Spring cleaning. Just the mere thought of it exhausts me. But when you own a rental home, a thorough spring cleaning is essential. Launching into the summer vacation rental season without it can be a recipe for disaster.
To write this post, I decided to consult with experts, David and Carla Wood, former owners of a professional cleaning and concierge services and current owners of Cape Cod Linen Rentals. I asked David for his thoughts on the subject.
Why is a thorough spring cleaning so important?
In order to establish a high level of cleanliness in a home throughout the season, it is very important to perform a thorough detailed, baseline, deep, spring cleaning. From that point on, regular weekly cleanings can continue, easily maintaining that desirable level of cleanliness.
And remember, it can happen any time in the year, even twice a year. Personally, we like to have our own house done twice; spring and fall. We find that the summer and winter months involve high activity and a lot of use which in turn means lots of dust, dirt and just plain grunge.
What is the most overlooked cleaning task?
Detailing! Most folks are really good at obvious broad-stroke cleaning. But they forget to deal with odors, inside toaster ovens, toasters, blenders, coffee makers, and cleaning under furniture, behind and around toilets, in closets, high dusting, dusting inside lampshades, as well as only dusting around and not under things, doing edges and corners, baseboards, sills and the like. And let’s not forget the dirty oven… out of sight is really not out of mind for good cooking reasons as well as creating a potential fire hazard.
What is your advice on cleaning products?
Use quality products. Don’t be trendy or follow fads. Windex, 409, ammonia, diluted vinegar, a basic solution of diluted bleach, and any basic dusting product and cleansers work just fine. Use real paper towels – Bounty towels are the only brand I use. They do absorb, and they hold up and are worth whatever the cost!
What should a homeowner expect from his cleaning company?
If you have a cleaner, make sure that they are doing the job they say they are doing. Don’t accept sloppy work. Have a list of items to be included in the job. Communicate with your cleaner, and remember that they are professionals, and pay them a fair wage. They’re doing what you don’t want to do or can’t schedule. You pay for what you get. Pony up!
What if the homeowner decides to do it his/herself?
Become a cleaner if you can’t afford one. One big cleaning takes time but when it’s done, it will make the weekly cleaning so much easier and quicker.
Or work out a Cleaning Co-op; share cleaning chores with a friend or friends. Work together on a different house each week. The work will go more quickly, and misery loves company! Then go out for cocktails to celebrate!
Can you provide us with a pre-season checklist for homeowners?
Yes, click here to download a checklist to use as a guide each year. Feel free to edit the checklist to include chores specific to your own home.
Any final advice?
Do it, do it, do it! Don’t put it off!
And, remember: as unpleasant a task as spring cleaning is, there’s nothing worse than having to respond to a disgruntled tenant in the midst of the season! Presenting a clean and well-maintained home is critical.
Do you have any cleaning tips you’d like to share?