With a new season comes the task of "spring cleaning"— clearing out the winter dust, shining things up, and getting ready for summer. Hopefully your summer will be full of travel, whether locally, with long-term exchanges, or in a more eco-conscious way.
However you choose to travel this summer, use the months leading up to it preparing your home and your HomeExchange profile! Here are five ways you can get started with spring cleaning to anticipate upcoming exchanges.
Update your home listing images
If it's been a few years (or decades) since you updated the photos on your HomeExchange profile, this is the time to do so! Show off the new decor, fresh coat of paint, or even the fresh vacuum your home has received in the last year. If you made any improvements to your home during the pandemic, snap a few photos and add them to your listing. It can be done in minutes and makes a huge difference in your exchange success rate.
Even if photography is not your thing, if you put in some effort and time, you can take beautiful pictures of your home that catch members' eyes and ultimately entice them to stay in your home. Here are some tips to take the best possible photos of your home.
Make your home more accessible
If you're doing some spring repairs and improvements around the house, consider making your home more accessible for travelers with disabilities. 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability. If your home is more accessible to them, your home exchange possibilities will only expand!
Check out these 12 accessibility features that could assist in making travel easier for a variety of different people with disabilities, including wheelchair users, people with visual impairments, and those with chronic illness conditions.
Complete a deep clean
Of course, no spring cleaning is complete without actually cleaning! Dust the baseboards and ceiling fans, wash your pillows, scrub the bathtub— any of those tasks you tend to put off.
Sarah McAllister, the director of Go Clean Co, told HomeExchange, "I am a fan of the deep clean (which is the system we use at Go Clean Co) one room at a time. It might take a couple of days (or lets be honest, for some of us, a week) to get your home in order but once you have done this, your home is so much easier to stay on top of at you can do quick surface cleans weekly until you need to start over again."
Sarah also recommends getting your kids involved in spring cleaning tasks. "You are not doing your children any favours by doing everything for them," she said. "These are life skills we all need to learn. The younger your kids are, the more willing they are to help out, so start them young.. Every person in a home needs to help out to keep it functioning, it should not rest on one person."
Make your home greener
No, we're not talking about the paint color! This season is a great time to think about implementing any eco-friendly changes to your home. Even small tweaks can make a big difference. HomeExchange and our members are involved in the development of sustainable tourism and are committed to caring for and respecting the environment. Consider whether you can do any of the following:
- Install solar panels in your home
- Switch to reusable wipes, straws, and napkins instead of the paper or plastic versions
- Get a clothesline to hang wet laundry instead of putting it in the dryer
- Create a system to separate and recycle the garbage and recycling
- Try not to use chemical cleaning products and switch over to more natural products
- Create a compost for organic remains in the kitchen
- Buy vegetables and other local products directly from the producer without packaging
Make sure your HomeExchange profile is updated
Take a fresh look at your HomeExchange profile and home listing and make sure you're putting the best foot forward as you prepare for your summer vacations. Is your calendar updated? Does your description reflect seasonal information? Are your favorite destinations still accurate? Updating these things will make sure your home is more visible in the search and that you can find home exchanges that are the best match.