Tutorial: how to make a bed

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Arks's picture
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I saw this in the latest issue of Travel & Leisure Magazine. I'm particularly interested in steps 4 and 5 on how to stuff a duvet insert into a duvet cover. I think ANYTHING would be eaiser than how I do it now!

I must be missing something on step 1 as I don't see how folding the pillow in half lengthwise makes it easier to stuff into the case.

 

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Weaver's picture
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I am very happy for Lissa that she can make a king size bed in 5 min., alone, but...can she do it 10 times a day and clean all the rest of the 10 rooms and still make that 5 minute mark at room 10?

Being efficient is one thing, but trying to set a land speed record for king size bed making isn't going to free up as much time as one might think.  At the end of the day with that level of output, all the time you saved is spent napping to recover from making the beds so fast.  Just MVHO

 

 

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Weaver wrote:

I am very happy for Lissa that she can make a king size bed in 5 min., alone, but...can she do it 10 times a day and clean all the rest of the 10 rooms and still make that 5 minute mark at room 10?

Being efficient is one thing, but trying to set a land speed record for king size bed making isn't going to free up as much time as one might think.  At the end of the day with that level of output, all the time you saved is spent napping to recover from making the beds so fast.  Just MVHO

 

Hotels think the housekeeping staff are part robot.  They like the rooms done super fast so the staff can go home early.  MVHO.

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I have a neighbour who pays her housekeepers (she has 5 properties) £3 an per bedroom or ($6) so they arn't particularly exherting them to clean! I don't give mine a time limit though she is instructed to let me know if a room is particulaly bad so I can come and look at it. Yes I could make a bed in 5 minutes but it wouldn't look as good as it should do! id rather it take longer and be right!

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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

I have a neighbour who pays her housekeepers (she has 5 properties) £3 an per bedroom or ($6) so they arn't particularly exherting them to clean! I don't give mine a time limit though she is instructed to let me know if a room is particulaly bad so I can come and look at it. Yes I could make a bed in 5 minutes but it wouldn't look as good as it should do! id rather it take longer and be right!

I like that idea of paying per room rather than per hour.

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Olga wrote:

I like that idea of paying per room rather than per hour.

As the employer, employee or both? We go around on this every year. Pay by the hour or by the room? What would you consider the right amount per room? Some pay $15/room. Like Cambs says, she knows someone who pays $6. So, what's fair? And how do I, as the employer, handle the situation where the employee says, 'Well, I've gotten $30 today, that's all I need,' and leaves before all the rooms are cleaned?

Piecework pay you assume makes the employee work faster to get paid more. Do you dock pay for sloppiness because they're rushing to get more done?

Hourly pay may slow the employee down to make more. (Altho, I have a list of things to do to get paid for more hours, so that shouldn't be an issue.)

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Madeleine wrote:

Olga wrote:

I like that idea of paying per room rather than per hour.

As the employer, employee or both? We go around on this every year. Pay by the hour or by the room? What would you consider the right amount per room? Some pay $15/room. Like Cambs says, she knows someone who pays $6. So, what's fair? And how do I, as the employer, handle the situation where the employee says, 'Well, I've gotten $30 today, that's all I need,' and leaves before all the rooms are cleaned?

Piecework pay you assume makes the employee work faster to get paid more. Do you dock pay for sloppiness because they're rushing to get more done?

Hourly pay may slow the employee down to make more. (Altho, I have a list of things to do to get paid for more hours, so that shouldn't be an issue.)

Would this be for a full time housekeeper/ part time/ or casual?

I wonder if the innkeeper paid by the room at, let's say, minimum wage.  At the beginning of the shift the housekeeper is told that you have x amount of rooms for them to clean at x amount of dollars, and you show or explain what needs to be done in each room.  After you check over their work and if you find it a bit sloppy, they would need to correct what is needed before you accept it and pay them. 

Would anyone really walk out without finishing their rooms they are asked to clean?  Of course I would understand if they are asked to clean 16 check out guests and all the rooms looked like wild parties were had.  That would be exhausting to say the least.

 

Madeleine's picture
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Part time. And, around here only the hotels pay slightly above min. Everyone else is paying about $3-$7/hour over min. In some resort towns the average housekeeper pay is $20/hour.

You might want to think about the amount of work that would have to be undertaken by the innkeeper (you) to explain each room to a casual laborer EVERY time a room needs cleaning! We like to hire someone and train the heck out of them early in the season so when the season hits (as it will do this weekend) they get a sample of what the rest of their work days will look like and decide if this is for them or not. This weekend it is 7 rooms everyday. For 3 straight days. In the summer that is 7 rooms everyday. Period. Not always full strips everyday, but enough to make it busy.

I know hotel housekeepers given the same amount of hours would be required to do at least 10 rooms, but our rooms are not the same and we expect the housekeeper to actually change out dirty bedspreads and blankets and not just put them back on the beds. This is hard to explain in the 10 minutes I would have to tell a casual laborer what needs to be done before I'm off to talk to guests and get the laundry done.

Because your parents have a B&B and you've worked in the industry, I'm guessing you have a better idea of how things work than I do. I want to train for a week and then let the person come in and do the work with me doing a couple of room checks to see if things are correct. That way I can get the laundry done, make the dessert for the day and get the starter course for the next day made as well. Otherwise, I am doing all of this at midnight!

To that end I have a cleaning schedule set up for the housekeeper so I don't have to interrupt serving breakfast for her to get started. What I try to do when guests leave really early is to go strip the rooms myself to save time.

You still haven't mentioned what you think a fair price per room is. For it to work out to what I pay now, it would end up being $6.30/room.

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I like your plan.  My parents do their B&B part-time, and so they just get casual help whenever they need it. It's always somebody they know, to help with either rooms or landscaping, and they pay for the work and not by the hour.  The hotel I worked at paid hourly, just a little above min. wage and wanted the check outs done in 23 min's, and the stay over done in about 10 min's. 

That is one thing I really like about B&B's, they actually wash the bedspreads between guests.  Some hotels wash them just every so often because it is too much work and cost (yuck).

What I meant about the Innkeeper explaining or showing what needs to be done, I was thinking about at the beginning when they were being trained so they wouldn't skip anything. (I worded it wrong).

On average, how long does it take to clean your rooms?  Both check out and stay over? 

 

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Olga wrote:

On average, how long does it take to clean your rooms?  Both check out and stay over? 

 

We have really hit or miss luck with housekeepers. We've had 2 who could do the whole house in 3 hours. We've had 4 who could barely get thru 4 rooms in 4 hours. It didn't seem there was anything we could have done to speed them up and DH refused to fire anyone in peak season. One year we did it all ourselves. (I do NOT recommend that when occupancy is over 70%.)

We're trying a different method this year and will let you know if it pans out better than before. (We've told the housekeeper she has to do it all. We used to say we would 'help' if the housekeeper got slammed. Most took that to mean if they slowed down we'd do most of the work. Live and learn.)

So, back to the question...it would take me 15 mins to do a stayover if I had to do it alone. I could get thru a full strip in probably 40 mins if that was all I had to do. I could probably get that down to 30 mins with practice. Part of the difference also lies in our not having hallways with room for carts. We have to schlep everything up and down the stairs for every room. Rule #1- never leave a room empty-handed; never return to the room empty-handed! So, we replace the drinking glasses everyday, have to get them from the kitchen. All of the linens are on the first floor (if they're not in the cellar waiting to be folded). It's a lot of back and forth.

The windows and A/C or heat need to be seen to, something I think hotels either don't have (operable windows) or don't care about (A/C running non stop). We wash the window sills when we close the windows. We move the furniture when we vacuum. (Hate the line of dust that builds up when the furniture isn't moved.) All of this takes time. Plus, guests move stuff and we have to find it again! I find the guest info books that belong in the guest room in the lounge in with the basket of menus. WTH??? You know how long it takes to search the house for this stuff??? We're obsessive. Hair dryer? The cord has to be folded back up the way it was when it first came out of the box. Dust the sprinkler system pipes. 2 boxes of tissues. 2 trash cans. Make sure it's all there and in the shape it's supposed to be. Line up the magazines.

Because every room is different it requires verifying different things for different rooms. Guests unplug everything and we have to plug it in again. Make sure the lights come on when the switch at the door is flipped. Oh, the list goes on!

Right now we (DH & I) work together as a team. We can strip all 7 rooms in 3 hours even answering the phone, the door and doing any BIG mess cleanup. (But, we're old. ) We don't like doing that for weeks on end because we don't get any downtime. (When we first started it took us 6 hours and we sometimes didn't finish the rooms that weren't occupied that night. Bad. We couldn't tkae walk-ins if the rooms weren't done!)

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we are lucky as our chamber maid is reliable  (she is stubborn as a mule and takes a 10 minute coffee break when she arrives so is not perfect by a long chalk!) however when its busy we stripp off all the dirty sheets, bring down dirty cups and glasses and we reset these things which saves her running round the building gathering up stuff. We are 4 stories with a sheet store on the top landing and ground floor which helps with time efficiency and DH when the clean laundry arrives on a tuesday and thursday that the top cupboard is full ready for any changes.

We also have 4 sets of Zip and Link beds which can be 2 single beds or 1 super king - if I have time I will swop the duvets and toppers over for her ie2 singles and protectors have to come down and 1 large duvet and feather topper has to go up and zip them together ready to be made up.

We only do this when its super busy for example in july we have about 2 weeks where we are at 100% occupancy which is bonkers!

Joey Camb's picture
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Depends on how much you pay per room and it does also mean you have to inspect every room after its done to make sure its right - her housekeepers were making the bed and nothing else - ie for a change the bathroom wasn't done, no vacuming. Whats the most important thing is to employ consciencious staff who are frankly like hens teeth

Arks's picture
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Weaver wrote:

I am very happy for Lissa that she can make a king size bed in 5 min., alone, but...can she do it 10 times a day...  

Since she's director of housekeeping, I'd say the ones to ask are her actual housekeepers, who'd probably introduce a dose of reality, as you did, into the standards she demands!

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From previous discussions of duvets, I put velcro strips in the coreners of the covers and on the corners of the duvets.  On others I put small "ties". Both helped a LOT. I am alone. I set the corners and stand at the railing in the hall and let it drop over as I shake the cover down. Although I only have queens and full, one queen is high enough off the floor that i use KING on it (so no one has to fight for covers). THAT on is a bear!

Joey Camb's picture
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what we do for king size ones is work as a pair - one person on each side stuff up into top corner then you both lift it up and shake down - depends if there is 2 of you mind.

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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

what we do for king size ones is work as a pair - one person on each side stuff up into top corner then you both lift it up and shake down - depends if there is 2 of you mind.

That is what we did at the hotel, it works well and takes no time at all.  You can even do it on your own.  Just lay the duvet flat on the bed with the zipper on the side, and put the corners in first, go around to the other side and shake.

Madeleine's picture
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Duvets: it may be easier to turn the duvet cover inside out first and with hands inside the cover at the corners grab the duvet by the corners and flip the cover right side out and shake. 

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Madeleine wrote:

Duvets: it may be easier to turn the duvet cover inside out first and with hands inside the cover at the corners grab the duvet by the corners and flip the cover right side out and shake. 

That's what I do.

For pillows I admit I hold the pillow in my teeth and then pull the case up over it. I fluff it once it's in the case, not before as in the diagram.

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Madeleine's picture
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Highlands John wrote:

For pillows I admit I hold the pillow in my teeth and then pull the case up over it. I fluff it once it's in the case, not before as in the diagram.

Ewww. We don't have the down pillows here. I know they fight back when trying to get them stuffed into the cases. We did have a couple of spares for awhile in case anyone wanted down. What a pain.

Arks's picture
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Highlands John wrote:

For pillows I admit I hold the pillow in my teeth and then pull the case up over it.

Well, I must speculate that this germs-to-mouth process will help boost your immune system. So, kudos...I think.

Weaver's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

Duvets: it may be easier to turn the duvet cover inside out first and with hands inside the cover at the corners grab the duvet by the corners and flip the cover right side out and shake. 

I was up last night (allergies arg couldn't sleep)

Thank you for putting into words what I did, but had the darnedest time putting in coherent sentences, too many anti hystamines I suspect.

 

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Madeleine wrote:

Duvets: it may be easier to turn the duvet cover inside out first and with hands inside the cover at the corners grab the duvet by the corners and flip the cover right side out and shake. 

That's how I do it ...

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