Living near the coast is all about embracing the beachside lifestyle. It’s about kicking back and enjoying the warm sea breeze, the fresh air and the sound of the waves crashing on the shore.
But despite the chilled lifestyle, there are still chores to do. And spring cleaning is a big one, especially if you tend to bring the beach with you whenever you return home. Whether you live permanently in your coastal home or it’s a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life, it’s still a good idea to keep it clean.
Here are some tips to get it spick and span.
1. Manage your expectations
Spring cleaning isn’t just about making sure everything is neat and tidy. It’s also about decluttering. There’s something about spring that just screams ‘declutter’. But the first thing to ensure when you’re looking internally at the home is to manage your expectations. Don’t expect everything to happen overnight and don’t expect too much of yourself – especially if this is part of your holiday.
Who wants to spend hours upon hours cleaning and tidying up? To make it go faster, assign each family member a task or a room. Set out a timeline of when you hope things will be achieved and get to it. Pop some music on in the background and really make it fun. It’s also a great idea (and an excellent incentive) to have something fun planned for afterwards as a nice family reward.
2. Make a list
There’s no point in starting your task in an ad hoc manner. Draw up a list of things you want to do. This will not only ensure your time is spent wisely, but it will also ensure that the jobs you want done actually get done. Plus, is there anything more satisfying in life than ticking off chores from a to-do list?
Simply wander around the house and inspect each room. Note down any job you want done in that room. Then get cracking.
3. Get your equipment ready
What’s worse than spring cleaning? Starting the job and then realising you don’t have everything you need to finish it. Make a list of what you’ll need, from garbage bags to store everything you intend to chuck away or donate right through to cleaning supplies. Then head to the shops and stock up.
4. Declutter then clean
Before you even start to clean an area, make sure it’s tidy. This includes your wardrobes and cupboards. If it’s a holiday home you’re cleaning, there’s sure to be some supplies in the pantry, and kitchen and bathroom cupboards that are out of date. If you permanently live here, start with your wardrobe and go from there. Look at every item of clothing. If you haven’t worn it in the past six months, chances are you’re not going to again. Make three piles – keep, donate and toss – and be ruthless.
In the bathrooms and kitchen, go through each cupboard and drawer and do the same thing. Ditto in the living room. There may be magazines and newspapers that can be recycled or games that are broken or need to be repaired.
Once you’ve decluttered, then you can get onto the cleaning.
5. Focus on outside
First things first, grab a welcome mat. These don’t have to be plain and boring anymore. You can get some really funny, funky and patterned welcome mats that speak to your personality.
Pop a mat at every entrance to the house, regardless of how often it’s used. This means, that when someone chooses to enter via the kitchen door, there’s very little chance the mound of sand attached to their feet will follow.
You can also create an area that’s undercover where people can leave their wet things until they’re dry enough to take through the house. If you don’t want to leave these things outside for a couple of hours, consider utilising a room that is accessible from outside such as a laundry or a garage. Put up some hooks for towels and swimmers and pop a couple of baskets below for sandy shoes.
6. Pay attention to the details
Spring cleaning is all about ensuring the nitty gritty gets done. This includes all the dusting, the blinds, the windows, the insides of cupboards and drawers, and anything else you can really think of. Those pesky ceiling fans are heaven in the summer but they get dusty. The blinds may keep out the sun but they also accumulate dirt as the breeze comes in.
In terms of the windows, the salty air can present a challenge in keeping the glass clean. You may need to really scrub hard in the corners. If you want to help keep the scum away, whenever you water the garden, give the windows a quick spray with the hose. This will wash the salt away before it starts to build up.
7. Clean the gutters
So many times, people clean the house top to bottom and forget about the gutters. Spring leads into summer and is often the time of year where defensive back burning happens throughout Australia. There are some beach houses that sit within national parks or are surrounded by bush. These can be susceptible to bushfires. Spring is the perfect time to make sure your home is bushfire ready. Clear the gutters of any leaves as these act as kindling. If you’re not comfortable hopping up on a ladder yourself, this may be something for the professionals.
8. Invest in new things
The fun part of spring cleaning is that you can reassess what’s in your home. If you’re not happy with how it looks or if you think some items are dating, why not pop them up online for sale and invest in some new pieces. This can be anything from new furniture right through to new pots and pans or a dinner set.
No matter what your method or when it gets done, there’s nothing better than settling back on the deck of your nice, clean, beautiful beach house and watching the sun go down with a cold drink in hand – you deserve it!
26 / 09 / 2017