The 7 Best Tips I Learned While Staying at the Most Organized Airbnb I’ve Ever Seen

updated Feb 24, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Whenever I check in to an Airbnb, I have some expectations. I hope for a place that’s clean with a cozy vibe. Maybe keep my fingers crossed for some thoughtful touches — a fridge filled with a few local goodies or even a hand-written welcome note, for example. But never have I stepped foot into an Airbnb and thought to myself, “I sure hope this place is organized.” That may change, though, after I realized how absolutely wonderful it is to use someone else’s very neat and strategically organized kitchen for two weeks. 

Credit: Ashley Abramson

My husband, two kids, and I recently checked into an Airbnb in Wisconsin for a long-term stay, while we house hunt. (Note: Shopping for and buying a house during a pandemic is not something I recommend but, for us, had turned out to be necessary.) The first thing I noticed was that, yes, this place hit all the must-haves. Only when I started to use the kitchen did I realize how organized it was. Opening a cabinet to grab a coffee mug set me off, and soon I was peeking in every drawer and closet to see the super-smart ways the Airbnb host kept this place so tidy. My pictures don’t do it justice, but good gosh, is this kitchen organized!

Here are a few of the best things I found — tricks and products I’ll probably steal for my own kitchen (as soon as I get one). 

Credit: Ashley Abramson

1. Get a cabinet riser …. with hooks!

Remember that coffee mug discovery that set me off? No, it’s not abnormal to put a space-saving riser in a cabinet — I like them because they make great use of vertical space — but this riser was extra special. It had hooks to make space for coffee mugs! Hanging seems a lot easier than trying to cram them all in beneath. (Plus, it just looks cuter.)

Credit: Ashley Abramson

2. Add a shelf with a wire basket above the stove.

I’ve always struggled with where to keep spices. I don’t want to take up space on the tiny sliver of counter near my oven, but my biggest cabinet is on the other side of the kitchen. The Airbnb hosts keep their stock of essential spices — salt, pepper, garlic powder, and the like — in a cute, rustic-looking basket that’s sitting on a floating shelf above the stovetop. I love this idea for a few reasons: It makes the most of space, it doesn’t waste cabinet or drawer real estate, and you can easily add a dash of this or that while you’re cooking. And because I know that lots of you are going to point that spices can spoil if they’re by the stove, these are frequently used ones (read: They’ll get used up before they can turn).

Credit: Ashley Abramson

3. Store dishes in a slim drying rack.

Like most of you probably, I stack my plates on a shelf in my cabinet. Sometimes, in a hurry, I put them away right after the dishwasher’s done, which means they can be a little wet still (oops). My highly intelligent Airbnb hosts have no such problem. For one thing, they probably dry their dishes. But if not, they keep their plates and bowls in a contraption I’ve never seen: a hybrid plate divider/drying rack that could also function as a display! If you’re worried about damaging your dishes or just don’t want to deal with grabbing one from a stack, this is the hack for you.

Credit: Ashley Abramson

4. Slide your pot lids into a wall-mounted organizer.

In a lower cabinet, my hosts stack their pots and pans, and keep the lids in an organizer attached to the side of a cabinet. (I’ve been using the lids and seem to have messed this cabinet up a bit. Note to self: Fix the cabinet before you leave!) I like the idea of using that “wall” space, which automatically saves room in the cabinet to keep things better organized. 

Credit: Ashley Abramson

5. Hang boxes of foil and zip-top bags on a cabinet door.

I didn’t realize until now how ineffective it is to stuff my plastic bags, foil, and plastic wrap in my silverware drawer. I’m definitely going to snag one of these door-mounted organizers, which my Airbnb hosts attached to the door of a lower cabinet.

Credit: Ashley Abramson

6. Hang baskets for rags and towels.

To no one’s surprise, the cleaning closet right off the kitchen is also amazingly well-kept. A plastic basket with a handle hung on a Command hook holds washcloths and rags folded in quarters, and because the basket is hung at an angle, it’s super easy to grab your cleaning or drying tool of choice. I’ll probably try this beneath my sink for microfiber cloths and sponges!

Credit: Ashley Abramson

7. Set up a coffee station with clear jars.

I love when an Airbnb has essentials like coffee, sugar, and tea bags. I love even more when they’re decanted in super-cute jars. Our hosts store (and display!) coffee and tea essentials in sealed jars with hinged lids, on floating shelves right next to the coffee maker. Seeing the selection at a quick glance was a lot easier than searching through drawers (although I definitely did that anyway — you know, so that I could take it all in!).