Prepare Your Home on A Budget Blog
Written by Landlord & Traveler Kelly Bailey
Welcome back! If you did not get a chance to read my blog debut, don’t worry, here is the link: Prep Your Home For The Holidays. My blog intent is to open the channels of communication so both guests and landlords can own their space with confidence whether you own, rent or are traveling the country. We are all in this together! I hope we can have an open channel of communication where I share details with you that have been helpful for my journey and you share your tricks of the trade on our social media platforms. Let’s all work together to thrive in our spaces!
When you hear the word kitchen what comes to mind… close your eyes and picture it. The kitchen is the heart of the home, the entertainment zone, the source of wonderful smells, the place that brings everyone together. I don’t know about you guys, but I like to organize my kitchen in a way that keeps bodies out of my space while I’m cooking delicious homemade meals. A well stocked kitchen is so important, but comes in many different forms and sizes. So how do you prep your home on a budget so that everyone is happy, your kitchen is protected and your wallet is too:) Below you will see some pointers, products and ideas. Enjoy!
WHY REINVENT THE WHEEL? My hubby Dave and I have been married 8 years this month and furnished rentals have always been a particular interest of ours, so much so that we rented a mansion in Austin off one of the sites for our wedding reception. What most couples pay for a 4 hour venue, we had for a whole weekend! Our entire wedding party and immediate families stayed the night before with us soaking up the heat in the infinity hot tub, watching movies in the theater room, playing pool and some even got to watch Dave learn the last part of our wedding dance. After the wedding we left around 9pm and had a friend text us around midnight that this was the best reception ever! When my hubby and I took the dive into furnished rentals I knew I was not alone and many have gone before me. So I started searching for a kitchen list that seemed thorough, easy to read and covered all the important bases. I use these three lists as a guideline to stock my kitchens and the rest of my homes:)
Essential Kitchen Tools
Entire Home List
The ultimate Airbnb shopping checkist
KITCHEN CARE & BEST USE NOTES
I tend to have a little fun and leave playful reminder notes throughout the house such as “A happy kitchen has no chips'' or “If you follow our instructions we’ll be best friends:)”. Other times my notes are to keep the kitchen organized and pass along which items should be hand washed or handled with care. Last but not least, definitely make notes on your powerhouse items: countertop, stovetop, oven, pots and pans. These are the beasts of the kitchen and normally need special care to keep them in tip top shape. I have found these little notes give me peace of mind when guests come to visit so I don’t turn into “the crazy lady with all the rules”.
And now, the time has come to jump into the meat, the gold, the gems you have all been waiting for… what to buy!
POTS & PANS are a source of joy or frustration for so many. Who likes to wake up on vacation, start the bacon and the fried eggs only to find out you are NOT using a non-stick pan. Your eggs are just a disaster and you sigh with frustration. Or even worse the teflon is so scratched up you are nervous that those pesky black flakes are going to live in your gut forever. I have found just the set that brings a smile to my face everytime I use it. This set features even cooking technology, cook and strain lids that allow you to drain pasta, peas and so much more without having to dirty up a colander and water for tea is a piece of cake since the pots have a pour spout. The bottom is a great flat shape for glass stove tops and all others. Hard water build up wipes out with ease. I hope you enjoy this set as much as I do!
T-fal Cook & Strain Nonstick Cookware Set
THE RIGHT UTENSILS After boasting about how great the pots and pans are, it is super important to set them up for success by communicating best care and providing the right tools for the job. This goes back to the use of notes provided above and two important tools that touch your cookware often, utensils and dish cleaning tools. I love this utensil set almost as much as the pots and pans. It is an incredibly complete set that is also heat resistant up to 446 degrees F. No more melting utensils, the look is very luxurious and sleek, the handle is comfortable and great to grip. These two products together are smooth like butter.
Silicone Cooking Utensil Set, Umite Chef 43 PCS Heat Resistant Kitchen Utensil Gadgets Set
DISH CARE I have a bloodhound nose, or at least used to before Covid. I cannot stand the smell of mildew and we all know how quickly you can churn through disposable dish scouring pads. This shark tank product is a huge success, non-abrasive and dishwasher safe for long lasting dish care. I buy the 4 pack of regular Scrub Daddy pads rather than the smiley face version, but both are great!
Scrub Daddy Pitch (Shark Tank Season 4 Episode 7)
SINKS & COUNTERTOPS These items can get very pricey so let’s talk about some tricks of the trade to help prolong the life of your kitchen and help utilize your space well. First and foremost, I will hone in on how important it is to communicate the care needed for your kitchen. Guests want their deposit back and desire to leave your kitchen in tip top shape so be proactive and give them the scoop. If you have sensitive countertops, outdated cabinets and floors that aren’t waterproof then maybe it's a good idea to consider a remodel down the road and potentially follow your remodel with a cash out refi.
But in the meantime, here are a few little pointers to help thrive in your space. Cover countertop blemishes with decor or a cutting board. If your countertops are susceptible to cutting, then find a cute glass cutting board to fit your theme. I have also provided a link to a set of durable plastic cutting boards on Amazon. If your sink has tough stains that even the cleaners don’t know how to address, then use some cute inserts that make your sink pop and cover up these blemishes. If you have a small space, give your guests an extra drying spot with a sink drying rack that is easy to store. Many countertops are not heat resistant either so I buy the silicone oven mitts that cross as pot holders, jar openers and are super easy to keep clean.
Sink Inserts for Tough Stains
Over the Sink Roll Up Dish Drying Rack
Durable Cutting Board Set
Silicone Oven Mitts/ Pot Holders 1
Silicone Oven Mitts/ Pot Holders 2
SILVERWARE This set is a beautiful, solid design with knives so sharp you don’t need steak knives. Go for the 12 pack if your home sleeps & seats 6. Go for the 8 pack if your home and kitchen fits 4.
HaWare Stainless Steel Silverware Set & Serving Utensils
DISHWARE My mom is a collector so many of my dish sets have been compliments of her generosity, but I have also found quite a few quality colorful sets at Goodwill. I’m sure Ross and TJ Maxx have some great options as well. I pick the dish set last as I like to match it to my theme. I do make sure it is dishwasher safe and has extra pieces in case something chips or breaks. Surprisingly most kid sets are not microwave safe so I love this set from Wal- mart.
Kids Dish Set
KITCHEN CLEANING SUPPLIES I provide a few basics underneath my kitchen sink: countertop cleaner, glass cleaner, ajax for the bathrooms and cleaning rags to help prevent bleaching of the good towels.
THE ICING ON THE CAKE We could go on and on about items for your kitchen, so I will wrap it up with these items that can range in price and the budget friendly options I recommend.
Hand Held Mixer
Hamilton Beach Coffee Pot with Bold Setting
Krups Coffee Grinder
Splatter Microwave Cover
Glass Cooktop Cleaner Set
WHAT IF SOMETHING WALKS OFF… Now that your kitchen is underway, what if something disappears? Oh believe me it happens. Not on purpose, but you are sharing your home with lovely people that have their own stuff too. Everybody knows things disappear in moves and you scratch your head for months to come wondering where that item is. My hubby and I have decided we want to be gracious with our guests like God is to us, so our rule of thumb is if less than $100 is lost or damaged throughout the home then we return the full deposit. So far everyone of our guests has received their full deposit back and we have been very pleased with how our homes have been cared for. We trust our guests because we trust the process every time by utilizing the Keycheck screening process and LawDepot lease for every adult in the house. One way you can prevent items from walking off is to have a checklist for your home so both you and your guests know which items are yours and which are theirs. Furnished Finder has a feature called “House Rules” that could be used for this purpose and any other important details you would like to pass along to your guests. Its easy to use format allows you to download the document at the end so you can email it directly to each adult in the home.
I have so enjoyed sharing my experience with you and do hope you will share your experiences with me on our social media pages. Until next month!