Spring cleaning one property can be quite the task, but two just seems like a nightmare.
Everyone has been inspired to spark joy with Marie Kondo, but when you have more than one dwelling that inspiration wears thin.
Maintenance of two places can put people off even considering the prospect of purchasing a holiday home, but the trick is to find shortcuts, hacks and clever tips to make the arduous task that little bit easier.
So, if you are delaying looking for a holiday property because of the upkeep, read these spring cleaning ideas first.
1. Peppermint spray for the windowsills and door frames
If you are someone that’s worried about coming back to their second property only to be greeted by an army of creepy crawlies then this hack may be one to remember, and perhaps even transfer to your primary home as well. All it takes is an essential oil, a spray bottle and some water.
To make the spider repellent spray put about five drops of peppermint oil in a spray bottle with about 500ml of water, add a bit of washing up liquid and vigorously shake the mixture to ensure it comes together.
The spray can then be applied to windowsills and frames, avoiding the glass, as well as door frames and around any vents where little nasties may make their way into your property. Of course some spiders may be able to bear the minty repellent, but it should dramatically decrease the number you will come across when you pay a visit to property number two.
2. Keep your fridge off and open when unoccupied
It isn’t ideal to turn up to a warm fridge but, in the interest in reducing electricity, it’s definitely recommended that in holiday homes and caravans, fridges are switched off when the property is unoccupied.
It may be a natural habit to close the fridge- even when it is turned off. By doing this, however, you are inviting nasty smells to accumulate inside the fridge, making the experience of opening and using the fridge again on your next visit an unpleasant one.
When it’s time to leave, make sure your fridge is thoroughly cleaned with the door left open. Once you return, cut a lemon in half, place one half inside the fridge, close the door and switch it on. This should guarantee a fresh fridge by the time it’s cool enough to use.
If you don’t feel comfortable leaving the fridge open, half fill a glass with bicarbonate of soda and place in the back corner of the fridge before closing the door. If the fridge has been well cleaned, this should reduce the chances of there being odour when the door is next opened.
3. Keep bedding and soft furnishings in Vacuum bags
It’s all good changing the covers when you get to your holiday home, however, depending how long you have been away, dust can accumulate on your duvet and pillows. This can leave it smelling musty and mean you’re left batting out a few months’ worth of dust before you can clamber into bed.
You can spend some time shaking out the bedding when you arrive, but that simply moves dust from the bedding to the air and other parts of the property. Instead, invest in some large vacuum bags. You can place all of your bedding in bags, seal and use a vacuum cleaner to suck the air out of the bags. Remember not to over fill the bags as this will prevent the vacuum from working correctly.
If you frequently visit your second property you may want to invest in scented drawer liners to place in the bags. These last around eight weeks, although could last longer in a vacuumed environment, and will lightly fragrance your bedding while it is being stored.
And if you’re not keen on carting duvets back home with you to wash, it might seem obvious, but, some managed holiday parks such as, Away Resorts, have their own onsite laundrettes or laundry services, allowing you to freshen everything up whilst you’re at your holiday home. So, if you’re in the process of looking for a holiday property, be sure to ask the vendor about laundry services and washing facilities, as this will be important if you do plan to let other people use your holiday home.
4. Place dehumidifiers around the property
There is the possibility that, even when the property is not in use, there may be a build-up of condensation. This can lead to mould and, even worse, damp, which can be costly to rectify. Even if you are confident all seals and vents are in good working order, it’s always safer to err on the side of caution and take preventative measures.
Purchase a few dehumidifiers and place them around your property. You can buy cheap disposable ones online – a pack of ten may only set you back £13. Of course disposable isn’t ideal for the bank or the environment but poses less of a danger than keeping something plugged into the mains while you are away.
There are longer lasting systems that will work for up to three months in a 20m² room, and instead of buying several plastic systems which are thrown away once used, this type only requires the tablets to be replaced and requires no energy sources, which is a lot gentler on the planet.
5. Non-Electric Air Fresheners
Mains air fresheners are great for quickly and consistently making a property smell nice throughout, however, if a place is vacant for long periods of time this is a waste of electricity and can also be a fire hazard, as they can get quite hot.
There are two ways to ensure your second home smells as good as your first, without involving too much risk. The first option is to spend a bit of money on a few reed diffusers, these are great for smaller spaces, so one per room would be effective. However, these can be very dangerous for little hands and paws due to the chemicals, so if you are planning on bringing young family or furry family to this property the second option may be preferable.
Car air fresheners, unsightly in a dwelling? Yes. Effective? Yes. Before you leave your holiday home, hang a few of these around. The scent won’t be overpowering but, depending how long you leave between visits, you should be greeted by a nice scent upon your return, at which point you can take them down, returning to a more pleasing aesthetic.
6. Cleaning Mattresses and Sofas
This cleaning should be done once a year at a second property and is not as complicated as it may first appear. In some cases a simple vacuuming will be enough to maintain the condition and cleanliness of sofas and mattresses. However, once in a while it’s nice to refresh these places and remove stubborn odours, particularly in a caravan where cooking smells may travel through and linger on soft furniture.
One hack that many swear by is refreshing with bicarbonate of soda. Sieve a thin layer across the mattress and leave it on there. Ideally this should be left for 24 hours, however, after half an hour of the bicarbonate of soda sitting on the mattress, you can use an old sheet and put this over the baking soda and leave until your next visit. When you return, simply vacuum away and your mattress should be refreshed.
Similarly, for fabric sofas you can do the same type of cleaning. Use a sieve to sprinkle a layer of the bicarb onto the sofa. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes. Then, using the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner scrub the bicarbonate of soda off.
There we have it, amazing spring cleaning ideas to make cleaning two properties a breeze.