Guest Expertise

Why You Need An Owner's Closet For Your Airbnb

As an Airbnb host, you wear many hats. You’re customer service when a guest complains, the cleaner between check-ins, the handyman when a pet chews through the drywall, and so much more. That’s why you need a “catch-all” or “office space” for your Airbnb. Introducing the “owners’ closet.”

By The Turno Team

Last updated: November 13, 2023

3 Reasons Why Why You Need an Airbnb Owner’s Closet

The owner’s closet, also known as the “cleaner’s closet,” is a locked closet, garage, room, or area of your property that guests do not have access to.

Here are 3 reasons why you need to set up your own cleaner’s closet before your next guests arrive:

  • Security: Without a locked owner’s closet, your guests have direct access to the WIFI router and modem. With a flip of a switch, they can deactivate your camera and security systems, making it impossible for you to ensure guests are abiding by house rules.
  • Storage: You need a secure place to store extra linens, inventory for restocking guest essentials, and personal items you keep at your property. Without this space, your guests have unlimited access to items that you may not want them to use.
  • Smooth Turnover: Having backup items when you need them is crucial to a fast turnover — especially if it’s a back-to-back check-in. The owner’s closet is a perfect place to store your essential cleaning supplies.
yellow wood door with a gold door handle and house key inserted in the key lock hole

The rest of this article is dedicated to helping you install, organize, stock, and lock your Airbnb owner’s closet. Let’s get started.

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How To Set Up Your Airbnb Owner’s Closet

Before you bust out the toolkit you need to navigate to your House Rules and make a quick edit. To prevent your guests from “getting curious” you need to write a short notice, something like the below statement will suffice:

“Any locked closet doors are locked for privacy purposes. Forcing the door open will result in a loss of your security deposit.”

An owner’s closet sign gives your guests a quick warning that the given area is for employees only. This helps protect the area by notifying guests of its intent. Make sure your owner’s closet sign is clearly visible and labeled as private. 


You can also place a tasteful sign above your Airbnb owner’s closet for the guests who skim over house rules.

Choosing an Owner’s Closet Lock

No matter where you install your owner’s closet, you will want it to be properly secured. Sometimes an owner’s closet sign isn’t enough to keep guests out. Owner’s closet locks are a great way to protect your privacy and belongings. 

It’s highly recommended that your owner’s closet locks be keyless. Juggling keys with cleaners, co-hosts, and property managers is a constant headache.  Keyless owner’s closet locks will decrease the chances of guests breaking in, as well. The only time you’ll need to share your lock code with guests is when there’s a linen or cleaning emergency.

Pro-tip: If you don’t want to spend the extra money on a keyless lock for your owner’s closet, then you can purchase a magnetic key hider and affix it to the side or rear of your dryer.

Organizing

Various stacks of white and blue plastic organization bins

A disorganized Airbnb owner’s closet is going to cost you more time. This is the most important step of all. Each item needs its own space so that you can quickly assess when items are running out.

The best “one-stop-shop” for all your organization tools is The Container Store. You can find all the essentials you’ll need to keep your closet organized. You can also repurpose items around your home for organizational purposes (i.e., a shoebox to store all batteries).

Pro-tip: Purchase a label-making machine to categorize each space. This way anyone accessing your closet can know exactly where everything goes.

Cleaner Instructions

Your property is special and sometimes you’re not going to be able to personally clean and stage it before every guest. You may have to outsource this task to someone else. Each property is different and you may have some odd requests for your cleaners:

  • The bath mats need to be cleaned, neatly rolled, and placed on top of the closed toilet seat. This way guests know that they are clean.
  • Every couch pillow should be laid flat and then karate-chopped.
  • All blinds need to be opened at a 45-degree angle.

There’s nothing wrong with being meticulous — especially if it’s going to make your guest smile — but you need to ensure these requests are adequately communicated to your cleaning team.

The owner’s closet is a great place to store additional cleaning and staging instructions for your cleaners. Having a small 3-ring binder inside the owner’s closet with cleaner instructions will help keep you and your cleaners on the same page.

Pro-tip: Post photos of the way you want each room to look before the guest’s check-in on the inside of the owner’s closet door or in the binder.

What Items Do You Store in Your Owner’s Closet?

Your Airbnb owner’s closet will become an asset to your vacation rental business. Cleaners will appreciate the forethought and utilize the items placed in the owner’s closet. This will ensure that your cleaners are always provided with the necessary supplies to keep your property well-maintained.

Below is a list of Airbnb amenities that you should store in your owner’s closet.

Linens

Controlling the number of linens your guests have access to helps cut down on you or your cleaner’s time doing laundry. If they have access to every linen on the property, then they may use every single item. Each bed should have 3 sets of linens: 1 active set, 1 replacement set, and 1 extra in case of emergency.

With your active linen set in place and ready for your new guests, you can safely store replacement and emergency sets in your owner’s closet.

How many of each linen should go in your Airbnb owner’s closet: 

  • Flat Sheet (x2 per bed)
  • Fitted Sheet (x2 per bed)
  • Bath towels (x2 per bed)
  • Hand towels (x2 per bed)
  • Washcloths (x2 per bed)
  • Beach towels (x2 per bed, if applicable)
  • Dish Cloths (x3)
  • Kitchen Towel (x3)
  • Spare blankets (x1 per bed)
yellow and white towels folded and stacked on white shelves of a closet space

Paper Products

These items will be replenished before every check-in. Paper products mitigate against guests staining your white towels and having to bleach them each time they are laundered.

Top paper products to store in your owner’s closet:

  • Makeup removal pads
  • Cotton balls
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Kleenex boxes
  • Hygiene products
  • Sanitary wipes

Restocking Household Supplies

Guests have an expectation of what will be provided when it comes to everyday supplies. What you would typically have in your personal home should be thought of as a supply for your guests. 

Keep an extra stock of the following household supplies in your owner’s closet:

  • Coffee pods
  • Teabags
  • Water bottles
  • Dishwasher detergent
  • Laundry detergent
  • Stain remover
  • Hand Soap
  • Trash bags

Cleaning Supplies

Even if you have an Airbnb cleaning service, it’s a good idea to have cleaning supplies on hand. Sometimes guests make messes that have to be cleaned right away. If your cleaning tools are consistently used, they should be replenished. Your cleaners will need the extra stock to replace whatever guests used.

Provide the following cleaning supplies inside your Airbnb owner’s closet:

  • Cleaner instruction binder
  • Vacuum
  • Mop and bucket
  • Spray bottles
  • Windex
  • Oven cleaner
  • Degreaser
  • Bleach
  • Sanitizer
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Brushes

Pro-tip: Always keep a broom and a small caddy of cleaning supplies available to your guests. It’s never expected for guests to clean while on vacation, but sometimes spills happen. In those instances, it’s helpful for them to have the tools they need to clean up. If you do leave cleaning supplies available for your guests, store them in a place that is out of reach to children.

Cleaning caddy filled with cleaning product bottles and sprayers.

Backups & Miscellaneous

These items don’t need to be replaced after every check-out. Oftentimes, everyday household appliances and amenities need to be upgraded or replenished. Having backups to blown lightbulbs, dead batteries, and more is a great way of ensuring guest satisfaction is kept.

Important items to have in your owner’s closet for just in case:

  • Duvet covers
  • Shower curtain liners
  • Bath mats
  • Seasonal decorations
  • Batteries
  • TV remotes
  • Light bulbs
  • WIFI Router and modem

Owners Closet: Check!
Now to find that reliable cleaner…

Frequently Asked Questions About Owner’s Closets

How big should my owner’s closet be?

The size of your owner’s closet depends on the size of your property. If you’re listing 1 private room, then you may only need a small cupboard to store everything you need. On the flip side, if you’re listing a 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom, beach house, then you may need an entire room sectioned off for your owners’ closet.

Should I ever allow my guests access to the closet?

This depends on your level of trust in your guest. Sometimes it’s necessary to appease a guest in a bad situation. It will also save you a trip (or paying someone to go to the property) to give your guests access to something they need in the closet.

How do I replenish my Airbnb owner’s closet if I live out of town?

Most out-of-state hosts will have a co-host or family member to help them with these types of issues. If you don’t have either, then your cleaning company is a great option. Ask them if you can ship your supplies to their office and they may be able to restock your closet at their next cleaning.

Make Your Turnover Easier With an Airbnb Owner’s Closet

“By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

It’s a refreshing feeling to be prepared for anything. With a well-organized and locked owners’ closet, you can rest assured that your property essentials (and personal items, too) are fully stocked, safely secured, and readily available when needed.

The Turno Team Avatar
The Turno Team , The Turno Team researches and publishes articles designed to provide short-term rental Hosts, Property Managers, and Airbnb Cleaners with insightful, useful resources. Articles written by the Turno Team cover a wide range of STR interests, from the latest industry data and best practices to real-world, practical advice on running efficient, revenue-generating vacation rental businesses in an ever-changing market. Here at Turno, we’re always looking for original ideas and hot new topics. Have something you’re curious to learn more about? Interested in authoring a guest blog? Drop us a line at [email protected].