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What is the fastest, most efficient way to clean an Inn of 6 bedrooms.?

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The Farmers Daughter

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Hello!
I am new to the forum, but have a decade under my belt as an Innkeeper. This year has presented a new challenge that I would like some advice on.
Since the down turn of the economy I have had to tighten my belt and have let the chamber attendants for the Inn go. Now I need to formulate a cleaning and upkeep game plan for an Inn of 6 bedrooms, 3 parlors, 1 grand dining room, a working kitchen and 8 bathrooms. Thankfully I do still have a part timer to help me, but most of it will come to me. Fortunately because it is an Inn, it gets cleaned constantly so that its never really "dirty". Can anyone help me come up with an effective plan of attack? Any effective ideas are appreciated. Thank you.
 

YellowSocks

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I want to know, too...
We only have four rooms. Sometimes I strip rooms, start laundry, then finish, but it seems like we're actually faster if we just go in and do each room.
:welcome:
=)
Kk.
 

Baygirl

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I like to get all the beds done first. This way if someone drops in and wants to look at the rooms they at least look somewhat presentable. We have 8 rooms, 4 on each floor.. After that I clean each room completely before moving to the next.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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We've never had any staff but only have four rooms, so it has always required efficiency to get everything done if three or all four rooms are checking out and all four have new check ins.
Anything less than a full turn and its actually a pretty easy day to get everything done.
That is, if nobody stays beyond the 11am check out and nobody arrives a few hours early unannounced. LOL
The sound of vaccuuming in other areas of the house will usually prod along even the most stubborn late check out thankfully. And me greeting a really early arrival with toilet brush in hand usually gets the message across.
We're only talking a few times a year when that condition occurs.
Plus, my wife also works a full time job outside the B&B that only allows her a few hours of home time after breakfast has been prepared, served and cleaned up from, so good time management is how we've made the physical rigors of innkeeping look pretty easy to the casual observer.
Working as a well-oiled, complimentary team has served us very well also.
We carry our cordless phone with us everywhere, but aren't afraid to let it go to the message if we glance at it while its riinging and the display doesn't show a person's name or if it shows "toll-free", "unknown", etc.. or whatever the solicitor calls usually show.
We seem to get most of those type calls mid-day to our business line, and in the evening for our personal line because telemarketers aren't dumb.
They know their odds increase if they time the call for when either a business owner is there during the day or when a resident is home after work.
After the breakfast cleanup, doing the outgoing payment transactions and before check outs, I go to the laundry room and put the new sets of towels, linens, bottled waters, etc.. for each room in a pile.
I get the vaccuum, cleaning supply caddy, mini mop, paper towels, etc. ready to grab and take to the first room that has vacated. If there is any waiting time involved, that is when the pillow cases get ironed, information center organizing gets done, kitchen trash taken out, plants watered, etc.
Having lots of good quality cleaning tools really helps and stuff like the Mr.Clean MagicReach tool has been a real time and back saver. Some of these things are very ergonomically designed, so the strain and stress on your body is greatly reduced while cleaning effectiveness is increased.
I've also rigged both the smaller and large size Swiffer mops to accept old facecloths that can't even be used for makeup removal by guests anymore and they work great for light duty mopping of tile or wood floors.
So, on to actually cleaning a room. I strip the bed and pile the linens, towels, etc. outside the room door out of my way. Next, before I bring anything clean into a room and a thorough vaccuuming of every inch is done but vaccuum is left in room to do a second final sweep in case any stray hairs were in the air while cleaning and settled on a surface. Bathroom gets done first, bedroom next cleaning wise and then everything gets put back together.
Usually by the time I'm done with the first room, all the departing guests or existing guests have gone or left for the day, so now I can really move freely through the house without fear of disturbing anyone. The common areas are usually the easiest, so I leave those for last.
Outside, we have a 140' long porch. Here they are called "portals" and that needs to get blown and swept every two days along with the normal landscaping maintenance. Thankfully, our climate doesn't support manicured looking "lawns" so its not like we're mowing more than a few times a year. Xeric and drought tolerant landscaping choices have enabled us to focus more on weed control and pruning.
In a nutshell, organize yourself well, minimize trips back and forth to the laundry room, kitchen, etc. and try not to rush. Seems like every time, I go into chicken with head cut off mode, I drop something, miss something or make more trips back and forth.
Good luck and welcome to the forums.
 

JBloggs

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If all rooms check out at once - My #1 rule NEVER GO UPSTAIRS WITHOUT SOMETHING IN YOUR HANDS and down vice versa - as much as possible:
  1. Strip them all and get them started in the wash. (this was after bringing up fresh linens on your way up)
  2. Trash all rooms - very important or you might find some stinky surprises
  3. Replace linens in each room from your stack (towels sets and sheets/blankets)
  4. Hit each room one at a time and make the beds and make the room look tiday (putting items back where they belong, adjusting curtains, blinds, etc)
  5. Then hit each bathroom - the longest chore of all
  6. Vacuum last and clean floors in bathroom and hardwood in bedroom
(I am not sure this is anything new to anyone) If you only had one or two rooms checking IN you would want to get those done first, and not do them all at once. PS Guest areas take priority, kitchen and the rest are secondary, but obviousely clean them as you go. Surely in that many years you have STILL been cleaning this inn, there is no way around it, even with hired help.
 

The Farmers Daughter

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Thanks for all your suggestion guys. I can tell you at this point the old saying "You don't know what you've got til its gone", is absolutely true. I'm am sooo missing my 'help'. Just can't afford them right now. .. Hopefully going into the summer season, this will change.
Gotta go, I hear the laundry calling...
 

seashanty

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i have to say, while visiting tipsy butler, she had a cordless phone with super reception on a belt clip and was able to answer calls from anywhere (it seemed). i did not have good phone reception where i was and the cordless petered out on the 2nd floor. but i was impressed that she was able to grab those calls like that.
 

seashanty

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wow ... cleaning solo or with a partner?
all rooms usually occupied?
that is A LOT of cleaning ... and you couldn't keep even one chambermaid?
i don't know how part time your help is ... but here goes
with eight rooms, i needed a really good flow chart, showing fluffs and flips ...
if you've got both happening ... you have more flexibility. but all flips with checkins coming, that's a lot of work to do.
when working alone ...
(and the breakfast mess alone could take me hours to clean up from completely)
i used to strip the bed, pull the towels, shower curtains (i washed in between guests) bag it all and get them to the laundry closet ... starting with the top floor rooms and working my way down.
then i'd clean all the bathrooms ... messiest work was done.
adding this in: if i was alone (that means no guests in the place) ... i could put all the trash in the hallway.
i'd check my chart, see what rooms were checking in, and i'd do those rooms first ... clean the mirrors, dust, vacume.
bring in the linens, towels and amenities for each room.
checkin rooms got made up
if i had rooms with no one scheduled, i'd get down to the common areas and get those areas looking good
then return to the rooms with no one scheduled IF i had time.
i worked alone. and couldn't do it alone. not all eight rooms, plus the kitchen, the breakfast room, the front hall, the guest library, the entryway ... on and on. my chambermaid was GOLD to me. the days i had to work alone, i'd just be finishing the cleaning and the checkins would arrive. not to mention all the other things you have to handle. by around 5 pm, i'd start crying (literally)
i wish you well
 

Morticia

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i have to say, while visiting tipsy butler, she had a cordless phone with super reception on a belt clip and was able to answer calls from anywhere (it seemed). i did not have good phone reception where i was and the cordless petered out on the 2nd floor. but i was impressed that she was able to grab those calls like that..
The funny thing about the cordless phone is that hubs is always yelling, 'Don't forget the phone!' I always start work, sit down for dinner, go outside sans phone. I figure when we leave here, I will THEN be always grabbing the phone to carry around with me!
He even wants to add jacks everywhere in our space. NO! I don't want the phone in the dining room, kitchen and living room, too! Enough!
 

Samster

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I have 5 rooms but 3 of them can have an additional bed to make and they are in 2 houses. 6 1/2 bathrooms total when we are full. I worked on my own during the week for a year, my dh helped on the weekends. I cleaned up the kitchen as best I could while preparing and serving brekkie. Baked the afternoon treat during the end of breakfast. (I still do this to get a jump on things.) Once the guests were out after breakfast, dining room was cleaned up and I'd hit the rooms. Kitchen mess left waits.
First, I'd hit any refresh rooms in the main house. If the other rooms were flips but no one checking in, they waited except for stripping & bringing down the dirty linens. No time to start laundry until the second house is tackled. Same deal in the second house, freshens first, then flips. Start laundry over there before coming back to the main house. Sweep the porch and reception hall in that house. Back to main house, start laundry and hopefully run vacuum in dining room and common areas.
Most of the time as you know, the laundry is still going in between other jobs. Finish up the kitchen and get ready for check-ins.
If I have time, I still do ironing late in the evening after dinner. Paperwork, marketing, something in the yard that needs attention, etc. gets fit in catch can.
Best thing that I ever did was hire the part-time housekeeper. Now I am not falling into bed every night at midnight or later! Best of luck!
 

YellowSocks

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i have to say, while visiting tipsy butler, she had a cordless phone with super reception on a belt clip and was able to answer calls from anywhere (it seemed). i did not have good phone reception where i was and the cordless petered out on the 2nd floor. but i was impressed that she was able to grab those calls like that..
seashanty said:
i have to say, while visiting tipsy butler, she had a cordless phone with super reception on a belt clip and was able to answer calls from anywhere (it seemed). i did not have good phone reception where i was and the cordless petered out on the 2nd floor. but i was impressed that she was able to grab those calls like that.
The best present I ever bought myself is a cordless headset. I can talk and make a bed at the same time! (Or do laundry, or dishes, or a million other things...)
=)
Kk.
 

Willowpondgj

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When it's just DH and me (No kids helping) He starts on vacuuming the bathrooms and cleaning the tubs first since that takes the longest, while I strip the beds and start the wash. Then I make the beds and do everything in the rooms, except vacuuming. If I finish before he finishes tubs, then I do sinks and toilets and the rest of the bathroom. If he finishes before me he starts vacuuming. We save the vacuum and bathroom floors for last.
Make sure you have your bucket of supplies and phone and if possible, some upbeat music to keep you moving.
If it's me alone, I go in circles, by chore, tub, tub, tub, sink, sink, sink bed,bed, bed...so I can have all the supplies handy that I need for each job ... Some folks like to complete one room at a time, I don't think it matters, if your alone, it's gonna take just as long anyway you do it.
If they aren't in guest rooms, I would lock off the two extra bathrooms, why make more work for yourself?
If possible, I would also lock off or velvet rope off the two extra parlors and maybe only open the largest one during the week and the other two parlors on weekends, if needed, or for special events only. We close of some of our rooms off to guests when needed...
 

Penelope

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When I first started, I was told that it is easiest to go in a circle in the room. WHen you walk in the door, look to you left and start there. Go in a clockwise circle until you are done and walk back out the door.
I don't have to do too much housekeeping, but when I do pitch in (like I am wont to do) that's how I function best. I can't walk thru the dirty room to get to the dirty bath to start on it. Besides, I might forget something if I don't follow a path. Just my two cents
 

Country Girl

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For me, it's one room at a time, top to bottom. I strip the bed and remove all the dirty towels, rugs, rubbish, etc. and then start the cleaning process. I take care of the bed first, then the bathroom, dust, vacuum, replenish anything that's missing, etc. Then when I think I'm finished, I do SLOW walk through and check out every detail. If I leave one room before I'm finished to start another room I inevitably miss something or forget something.
 

YellowSocks

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For me, it's one room at a time, top to bottom. I strip the bed and remove all the dirty towels, rugs, rubbish, etc. and then start the cleaning process. I take care of the bed first, then the bathroom, dust, vacuum, replenish anything that's missing, etc. Then when I think I'm finished, I do SLOW walk through and check out every detail. If I leave one room before I'm finished to start another room I inevitably miss something or forget something..
Country Girl said:
Then when I think I'm finished, I do SLOW walk through and check out every detail. If I leave one room before I'm finished to start another room I inevitably miss something or forget something.
Yes, I'm trying to get dh to learn how to stand in the doorway when we're all done and LOOK at the room... anything missing? Does it look great? Not just clean, but perfectly neat and tidy and stocked and ready to go?
=)
Kk.
 

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