Turning Your Home into a Whole House Listing for Special Events

For hosts who normally rent out rooms in their homes but rent out the whole house for special events, what do you do to secure your valuable items? Where do you put your clothing so your guests have a place to put theirs? What other objects do you stow away to make the home more attractive to groups of guests who want to pay good money for a whole house?

We put a locking door knob on the pantry, under the stairs closet and one small room upstairs. We store things in those spaces and also the garage. We have put two IKEA wardrobes on the side of the garage for clothes that don't fit in the other spaces. I am considering in locking just the huge master closet and putting something like a wardrobe rack in our large master bath. That way they could have all the drawer space in bedroom and a rack for hanging. Since we have drawers in the closet, we would have an easy move out! We also each have a couple of bins for our bathroom sink stuff and we just put them in the locked closet.

Honestly i can not imagine how to rent a whole house where we live. What are you going to do with all the clothes, and other valuables. Its just too much comotion to put all these items away and then put them back. In my rental house there is nothing of our personal items, everything bought second hand, low cost and easily replacable… In my house where i live and rent out rooms there are quite a bit of items that we paid a lot of money for and i dont know how we would hide it . Anything is possible but its just too much planning and work would be involved

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That’s a good question, and one that has crossed my mind with the inauguration coming up!!! I’ve already rented out the guest space at a very nice price - if I rented out the upstairs I could get a very nice penny.

Although - lol - the guests that booked are certain they are coming to celebrate America’s first woman president - what happens if it goes (gulp) the other way?!

(I was going to wait until after the election to open those dates up, but we had just disengaged from Beyond Pricing and were moving things around on the calendar and BAM we had a booking for those dates. It’s still a great price, though - almost 3x our normal rate)


This is a huge undertaking. I have done this on occasion in order to house swap, but the expectations with a home swap are a bit different. I have always gone to great lengths to open up closet and drawer space. set up my office so others can use it, etc. My swappers didn’t take that part of the swap anywhere near as seriously, and we never felt that we could move in.

There are still items I can not find! A sweater I put in a “special” place. Client files were all jumbled since I rushed to get the home ready and it took far too long to get them organized again after I returned. In my case, my swaps were worth the effort. If I were ever to consider renting the whole house on AirBNB you better believe I would make sure that the price made my efforts payoff in some big way.

I think there are other considerations here besides securing valuables…I wouldn’t dream of turning my home over for a big event unless I had the proper insurance. You have a ton of strangers in your home and every one of them could sue you if something goes wrong. This is why wedding and party venues charge a fortune for this. The so called caretakers of my friends’ beach house claimed they were going to host a small wedding there. The very small house has two small bathrooms but is oceanfront. Well hundreds of people showed up. There were live bands and a LOUD party in a quiet neighborhood until the wee hours. The owners were off island and never knew how badly they were taken advantage of.

So neighbors are also a consideration. If you start hosting commercial events, neighbors are going to start complaining right away. The cops could get called…

Not to throw a wet blanket on your idea… But…

I don’t think it is worth it.

I think that the OP is discussing a special event like the inauguration, or a gold tournament, etc, not hosting weddings and the like.


I wasn’t going to host commercial events. I’m talking about events in my area, such as Super Bowl 2018. People rent out their whole houses for these things all the time. I’m looking for advice on that.

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Oh…sorry… My bad. I still think you may want to rethink Super Bowl party rentals! @Anastasia_Stal or @azreala can tell you all about the party groups that crashed their places during Super Bowl.

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Hosting parties on our property is clearly against our house rules. Having people stay here when attending the Super Bowl is another matter.

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You must clear your house of all personal items, throughout the bathrooms, kitchens etc.
Clear all closets completely.
Remove all valuables and anything you dont want guests to touch or use.
The house has to be totally “neutralized”. You have to take down all family photos and personal items.
Find a spot in the house that you can lock off and put everything into it, or rent a storage unit. ( we locked off an entire bedroom, stacked everything personal in the bedroom, and locked it off. )
We lived out of stacks of boxes easily moved…one box = clothes / one box = toiletries, etc )
We did this for 1.5 years, and then moved out totally once we had all 5 star reviews and we were established with a steady cash flow. Now we do 2 whole house rentals and live in our apartment.

It is not for the weak of heart.

Ok… now I am confused. You asked about renting your house for special events and then say you don’t allow parties. Which is it? Because if you rent out for guests attending a Super Bowl, there WILL be a party.

Hi K.! After some other guests I think that SB was not so bad… :blush:


Yikes!!! That you had guests who made your Superbowl ones look good!!! You poor thing. Hope guest quality is improving!

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I think she meant - renting out an entire home when there is a special event in town, not renting out the home for an event itself.

Yes, that’s right. The events come to town, and we would like to join other home owners in renting out our home, with rules in place. Not everyone wants to travel to another city and see a game and then have a giant party in the home they’re staying in. We state up front that our place isn’t for that, so the people who want to do that will have to stay elsewhere. Drinking would be fine, but not drunkenness. Having fun would be fine, but our quiet hours start at 10 PM for our sakes when we’re here, but also for our neighbors’ sake whether or not we’re here. But I have to say that if we have to take down family photos in order to rent out our home for a few days to a week, it wouldn’t be worth it. I’m not sure why we’d need to do that.

Any and all advice is welcome. We may or may not do this depending on what it entails. If not, we’ll just keep renting out our extra rooms and set the price higher during special events.

I think that a complete de-personalization is not required. You are offering a home; not a hotel. Heck, you are not even offering a neutral and sterilized commercial AirBNB space. I do think that you have to clear out the fridge so that people can store their own food. At least 3 pantry [or cupboard] shelves cleared for their food. Every bedroom should have closet and bureau space. I would remove all personal products from the bathrooms and have plenty of clean towels. And then, you have to clean the house top to bottom.

In my case, I would remove some of my expensive cookware unless conversations before arrival indicate that they would know how to use them. The stand mixer might disappear for example, along with some of the vintage Le Creuset and my great-grandmother’s cast iron fry pans.

I would leave my box of Asian cooking ingredients, the spices and herbs, salt, vinegars and oils for them to use. Happy to give you more thoughts if you think it is helpful.

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Very helpful, thanks!

Even with these kinds of rules in place, some of our friends here on the forum have had their places trashed during special events. Be really careful and get an extra deposit. Maybe have them sign an additional contract.

Absolutely, we’d raise the deposit to a very high amount. What sort of additional contract? Would it be legally binding? How would we go about that?