Receiving guests in your home requires a certain organization beforehand so that everything is taken care of: cleaning your house, preparing the cards, dropping off the keys, buying small welcome gifts...
This organization seems even more delicate when you make consecutive exchanges. This implies that you leave your house to two different guests during your exchange. You are therefore not able to return home to prepare the house by yourself between the first and second hosts.
So, we asked our members, through our weekly Wednesday survey on our Facebook groups, how they manage this estate remotely and....
Here’s how HomeExchangers manage their consecutive exchanges!
1) You ask and trust that your first guests leave your home as they found it
Many of you trust your first guests to leave the house in the state that they found it. It is therefore a matter of defining the small household chores to be done before they leave the house.
"I prepare for Family 1 - Family 1 prepares for Family 2 and Family 3 for us! I leave a list with names, details and dates on the fridge. I leave one laundry basket per family with sheets, towels, kitchen towels and welcome gifts for the family. We've been doing this for three years now and it's always gone smoothly. I put the 2/3 families on a WhatsApp group too!"
-Julie, 27 exchanges
"I make very clear instructions and prepare everything for them and tell the first guests it has to be the same way for the next. I write different welcome letters and buy different gifts depending on who they are (children or not). I have a big box with tourist information in different languages. I prepare the beds and ask them to do the same and tell them how many guests they will be. I also ask them to leave a note for the next with good ideas for trips or tips for what to do! Mostly they are experienced Home Exchangers and know what others expect to have a nice stay!"
- Jannicke, 49 exchanges
2) You ask a relative or a friend to come between the two groups of guests to prepare the house.
Sometimes, when possible, the first option can be supplemented by the help of a relative to ensure that the house is left in good condition and to arrange the final details.
"I ask the first family to leave the house as they found it and I have the neighbour check the house as an exit inventory".
- Angélique, 25 exchanges
"We have done a number of back to back exchanges. Each time our guests have left our home In a great condition. However, my daughter will always check that everything is in order. Sometimes she will need to tweak a minor thing, but generally all good. We always leave food & a small local gift, so my daughter will ensure that those goods are in place."
- Vicki, 15 exchanges
3) You ask a professional cleaner to come and clean the house in between the two exchanges
To avoid any problems or unpleasant surprises, many of you hire a professional to take care of household chores.
“On our side, our housekeeper does the housework between our departure and the arrival of the first guests, between each guest and before our return. Of course, everyone leaves the house in a normal state. In this way, everything is cleaned as usual: the beds are made and the towels changed before each arrival."
-Valentin, 4 exchanges
“I tell family 1 to leave the apartment as clean as when they arrived. I pay a cleaning lady to come back to make sure that everything is clean. In short, whether family 1 cleans or not, I use a cleaning lady "
-Lila, 50 exchanges
Everyone has their own way of doing things
Of course, these options are not contradictory and may even complement each other:
"Actually, all three. That's what happened this summer but at my sister's house. The first family was asked to leave it clean, then I went to see the apartment, and had the cleaning lady's number just in case. But apart from redoing the bed and putting out a little welcome gift, everything was fine"
- Celia, 2 exchanges
Some of you might be more cautious of doing consecutive exchanges because the idea of it might seem intimidating but it’s a common practice with experienced HomeExchangers. We hope that with their tips and recommendations from their experiences over the years, it’ll give you more courage to give it a go!
The key: communication it with your exchange partner
Like for the other aspects of home exchanging, there are no specific rules: every HomeExchanger has his/her preferred way of making the cleaning arrangements, and that's perfectly fine! The most important thing, as we always remind you, is communication. We strongly recommend you discuss this before finalising the exchange with your exchange partners, to make sure you're all on the same page!
A guide to help you prepare for your exchange
If you feel like you need a little reminder about what to communicate on before an exchange, don’t hesitate to read our second HomeExchange guide about preparing for your first exchange. Even if it’s not your first time, it could still be a useful reminder for you ;-)Download the guide!