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2 min read

How to Prep Your Home for a Roommate


As the warm weather begins to return, those living in cold climates may tolerate the last spring storms, but are seeing the tulips start to pop through the ground, and those in warmer climates are feeling the strong sunshine return. 


One of those warm weekends is a great time to face down that spare room or guest room that has become the receptacle of old wrapping paper, craft projects or “re-gifting” items—and turn it into a source of income. Spring cleaning that spare room is the first step towards realizing an average extra income of $8,000 per year!


Getting Your Spare Room Ready for a Renter

Preparing a room for a potential housemate can often feel so overwhelming, that it becomes the barrier to getting started. Many take one look at the task, and change their minds, or push it off for another day. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started:

  1. Set aside a day for the project and mark it on the calendar.

  2. Grab some extra boxes from the local grocery or liquor store and some trash bags.

  3. Drag down a radio or your laptop/phone/tablet to crank some of your favorite music on Pandora or your music playlist.

  4. Go for it!

Start by sorting out what is in front of you and get tough: if you haven’t used it, worn it, or thought about it in a year, it can probably go to Goodwill, or to a friend, or into the trash.

If you are storing stuff for your adult kids, have them come pick it up or move it to the garage or attic. Plan to get through all the little stuff first- items in closets, in dresser drawers, and stacked in the area that can be cleared out.

Most are surprised it doesn’t take nearly as long as they thought, and removing the clutter always makes a room look better! If you have extra energy left over to tackle a light house cleaning, go for it, otherwise leave that for another day.

Plan to leave the main furniture in the room for a new roommate to come in without their own furniture, but be open to moving it out if they have their own stuff. If it is necessary to move it out, often a local neighbor, handyman, adult child or even small local moving service can help break it down, and either store it, or help to donate it.

Viola! You are now ready to get out that smart phone or digital camera and shoot a few pictures of your new rental space.  Be sure to use good light and take photos of the personal spaces your roommate can use, as well as the rest of the house. There is no limit to photos so be generous!

Congratulations! You're ready for your home to start working for you.


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