by Sue White, Carol Matos and Sparks Rejent Moeller
I am in the process of moving. And it seems as though I just finished doing my taxes! Without considering the stress that these two processes actually induce, they really have quite a bit in common if you stop to think about it.
Unfortunately, all you can ever contemplate is the stress. Both situations involve time, and lots of it. Both will take a physical and emotional toll. And both situations are ameliorated by heavy doses of prior planning. All right, enough analogies. Let’s just discuss moving.
MOVING UP OR DOWN?
In setting up your Bed and Breakfast you might be moving to a new location, refurbishing your present property, or downsizing to a smaller property. In any case, you’re not flying blind. The physical plan of your property offers valuable organizational and design clues. The functionality of the floor plan, the furniture and accessories can be assessed. I find that a brightly colored binder (can’t lose it!) with plastic top loading sheets helps me to keep paperwork clean, orderly, and accessible. This level of paperwork only seems excessive until you need it. It can be particularly helpful when doing taxes and determining depreciation of furnishings.
Each of the rooms of your property should be carefully drawn to scale with a directional notation and have an attached inventory sheet. This inventory will assist you in knowing what belongs in each room and, more importantly, what does not. Should you have to purchase a rug, or resize draperies, you will know what will fit, where it is placed for optimal effect, and how adaptable the room can be for seasonal changes. In the public rooms you will make a place for the important local literature and the cozy reading corner. This will help to keep the clutter to a minimum by banishing it from certain areas. Think how important this is for daily maintenance!
YOUR SPECIAL ROOMS
This is also the perfect time to assess each of your guest rooms for the elements that make each room unique. You will want to choose the color scheme of each guest room with its orientation in mind. A north facing room will require a warm color to animate it, and a south facing room needs a shade that will feel physically cool, even in the summer heat. If you are trying to open as soon as possible and find it necessary to make do with bedspreads and upholstery from a previous home, this level of color scheming will save time, and pinpoint where your design dollars are best allocated.
A copy of your plan in each specific room will assist the movers, or your friends, in placing furniture once, correctly positioned, and in the correct room. On Moving day, you can’t be everywhere, but your plan can. Likewise, color-coding boxes of accessories for specific rooms will save hours in unpacking. Your room plan will also allow you to envision installations or carpentry that may correct quirky or awkward elements. And you will know just how much is needed to maintain each room and where it is best stored for easy access. Do you need more housekeeping and laundry space? Do you need more tools or appliances than you presently have to maintain your inn? Your prior planning helps you and your staff work with greater efficiency.
JUST FOR YOU
The quality of your quarters within the Bed and Breakfast should be scrutinized carefully. Especially during the busiest season, your rooms are a haven. If possible they should have a separate phone line as well. Maintaining privacy is a balancing act with guests in the house. Your rooms can be like a home in miniature, with all of the family pictures and important memorabilia that make you feel comfortable. I suggest that you put a lot of thought into the planning of these spaces, and set them up before your guest rooms. When you are happily settled, you will be a relaxed and welcoming host.
Finally, the best thing about moving (yes, there is an upside!) is the sense of freedom that it affords. You have an opportunity to sort through all of the Elements that make a functional and beautiful home and make sure that all of those elements are useful and beautiful. If they’re not, it may be in your best interest to let go of things that crowd and clutter. By assigning a room, a space, and a function to all of your household goods, you have moved toward running a friendly and beautiful Bed and Breakfast.
Now, back to my move. I’ve finished with
*STEP 1: packing all of the contents of drawers in plastic bags, and progressed to;
*STEP 2: taking down the drapes and arranging for the carpets to be cleaned;
*STEP 3: the summer clothes are packed and donations made to the local charities. Books have been taken to the library and borrowed items have been returned. The garage has been purged and the barbecue cleaned.
*STEP 4: Can’t move the wine… it must be party time!
*STEP 5: Repeat STEP 4!
Authors: Susan White founded Anna’s Victorian Connection, a reservation service for RI, in 1979. Carol Matos owns and operates the American Country Collection of Bed and Breakfast in eastern New York as well as her own B&B. “Sparks” Rejent Moeller owns the design firm “Second Opinion Interiors” and has done residential and commercial design for six years.
Please address article comments to: Claude or Mariette Gagne ~ The B&B and Country Inn MarketPlace
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