With the excitement of an impending holiday and the mayhem of packing bags and rifling out passports, it’s easy to forget to prepare your home before you leave for a holiday. Executive housekeeper Lisa Williams from a five-star hotel, The Grand, York has shared some of her expert tips on how to perfectly prepare your home before going away. She’s also given some top advice for cleaning post-holiday.

Before you travel

Clean Your House Before You Go on Holiday

After a refreshing holiday, the last thing you need to spoil your mood is to return to a messy house. Make sure to not let the holiday excitement distract from the general day-to-day cleaning in the lead-up to your holiday. Lisa advises that “aside from the general cleaning of all surfaces, make sure to run a vacuum through the floor or sweep up any crumbs to avoid the unwanted arrival of pests. Alongside this, make sure all rubbish bins are emptied and bug spray is always a good added prevention step.”

Prevent Dust Build up Whilst Your Away

Dust can naturally build up if your home is left for a while but there are some easy steps to prevent this from becoming too much. Lisa recommends “put on a clean set of bedding before you leave, as not only will this prevent dust build-up, but it will also be a relief to dive into a fresh bed after a tiring journey.” She also advises leaving a compact dehumidifier in each room before you leave which is great for reducing dust buildup.

Keep Your Home Smelling Fresh

Without a consistent flow of fresh air, your home may fall victim to nasty smells. Lisa’s hack for keeping the house smelling fresh whilst you’re away is to “add a tiny bit of pine sol to a clean toilet bowl. This is an odour combatant and is sure to keep any bad smells at bay whilst you’re gone.” She also adds that “generally, for a fresh smell, indoor plants are preferred over artificial fragrances. Jasmine, eucalyptus, and gardenias clean the air and offer a light, clean smell whilst being beautiful to look at when you’re back home.”

On holiday

Helping Housekeepers When Leaving a Room

When your holiday is almost over and you are leaving your accommodation, Lisa shares that little things that are often overlooked such as “gathering all towels, disposing of rubbish and leaving the bed unmade are things that make the life of any busy housekeeper, that little bit easier.”

Post-holiday clean

Unpacking and Washing Your Clothes Post Holiday

Unpacking may be the last thing you want to do after a holiday but if you unpack as soon as you can you will thank yourself later. To avoid a build-up of washing Lisa advises to “unpack and put your dirty laundry straight into the wash when you get home.” She also mentions to “keep your clean clothes separate from your dirty ones in your suitcase to avoid any unnecessary washing as there will be likely already a lot to do”.

Removing Stains from Holiday Clothes

Avoid the frustration of binning your favourite holiday clothes due to tricky stains. Lisa shares that to remove suncream off clothing “spot treat the affected area with de.solv stain remover, flush with cool water, and then rub a little washing liquid detergent into the affected area. Be careful not to try this with silk material.” For ice cream stains, she recommends that “as most flavours contain grease, protein, and pigment, they can be easy to remove by rubbing a small amount of liquid detergent on the stain.”

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