Cleaning Routine

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Kay Nein's picture
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Have you developed a routine that maximizes your effectiveness and time?  There are only two of us on the weekends, 8 rooms.  It takes hours to get the kitchen and dining room back in order.   Of course, if everyone leaves, it takes all day (and sometimes the next) to get the rooms and common areas all turned over. 

Typical routine for us:

  • Beds stripped & laundry started as soon as someone checks out.  laundry ongoing and going and going and...  (Other Innkeeper)
  • I stay in kitchen after breakfast until it & dining room are cleaned or I get sick of it and decide to just move to the rooms
  • Upstairs bathrooms started (other Innkeeper)
  • I start downstairs rooms once kitchen is done
  • I then go upstairs to make beds & vacuum

There's ironing, phone calls, back breaks, etc (preaching to the choir) in between.  

How long do you give yourself for one bathroom?  How long for entire room?  Do you ever quick-cheat in a room every other clean just to rush through it?

Do you prefer to put the same sheets back on from the washer or use clean folded sheets?  

 

We are desperate to decrease our turn-around time.  We are record-breaking busy this year and need to find some way to get through it without 12 hour days!

Madeleine's picture
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My day is shaping up like this... One room out for a run which means showers before breakfast. 4 rooms not even stirring yet. 1 room eating. 1 room a total unknown as they arrived late.

Because it's raining we figure 9 am before we see anyone else and no one checks out until 11.

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Madeleine's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

My day is shaping up like this... One room out for a run which means showers before breakfast. 4 rooms not even stirring yet. 1 room eating. 1 room a total unknown as they arrived late.

Because it's raining we figure 9 am before we see anyone else and no one checks out until 11.

Bingo on the breakfast. They all came at the same time. Had to set up a table in the living room to keep things moving along.

Everyone except one room left on time, mostly around 10-10:15, so I called that wrong. One room was still showering at 11. Annoyed me no end and then they needed directions at 11:30.

Lots of 'top sleepers' so I ended up having to wash blankets and quilts today even though there's no time.

Anyhoo, other than some laundry, we finished by 2. Guests showed up for check in at 2:15. But, the sign was out and they left again.

We are both collapsed on the couch right now. Dh is sound asleep. 

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"Top sleepers"?  You mean people don't get under the covers?  Why in the world? I seriously don't think I've ever had anyone do this. 

Madeleine's picture
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BananaE29 wrote:

"Top sleepers"?  You mean people don't get under the covers?  Why in the world? I seriously don't think I've ever had anyone do this. 

We have too many of them. Mostly kids and Europeans.

Innkeep's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

BananaE29 wrote:

"Top sleepers"?  You mean people don't get under the covers?  Why in the world? I seriously don't think I've ever had anyone do this. 

We have too many of them. Mostly kids and Europeans.

and it's the darnedest thing... they think they're helping us out so we won't have to change the sheets. Eewwww

Madeleine's picture
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Innkeep wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

BananaE29 wrote:

"Top sleepers"?  You mean people don't get under the covers?  Why in the world? I seriously don't think I've ever had anyone do this. 

We have too many of them. Mostly kids and Europeans.

and it's the darnedest thing... they think they're helping us out so we won't have to change the sheets. Eewwww

I've had people say that. Big smile! I just saved you all this work! I used to let it go, now I explain that everything on the bed now has to be washed. Hopefully that helps the next place they stay.

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Madeleine wrote:

Innkeep wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

BananaE29 wrote:

"Top sleepers"?  You mean people don't get under the covers?  Why in the world? I seriously don't think I've ever had anyone do this. 

We have too many of them. Mostly kids and Europeans.

and it's the darnedest thing... they think they're helping us out so we won't have to change the sheets. Eewwww

I've had people say that. Big smile! I just saved you all this work! I used to let it go, now I explain that everything on the bed now has to be washed. Hopefully that helps the next place they stay.

 

This is just about the craziest crap I've ever heard of!  LOL...

jmj
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Sorry, but I go out of my way not to touch the bed spreads and blankets. I kinda cocoon my self with the sheets. 

Madeleine's picture
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jmj wrote:

Sorry, but I go out of my way not to touch the bed spreads and blankets. I kinda cocoon my self with the sheets. 

Most people do that! And I would think parents would especially make sure their kids did that but they don't.

gillumhouse's picture
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Today by the time I was done with breakfast, leading the guests back to the stable and then back to town to go to the Interstate, it was 11:30. DH had called to say City Hall wanted me so stopped in there and then went to take check to the farmer. Came home to eat breakfast as I checked e-mail. Got an e-mail that there was produce from the Community Garden in the shed and since it was almost time for the Church secretary to be leaving made sure she was still there and transferred  cukes & zukes.  By 1:30 I had stripped beds and had towels in the wash and it was time to make a produce run for us (veggie store). No reservations so no biggie. As we were culling blueberries (after City Council meeting) there is a tap on the kitchen door. I had a WALK-IN, a real walk-in!! Good thing I still had one room ready. Tomorrow it will take me about 3 to 4 hours to flip all 3 rooms and 2 bathrooms. DH will still be doing dishes at midnight (just the way he does things unfortunately - and me telling him I wish he would do it earlier falls on deaf ears). I leave the dishes for him so he still feels productive - male ego that it is not worth dealing with.

And I DID put the cot in the storage room so I do not have to set it up again Friday for the return of last night's guests - who actually understood time is money and gave me compensation for time and gas guiding them - WOOHOO!!

Kay Nine - I am thankful to only have 3 rooms in Podunk.  It is about all I can handle at my age. Oops - time to go make pudding (he thinks I had an easier day today than I had yesterday.)

Madeleine's picture
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This week we have 3 separate days where it is a full house turnover. Tomorrow is the first. No housekeeper tomorrow and it's supposed to be wicked humid. Not my strong point.

Tomorrow is also the day I do my own laundry (Tuesday) and the day I do the newsletter. So. My laundry waits another day. Newsletter waits another day.

And I don't do any extra cleaning tomorrow. So, no common rooms, no hallways, no stairs unless there is a disaster.

Right now we are averaging around 85% occupancy. Every bed is taken, we have rooms with 2 beds, so it's a honking big pile of laundry tomorrow.

But, I'll put off doing the blankets and quilts until a day where only a couple of rooms are leaving.

Can you ask if guests want their rooms tidied on days they are staying over so you can catch a break?

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Small rooms take about 25 minutes; mid-size with NO Jacuzzi tub take about 45 minutes and jacuzzi suites take an hour - 9 rooms total and working together we can turn the house if necessary but we're dead.  We have at least double the sheets and towels so we never have to wait for laundry.  I also got double the robes for the jacuzzi rooms so no waiting for those. We have a commercial dishwasher so all dishes for 18 with two courses can be done very fast, only 3 minutes a load so the kitchen cleans up early.  And with that machine I can load the first course of dishes while he's serving the second course and run it through.  This is the one thing that if it broke I'd be at the supply house picking up a new one that day - couldn't live without it.  But it sounds like you need to look for some additional help and if you don't have multiple sheets and towel sets for each room, have the owner get those immediately.  Good luck, we lived through those days for 7 years then got a housekeeper who now takes on the rooms and works three 8 hour days for us and in busy season does a couple 6 hour days as well.  Only way we'd survive another 5-8 years while our kids finish high school and then off to college.

Joey Camb's picture
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we have a chamber maid every day - we have been at 90% occupancy and above for nearly 3 months - breakfast is served till 9.30 and on average for 15 people.

Chamber maid comes in about 9am she has her list and I mark on who has checked out and who has been down for breakfast so she knows who is awake and up and about and gets cracked on

DH and I clean the kitchen and reset the breakfast room and hopefully have 2 dishwasher loads on and through by 10.30

Then as we have been so busy its usually another super market shop - on average every other day due to demand as well as all the other ruddy jobs

laundry all goes to a service twice a week which provides all sheets and towels - we just have to bag them up and be there for the driver - wouldn't do it any other way - we usually have up to 20 bags to go out on each delivery.

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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We got so tired yesterday on a full house turnover, we actually left a couple undone.   Bed made, trash cleaned, but bathrooms not cleaned.   We only had two scheduled check ins, so we took a chance.

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

We got so tired yesterday on a full house turnover, we actually left a couple undone.   Bed made, trash cleaned, but bathrooms not cleaned.   We only had two scheduled check ins, so we took a chance.

You did what I do on a regular basis. There is no other way to do it here.

My one and only advice for this thread is something you will hear me say in my sleep:

Never go upstairs without something in your arms. Full stop. Period.

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Skamokawa's picture
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yes  Every trip counts.  Waiting tables is great practice for B&B.

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Madeleine's picture
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How long to clean a room... With both of us working? 20 minutes. We don't have tubs, that makes a big difference.

We have 2.5x the number of sheets and towels we need so there are always back ups.

Cheating on cleaning... I won't dust the windows/sills/frames or the radiators if I'm really beat.

Madeleine's picture
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7 rooms. Swear I could not do 8! The 7th one we are dead.

How it goes... Dh does the kitchen. He's usually able, on a full weekend, to get out of the kitchen by 10:30. Provided everyone ate early enough and he's not still cooking at 9:30.

I strip the rooms. Bring the laundry down, get the sheets started. Bring the new stuff up. Make the beds. Dust.

By then dh is done with the kitchen. He has something to eat and starts the towel laundry. Then he starts the bathrooms.

If we keep chugging at it we can be done the rooms and half the laundry and the 2 loads of dishes by 2 pm.

Print out the reg forms, program the door codes in, sit down for a minute, do email, take new reservations.

Dh folds towels at night,I squeeze the ironing in after the rooms are done but before 3pm because I do it in the dining room.

Dh goes shopping everyday so we like to have the rooms done by 1 so he can get out early enough. But, really busy days he's going shopping at 3 so I'm doing all the check ins.

10 years of practice.

Kay Nein's picture
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BY 2PM?  Holy chit batman...  I wish!  

Madeleine's picture
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Kay Nein wrote:

BY 2PM?  Holy chit batman...  I wish!  

Ten years of practice...

TheBeachHouse's picture
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We have enough sheets that we don't have to wait for the washer.   Think of how much easier that will be.   The laundry can take all day with no stress and the beds can all be made.

Skip ironing.  Or only iron pillow cases.  

Kay Nein's picture
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We only do pillow cases.  I love to iron and also have a bad back.  So, that's my down-time/break to sit on a stool and whip out some cases.  

Breakfast Diva's picture
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I know you live off property, so that makes it a little tougher, but during the busy season 12 hour days are the norm.  Our goal is to have the dishes done by the time the guests check-out. We have found that dividing up the work works best for us. DH strips and makes the beds. Make the bed immediately, don't wait for the sheets to wash and dry. I conquer the bathrooms, cleaning surfaces, etc. DH does the final vacuuming. We can be in any room at any time doing our own tasks so we never have to wait for the other person to do a task. Once we both finish our task in any room, it's done.

There's no two ways about it. It's brutal!

 

Kay Nein's picture
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BD - what blows my mind is that this is NOT busy season.  Our peak doesn't hit until October.  Our May was double last year and our July had beat last year before the month even started.  We're at 42% occupancy for July and it's just mid-month!  I don't know what happened, but it's insane!  

Your routine sounds about the same as ours.  I always vacuum absolutely last.   We get lint & hairs from the sheets & comforter when making the bed.  And I always use that time to double check the bathrooms since my eyes are better. 

Innkeep's picture
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1)  Does your "apartment room" have space for another washer & dryer to help with back log of dirty laundry?

2)  Is it time to look for housekeeping help even if just for a few hours on the weekend?

I know this isn't answering the questions you asked, but by being so much busier now it's probably time to have that discussion 

I often find ways to get the fitted sheets from dryer to bed

Kay Nein's picture
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We are starting that discussion with the owners about help.  Poor C (other IK) hasn't had a day off in over a month and the next break in the schedule isn't until 8/5 for one day (if that's not taken).

There is no room for additional washers & dryers in the apt.  But, now that you mention it, I wonder if we could put another set in the garage... hhmmm...  

Madeleine's picture
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Last year we forced days off.

Previous years we went 150 days with no time off.

This year we haven't been as busy so we've had days off but that means no money for vacation next year.

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