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Now is the perfect time to get the house in order before your students return home for winter break or family and friends begin to arrive for the holidays. We’ve spent two decades working with professional housekeepers in luxury hotels around the world, and we’ve picked up some tips for keeping bedrooms and guestrooms clean to their exacting standards. Whether you handle the housekeeping or delegate that job, here are our suggestions for getting your bedrooms and guestrooms ready for fall and whatever—and whomever—fall may bring.

1. Remove

If you eliminate what you don’t really need or want, there will be fewer items to clean and organize. If you’ve accumulated stacks of linens you’ll never sleep on or linens in sizes that fit beds or pillows you no longer own, take a moment to pull those out and donate them to a local charity. If you’ve relegated so many not-quite-perfect pillows to your guestrooms that there’s no space left for your guests, take a moment to eliminate a few.

2. Reorganize

Move the warm weather items into the closet and bring out the fall items. That means washing and putting away your summer blankets and comforters. Be sure to dry them thoroughly to avoid mildew while they’re in storage. If they’re feather and down, they will need to breathe so avoid plastic storage bags. Instead, consider storage bags or boxes like those Down Etc provides to our luxury hotel clients. You’d rather not have to launder them again when it’s time to bring them back out in spring.

3. Refresh

Sleep hygiene requires creating a clean and comfortable sleep oasis. That means eliminating the dirt you see and the germs you don’t.

  • Before you start cleaning your bedding, consider anything in the room that might have collected dust that will end up on the bed. If you have a fan or headboard, wipe them down before you pull off the current bedding to be laundered.
  • Remove all the bedding down to the mattress.
  • Take stock of your mattress. If it looks fine, no stains or unwanted smells, give it a good vacuum to remove any dust or pet hair that might have made it past the mattress pad. Flipping mattresses is not necessary for mattresses that are single sided but can help those that are double sided. You can certainly rotate most beds to avoid uneven wear and to extend their lifespan. You won’t want to do that if your mattresses are designed with zoned support.
  • Wash and dry the mattress pad and zippered pillow protectors.
  • Remove and launder all the linens.
  • If your pillows appear to be in good condition—they’ve not lost their shape and there are no permanent stains—and don’t need to be replaced, it’s time to wash them. Even if they have no visible stains or smells, pillows should be laundered periodically to remove invisible contaminants. If they’re Down Etc’s feather and down pillows, they can be washed in a top-loading machine and dried thoroughly with dryer balls or clean tennis balls for maximum fluffing. If your pillow has an alternative fill, follow the care directions on its tag.
  • When it comes to decorative pillows, we recommend only those with removable covers so they can be removed and laundered. Like your pillow protectors, you should be sure to close the zippers completely before laundering. If you have decorative pillows you love without removable covers, give them a vacuum, spot clean any stains, and use a little baking soda or an odor-removing spray to freshen them.
  • Remove the cover from your comforter and wash it with the linens. If your comforter is a Down Etc down comforter, it can be washed in a top-loading machine large enough to accommodate its size. Be sure to dry it thoroughly, which may take some time. Throw in dryer balls or clean tennis balls to fluff the down and ensure the comforter is entirely dry.
  • Remake your bed. Consider whether you’re satisfied with the way you’ve been making your beds or might want to consider a change. There seems to be little controversy about the fitted bottom sheet; however, we’ve found people seem to divide pretty firmly on one side or the other of the top sheet. There are those who have eschewed the top sheet in favor of sleeping directly under the comforter in its cover, which they remove and launder as they would a sheet. Others would never consider eliminating the sheet for the times they get hot and want to kick off the comforter.

Hotels will typically use the comforter in a cover or triple sheeting, a method in which they use a fitted bottom sheet and then place a flat sheet under and another over the blanket. Triple sheeting may save time in the initial bedmaking over placing the comforter in the cover; however, it can come apart more easily. That’s not a problem in a hotel in which the bed is being professionally made every day, but it is not desirable in the home.

4. Replace

This is where you introduce fresh bedding products to start off the season right. If you haven’t been using a waterproof mattress pad and pillow protectors, now is the time to start. You’ve invested the time in purchasing and cleaning the right mattress and pillows, protect them from dirt and spills.

If you’re close to the seven to ten year lifespan of your mattress but not ready to replace it, we recommend treating yourself to a feather bed. Feather beds are often seen only at the most luxurious hotels; however, they are also a wonderful alternative to immediate investment in a more expensive mattress as they are placed on top of the mattress and deliver an extra level of cushion and comfort. We continue to recommend a waterproof mattress pad, but the feather bed provides an additional layer between you and your mattress.

For the extra hotel touch, use a linen mist on your sheets after placing them on the bed. Place the fitted sheet on the bed, making sure it’s pulled taut. The idea is to dampen the sheet slightly, not to soak the bed, so don’t overdo it. Run your hand firmly across the creases, smoothing them out, and leave the sheet to dry. Next, repeat for the tucked-in flat sheet. It helps to do this in the morning so there’s plenty of time for the sheets to dry. This will eliminate wrinkles and leave a fresh smell your guests will notice.

5. Relax

Now that you’ve done the hard work, it’s time to reward yourself with beautiful decorative pillows in the autumnal colors of the season or throws that will provide the cozy feel of fall. You and your guests can relax in clean and organized bedrooms as the nights get longer and the weather becomes cooler.

To read about these topics, you might like:

Bedding Buying Guide: Experience Hotel Luxury at Home with a Feather Bed

Have a great night’s sleep this fall!

-The Team at Down Etc

Cover Photo: cottonbro studio

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