bags for your household rubbish – although you will find that most probably can go into the red recycling bin close to the door – things like glass, cans, paper and cardboard, plastic bottles and containers etc. so surprisingly little has to go to landfill! Just make sure any meat products get well wrapped to stop any flies / maggots! Yuk!
- Plentiful supply of cutlery and cooking utensils WITH a knife sharpener in case they aren’t already sharp enough! This way you can save on the number of times the dishwasher has to run each day and won’t run out when you need them… after all hand-washing isn’t what you are on holiday to do! But just in case you can’t wash the larger posts or trays there are drainers, washing up liquid and tea towels to hand.
- You will find hand towels in every bathroom or by every sink. There are plenty of tea towels too.
- Each house has a first aid kit – but as we don’t check these so often if you use – please replace the contents.
- Each house has a bits and bobs tin or box. This contains:- Spare fire alarm batteries; elastic bands; sellotape or gaffer tape; safety pins; spare shoe laces etc. There are spare light bulbs too – if you don’t want to change it yourself please let us know which light has gone so we can, before the next guests arrive.
- We also have spare toothbrushes and toothpaste in case you forget but they aren’t kept in the house. Just ask Gayle.
- There are toy boxes for children and we try to personalise the actual “welcome hamper” for them – there could be a colouring book and crayons, or some balloons or something else. There are also story books, games and adult board games, plus some packs of cards.
The House Handbook is really comprehensive! It should be your go-to guide for the property and also the area. In here you will find tourist info, local knowledge of places to visit, guidance for special needs, people with pets, emergency numbers and locations, help for shopping and special interests. This could be help for Hen Parties, countryside and beach ideas, free activities and a lot more!
- The website blog also has an ever increasing range of articles that I hope will be useful – so YOU can make the most of your stay. If you like them – post a comment
I am sure I have forgotten some things – but as you can see – I try to go the extra mile and more to make your stay as pleasant as possible.
I know some things can go “wrong”, but if you find a hitch I will do my best to recitfy it quickly if I can. If I don’t know about it, I can take no action.
© Chichester Self Catering. Gayle Palmer 2016 All Rights Reserved.
Do you want to listen to an audio / video version of this post? Here you are! https://youtu.be/-nYF0zID-E8 Sorry it’s on its side! I am a beginner at this!
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So you might want to know even more about certain things – in which case – have a look at these posts!