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The Everything Guide to Belt-Tightening

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How to Make Your Home a Hotel

By Anonymous


Illustration by Tony Millionaire  

Three years ago, I wanted to ditch my day job and work full time on my play. What to do? Rent the extra room in my apartment to tourists! Though I run the risk of eviction, I now make $2,000 a month in cash—and all I have to give up is a little peace of mind. Here’s how you do it: Furnish the room with all of the basics—single bed, lamp, desk, chair, and dresser, plus extra towels and sheets (which your guests, not you, will change). Take digital pictures of the room, and post an ad on Craigslist’s temporary-housing board offering a room between three nights and three weeks. I ask for $70 a night, not unreasonable for a furnished room in a perfect neighborhood (Tribeca). Spell out every last detail in your ad, giving a thorough description of your place, check-in and check-out times, and any kitchen rules. Ask potential tenants to write a bit about themselves, and—this is key—trust your first impressions. Without fail, people unconsciously warn you of their craziness: “I’m looking forward to sampling the B&D clubs in your area,” and “You sound so much more reasonable than the last moron I rented from—may he rest in peace.” These are not your people. Here’s the big surprise: Nearly all 100 tourists I’ve hosted have been thoroughly honest. Many even brought gifts. I spend about 25 minutes per guest, and that includes the five minutes of small talk when they arrive. You’re probably wondering about sex. Yes, I’ve hooked up a few times, but that’s to be expected when you’re housing a large number of attractive and adventurous travelers. Just don’t grope the guests.


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