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Which items tend to get taken/stolen most?


Mine is a 1 bedroom whole unit condo rental (max 2 occupants). I have a detailed Inventory of the contents and my housecleaner of 6-1/2 yrs., knows every inch of the place. Some of the things that have gone missing during that time are:

  • freezer gel packs (went from 6 to 2)
  • Chef’s knife (my favorite one…grrr!); knife sharpener wheel; 3 paring knives
  • Nikon 7x35 binoculars (grrr!)
  • screwdriver and wrench
  • bottle of nail polish remover, large toenail clippers, tweezers
  • mesh laundry bags (2); umbrella; pillowcase protectors (2); lambswool duster
  • numerous facecloths; occasional bath towel
  • toaster oven(!!), broom & standing dustpan; 2 spray bottles of cleaning solution; several utensils and glasses; entire gift basket with contents [this batch of missing items happened when guests had family members staying in another unit. They obviously gave their family the access code to my unit before my guests arrived and they removed what they wanted/needed. The other apt. owner uses the in-house cleaning service which shares the supplies amongst about 100 units…so I never got anything back.]
  • 10" tall figurine of jungle animal/gold lacquered - broken into a million pieces (waaah!)
  • giraffe figurine with embedded mirrored tiles (Indian) broken…and apparently painstakingly glued together by guest (awww!)
  • small jeweled ring-holder box

    Anyway, you get the picture. Some guests feel entitled to take a ‘souvenir’ of their stay and you can’t predict which one’s are like that and there’s only so much one can do. Some things I replace; others are too pricey to chance having them disappear again.


Wow, that’s a lot of stuff. When it goes missing do you write it off or contact the guest about it?

I have more of these freezer gel packs than I need. You need to make a friend who has meds shipped monthly in the styrofoam chest with freezer packs. She has more than she can use and I always have an extra styrofoam box and ice packs that I give to guests who could use them (like road tripping Europeans who don’t have an ice chest with them.


Please tell me more. Was there some sort of explanation for this? Or they broke it and threw away?


Yup, it’s a lot of stuff…and that’s why I don’t like to revisit the ‘missing stuff’ list because I get all aggravated again. (ha!) In spite of my grousing about it, I do write the pilferage off.

Funny thing about the gold lacquered jungle animal. The housecleaner initially thought it had been taken but then found the broken pieces under the bed under the headboard against the wall.

When she first called me, it was to report that the animal was missing. (She can walk in a room and immediately spot what is not right.) So I emailed the guest and asked whether he/his wife might have moved it and he responded he had placed it on the floor beside the dresser so he could charge his (electronic device). I knew that was phony because there is nothing on that long dresser except a coin dish and a little lamp and the décor item. I called the housecleaner but by then she had found the broken pieces.

What was interesting is that she said it looked as if the couple might have had a cat-fight because the acrylic-on-fabric wall hanging behind the bed had a dent in it, as if something had been thrown against it. That probably explains why the pieces were on the floor behind the headboard. I didn’t contact the fibber-guest but they will never darken my door again.

Darn it…I liked that décor item too. Fifty bucks down the drain.


A lot of the condos in the building are vacation rentals and some owners don’t pimp out their units as much as others. Also, the majority of them use the building’s in-house cleaning service which removes all cleaning supplies from units, supposedly because of liability issues.

I surmised that my guest’s family in the other unit needed cleaning supplies and additional kitchenware and wanted the use of a toaster oven, so they took mine. They left me with one lonely rack. I love toaster ovens and have one in my homes but I didn’t replace the one in the condo.

It frosted me about the broom because it was a quality one that I had just purchased and I love a stand-up dustpan…so I replaced those. The housecleaner noticed her two spray bottles of cleaning solution missing because she had just refilled them. (I don’t know why that always makes me laugh.)

I guess it’s whatever is important to us.


I think there’s a big difference in guests travelling internationally and within their own country. Nearly all of my guests arrive by plane and often with hand luggage only so there’s no way they could take a broom home, luckily! They often want to buy the bath gels and lotions I make until I remind them that they can’t take more than 100mls, so actually I tend to gain more than I lose and will never again need to buy sunscreen - in any factor!


I would lock anything away that you’d be upset about - or out of pocket - if they were damaged. I wouldn’t leave any personal items out at all except things that might help guests enjoy their stay such as a few books, magazines and board games.

The good news is that I’ve never had anything stolen. A few minor things have disappeared (a couple of towels, a cheap salad bowl) but I think that they’ve been accidents. I suspect that the towels accidentally found their way into the guests’ luggage and with the salad bowl, they probably broke it and threw it away.


Tea towels and teaspoons walk off. Sheets & towels occasionally get stained, but I can usually bleach or dye. And they break drinking glasses now and then. But they generally tell me, and I just replace it. I’m not going to bother chasing them for a dollar.

Hot tip: get nice-looking PLASTIC wine glasses. You only have to drop the glass ones an inch and they break in the sink.


Hi @SandyToes,

That’s rough. Sorry about that. I get quite upset when I lose stuff. But it’s handy to have a housekeeper with X-ray vision. Personally, I’d try not to keep nice things around guests.


Hi @jaquo,

You seem to have a charmed life. I’d like to know what good luck amulets you use. Or did your fairy godmother cast a spell on you at the Christening? :slight_smile:


I like to think so :slight_smile:


This has been both interesting and, apart from what seems like a one off nightmare, reassuring! I can handle the ‘usual’ items going missing/breaking, that’s life. Will learn from your advice and take my new ‘Wimbledon’ towel away with me just to be sure, as that was expensive. And go round with a box when it’s all clean and tidy put things in that I’d be upset if were taken or broken.

Thanks all! Now just to get cleaning!


I just did my walkthrough after having my first entire home rental. I usually just do B&B in individual rooms. Guests broke a glass, would not have bothered me but it is part of a set that fits into a wicker stand with a carafe. So now I have 5 glasses and an empty space… They also went into cupboards that I had tied shut and removed my back stock of ketchup and brown sauce, replacing them with the opened ones I had left out for their use. These are massive catering size bottles btw that I use to refill the smaller table ones. They took the huge ketchup bottle with them.

I had gotten warnings from friends who manage holiday cottages, to LOCK everything up and not leave “nice things” in reach. I thought they were over reacting. They weren’t.


What!!! A toaster oven!!! Visions of guests renting a small UHaul truck and schlepping your toaster oven out the door.

Sandy, this is an insane amount of damage by guests. I can’t comprehend how they could honestly be that careless and disrespectful. I forget… Are you a remote host?


How much brown sauce and ketchup do people really need to consume? Were they bathing in it?

BTW, what is brown sauce? Is it like gravy? Or is that what people call Heniz 57?


I know. Some of the stuff was costly but most were piddly and only caused me some annoyance.

The binoculars going missing was my fault because I forgot to put it back in my Owner’s Closet. By the time I told the housecleaner to do so, it was gone. That frosted my butt…it was a good one too; cute and small and powerful (the binoculars, that is). I used it to peer into the condos across the way…just kidding!

You silly, one doesn’t need U-Haul for a toaster oven. : )

And yes, I’m a remote host, physically…and sometimes mentally as well.


Uh, sorry but you are wrong. I usually agree with most of your posts but… You are the victim and you shouldn’t blame yourself because someone took something that clearly wasn’t theirs.

I empathize. I lent my favorite binoculars to a friend at a concert and she lost them. She bought a replacement but they weren’t the same.


Garden1Gnome – Brown Sauce is a unique English condiment that they use in much the same way we use catsup or ketchup – smother/dip things in it. It’s sorta, but not exactly, a thick Worcheshire sauce. You can probably find it in most American megamart Ethnic sections. I find that Costa Rican Lizano sauce (that country’s ‘ketchup’) is very close to English Brown Sauce.


I sympathise about the sauce. It’s more aggravating than expensive. In the early days I had clean linens stored under the bed, and the first ten guests were fine. The eleventh guests took them all out and used 5 lots of sheets in a weekend. I was beyond livid. I learned!


It’s called HP Sauce and is revolting :slight_smile:

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