One Person’s Trash …

Yep, you got it … “is another person’s treasure.”

I have many friends, and through the years I’ve told them to save their gently used household items for me to recycle in my rental properties.  With the downturn in the economy and the glut of foreclosures, rental demand is high and I like to stay ahead of the competition.

In all of my rentals, I supply window coverings.  I don’t get these from friends but I purchase them cheaply from Family Dollar, Big Lots or Wal-Mart.  Mini-blinds and/or curtains don’t cost much but they add a lot to the rental.  Without window coverings, any home looks cold and barren.

I ask my friends for these types of items:

  • Throw rugs for bathrooms
  • Decorative items to put on kitchen or bathroom counters
  • Entry rugs for inside front and back doors
  • Door mats for outside
  • Throw rugs for kitchens
  • Rugs for dining-size areas
  • Any small- to medium-size knickknacks for counter tops
  • Bath or kitchen accessories like soap dishes and dispensers, paper towel holders,  etc.
  • Decorative hand towels

The higher-end the rental, the pickier I am about what I use for “staging” the place before showing it, of course.  Sometimes I purchase small items and use them while the house is being shown.  After I find that perfect tenant, the items disappear before they move in.

With my lower-end rentals, I often leave the rugs — especially the entry ones — because I can’t guarantee my tenant will have mats of their own to put down and it’s worth it, even if I have to buy the rugs myself, to protect my floors from people tracking in dirt throughout their stay.

Yes, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.  I have a stack of bath and kitchen rugs here at my house right now, waiting to be placed in my next empty rental.  Those extra touches, along with any other decorative items you may have, make a difference to potential tenants.  They may be the deciding factor in an applicant choosing your rental over another, and they add value to the rental but they cost so little — or nothing at all.

So enlist the help of your friends, recycle their “trash” and make it work for you!

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