Housekeeping Inventory: Types, Managing Inventory with Example


The term inventory refers to the stocks of purchased operating supplies, equipment, and other items held for future use in housekeeping operations

Types of Inventory

Recycled inventories:

Recycled inventories are those items that have limited useful lives but that are used over and over again in housekeeping operations. Example: linens, uniforms, guest loan items, some machines and Equipments.

Non-recycled inventories:

Non-recycled Inventories are those items that are consumed or used up during the course of routine housekeeping operations. Example: cleaning supplies, small equipment items and guest supplies and amenities.

Managing Inventories

In order to manage inventories;


First determine the inventory level for all types of items used in the hotel.

Second: control the inventory level of the items. This can be done by :-

a) Developing standard policies and procedures that control the storage, issue and movement of items from the laundry and the main storeroom

b) Taking physical inventory of all items in use and in storage

c) Maintaining records


Managing Recycled inventories

  •  Linens
  • Uniforms
  • Guest loan items 
  • Machines and equipment


The executive housekeeper is responsible for the storage, issuing, use and replacement of three main types of linen inventories;

Bed – Sheets, pillowcases, mattress pads or covers

Bath – Bath towels, hand towels, specialty towels, wash cloths, fabric bath mats

Table – table cloths, napkins, banquet linens for F&B

Establishing Par Levels for Linens

When establishing linen par levels, the executive housekeeper needs to consider three things;

1) The laundry cycle; three par of linens (if the hotel change and launder linen Daily): one par-linens laundered, stored and ready for use today, a second paryesterday’s linens which are laundered today, and a third par-linens to be stripped from the rooms today and laundered tomorrow.


2) The replacement of worn, damaged, lost or stolen linen; a general rule of thumb is to store one full par of new linens as replacement stock annually.

3) The emergency situation such as power failure, equipment damage. One full

Par of linens in reserve for emergencies.

In summary, totally five par of linens should be maintained on an annual basis.

Controlling the Inventory of Linen

Storage: laundered linens should rest in storage for at least 24 hours before being used in Order to increase their life and give the opportunity for wrinkles to smooth out.

Issuing: issuing procedures ensure that each floor linen closet is stocked with its par amount at the start of each day. A floor par equals the quantity of each type of linen that Is required to outfit all rooms serviced from a particular floor linen closet. In order to determine the linen distribution.

For each floor linen closet, the followings reports are needed;


1) Occupancy report

2) Linen discard record is used to record the number of damaged and discarded linens.

3) Linen control form is used by the room attendants to record the number of soiled linens by type that are removed from guestrooms and delivered to the laundry.

 Taking a physical inventory of linen

All linens must be counted in the hotel. They may be located in the: main linen room, guestrooms, floor linen closets, room attendant carts, soiled linen bins or chutes, Soiled linen in laundry, laundry storage shelves, mobile linen trucks or carts, made-up Roll-away beds, cots, sofa beds, cribs.

Keeping records in the physical inventory of linens:

1) Linen count sheet is used to record the counts for every type of linen in each Location.

2) Master inventory control chart; is used to record the totals on the linen count sheets. Once the totals are collected, the results of the inventory can be compared to the previous inventory control to determine actual usage and the need for replacement purchases.

Managing Non cycled Inventories

  •  Cleaning supplies and small equipment items
  • Guest supplies
  • Printed materials and stationery
  • Establishing Inventory Levels for Non-recycled Items
  • The par number for a non-recycled item is a range between a minimum and maximum

Inventory quantity based on the 

  • Usage rates
  • Occupancy levels or average occupancy
  •  Frequency with which supplies are to be reordered
  • Lead time

The minimum quantity = the lead time quantity + safety Stock level


The maximum quantity = the number of days between orders / the number of days it takes to use one purchase unit + minimum quantity.

The lead time quantity refers to the number of purchase units that are used up between the time that a supply order is placed and the time that the order is actually received.

The safety stock level refers to the number of purchase units that must always be on hand to operate smoothly in the event of emergency, spoilage, unexpected delays in delivery etc.

Cleaning supplies and small equipment items

These are consumed or used in the course of routine housekeeping operations.

Cleaning supplies e.g. all purpose cleaners, disinfectants, germicides, bowl cleaners, window cleaners, metal polishes, furniture polishes, scrubbing pads.

Small equipment items e.g. applicators, brooms, dust mops, wet mops, mop wringers, cleaning buckets, spray bottles, rubber gloves, protective eye covering, cleaning cloths and rags.

Controlling the Inventory of Cleaning Supplies

Storage, Issuing and Movement of cleaning supplies:


Perpetual inventory of all cleaning supplies is used to provide a record of all materials requisitioned for supply closets. As new purchases are received by the main storeroom and as supplies are issued to floor cleaning stations, the amounts of those cleaning supplies are adjusted on the perpetual record. When the perpetual record shows that on -hand quantities.

For particular cleaning supplies have reached the minimum quantities (the order point), a requisition for sufficient quantities can be placed to bring the quantities back up to the maximum levels.

Taking physical inventory of cleaning supplies

Physical count of cleaning supplies should be made every month.

Previous physical inventory (beginning inventory) + monthly purchases – issues = ending inventory

Ending inventory – expected amounts on hand = the loss

Records that are used in physical inventory of cleaning supplies:

1) Inventory record is used as a worksheet for taking the physical count of all cleaning supplies.

2) Form for calculating expected inventories is used to determine the expected inventory for each cleaning item. The results of the physical count can be compared to the expected ending inventory. The variance gives the loss

Guest supplies

Bath soap, facial soap, toilet seat bands, toilet tissue, facial tissue, hangers, glasses, plastic trays, water pitchers, ice buckets, matches, ashtrays, wastebaskets, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, bath foam, shower caps, shower mats, sewing kits, shoe shine, cloths, disposable slippers, laundry bags, plastic utility bags, sanitary bags, emery boards, candy mints, pens, stationery, printed items such as “do not disturb” signs, fire instructions, guest comment forms, hotel or area marketing materials.


Establishing Minimum/Maximum Inventory Levels for Bath Soap

Step 1: Determine how many bars of soap are contained in a standard package.

Example: 1 case has 1000 bars of bath soap.

Step 2: Calculate how many bars of soap will be used on an average day during the hotel’s peak season (consider the occupancy level, and amount of items that would be used in each room each day).

Example: there are 200 occupied rooms and one bar of soap is used per room.

Step 3: Determine how many days it will take for the hotel’s guests to use a standard purchase unit of soap.

Example: there are 1000 bars in each case, 200 will be used each day so 1000 ÷ 200 = 5 days to use up one case of soap. In other words, one purchase unit (case) of bath soap will be used up every five days.

Step 4: Determine the minimum number of purchase units of soap that should always be in stock at any time. The minimum quantity = lead time quantity + safety stock level.

Example: safety stock level for soap is one case or enough for a five day supply and the lead time quantity is five days. So the minimum quantity is two cases (1 case for safety stock level + 1 case for lead time = 2 cases) In other words, the reorder point for soap is two cases.

Step 5: determine the maximum quantity of soap. Storage space and the frequency of orders affect the maximum quantity for soap. Maximum inventory = the number of days. it takes to use one purchase unit + the minimum quantity.

Example: soap order is done once a month, the amount of time between orders is 30 days. So 30 ÷ 5 = 6 cases; the amount of soap that will be used in 30 days is six cases. Plus the minimum quantity of 2 cases; 6 + 2 = 8 cases; the maximum quantity for soap can be established as 8 cases. When the number of soap in inventory reaches 2 cases, the executive housekeeper should place an order of 6 cases.

Source:  Raghubalan,G.(Third Edition),Hotel Housekeeping – Operations and management, Oxford University Press, ISBN-13:978-0-19-945174-6


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