Return home from holiday organised and refreshed

We all love going away on holiday spending a week or two exploring new cities or relaxing on the beach but the build up can be pretty busy and stressful. Packing can be daunting and its important that we don’t forget any of those essential items. 

Following a simple packing guide can really help, that you don’t forget anything.

Before you go………..

Deep Clean

Give yourself time before you go to have a really good deep clean. Its will make all the difference when you return home and allow you to focus on the unpacking and holiday washing. Empty all your bins add new liners and make sure all the toilets have bleach in the pan so they smell lovely and fresh when you walk in.

Make sure your laundry is up-to date

There is no better feeling than an empty laundry basket and a non-existent ironing pile. This can be rare for busy families but challenge yourself before you go away to ensure you are up to date.  You are going to be coming home with a big pile of washing and ironing and you really do not need to add to this pile. If you are struggling for time there is no harm in using a local ironing service.

You may also be coming home to back to school, make sure uniform is all ready hanging up in wardrobes ready for that first day back and school bags packed.

Declutter as you pack

Now is a really good time to tackle any clothing clutter. When you are packing for your holiday use this time to pick bits out of the wardrobes that are no longer worn and create a pile for reselling or charity. You will be surprised at what you find that no longer fits or will just won’t wear anymore.

File away that build up of paperwork along with any old magazines and newspapers that will be out of date upon your return.

Food Delivery

If you have a regular food delivery organise this before you go so you don’t have to go to the supermarket and do a full weekly shop. You can always add to the list whilst you are away, but don’t arrange delivery for when you step in the door, delays and traffic do happen so give yourself a good few hours grace.

Ask someone to drop some fresh milk and bread into your home just before you return so you can at least have a cup of tea and toast.

Plan a meal

Cook up a health meal and pop in the freezer before you go so you can defrost and enjoy when you get home.  Holidays normally mean over eating and not eating so well so you will be probably be craving a home cooked healthy dinner. Knock up a quick Bolognese or a stew packed with vegetables.

Let your neighbours know your going away

If you get on well with your neighbours or have a friend that lives close by ask them to put the bin out for you and to water the garden flowers. This can really help as you don’t want to come home to a full bin smelling awful or dead flowers that you have been keeping  so well all summer.

Don’t jump straight into socialising

Give yourself a few days before you start to out again with friends and try not to organise any gatherings at your house. Ease yourself back in gently.

Back to work

If you can and have the flexibility book an extra day into your diary so you can give yourself time to adjust after your holiday. There is nothing worse that coming home in  the early hours of the morning and then having to be at work for 9am.

Keep your out of office on

Use this tool to your advantage and don’t switch it off until you have caught up.

Check your family calendar

Look at your calendar a few days before you are due home so you are not surprised by meetings or events that are going to sneak up on you for the up and coming week.


Holiday packing and preparation

If you’re jetting off soon, I have put together some top tips plus a handy checklist to make sure you’ve got everything covered. Then all you need to worry about is whether to hit the beach or the sights when you arrive.

Dig out your passport

Checking your passport a few months in advance is something few of us would think about doing, yet it’s imperative you do – otherwise your holiday could be over before it’s even started!

Be aware that there are also some countries that require your passport to be valid for a particular period from your date of arrival. For example, the United Arab Emirates, Kenya and Turkey all require a minimum period of six months to be left on your passport from your date of entry. 

Organise your furry friends

That way, you can sit back and relax while you’re away knowing that they are being looked after too.

If you have decided to take your pet away for the first time take along their usual bed and favourite toys. So they have familiar items with them.

Organise your Home

Ask our neighbours to put out your dustbins and water any flowers and do the same in return for them. You do not need to be over friendly with your neighbours to ask this but its great to know that we can all support each other when we go away.

Make sure you leave your home secure. Double and triple check doors and windows and make sure you have cancelled any deliveries.

It is also a good idea to also invest in some light timers

Remember that if you were to suffer a break-in while you were on holiday and you had not secured your home properly, your insurance could be deemed invalid – so taking the time to do this really is important.


Organise your travel documents

Don’t leave any travel money to the last-minute, the cheapest rates are always found online.

Keep a travel wallet in your hand luggage and include in this your driving licence, boarding passes (always handy to have a paper copy incase you lose your phone), hotel and car hire information and keep in the order in which you will need them. Along with the passports.

It is also a really good idea to write down emergency contact numbers in case you lose your phone. plus write down your passport number and keep this safe maybe a copy in your suitcase and a copy in your hand luggage.

 Do not forget your EHIC card if you’re travelling in Europe.

Organise your Suitcases

Make sure you invest in good quality hard-wearing and lightweight suitcases. These Kono hardshell 3 piece sets are amazing value and come in a range of colours.  These are such great value ,spacious and very practical.

Don’t leave the packing to the very last-minute

Never leave packing to the last-minute, it will only stress you out and get your holiday off on a very bad foot. Start to think about packing a good week in advance. Use a clothes rail and put this up in a spare room or one of your bedrooms and start to plan what you are going to take. This will also stop you from wearing them again before you travel. Try and pack minimalist and choose outfits that be can dressed up and dressed down and that are easy to style.

Start to organise your toiletries, make up, sun creams, books and electronics.

Packing cubes are an absolute must! for making packing a breeze and keeping you organised.

If you prefer to travel with fewer bags, packing cubes enable you to compress your belongings into easy-to-pack sizes that better use the full capacity of your suitcase and will end up with less wasted space.

A well-organised suitcase can mean that you only have to take one, instead of two or even three. This can save you lots of hassle when checking into airports or carrying around your luggage in a busy city. 


Don’t forget to save bag space for any travel purchases you are planning to make.

Create a master packing list.

Make sure you know what you luggage allowance is if you are flying. Over-packing and being stuck at the check-in desk with luggage that’s too heavy can really start your holiday off on the wrong foot. Weigh your cases using some Digital luggage scales and take them with you for the journey home as dirty washing does weigh more than clean.

Use my packing checklist this way you won’t forget anything. Don’t forget those core basics such as currency, adaptors and your first aid kit

Check the weather so you pack accordingly and always take a lightweight jacket as night-time temperatures can be cooler even abroad.

Small travel bottles are also great to help you save space and allow you to only take what you need, use for your shampoo, body wash, facial creams and any cleaning products you wish to take.

Travel bottles

Handheld steamer

If you are not much of a roller or folder then I would definitely recommend that you take a Handheld Steamer with you. Even if your hotel room has an iron, I never find them any good and remember steam will release creases and refresh allowing you to wear an item more than once.

Hand Luggage

Other than my essential travel documents and entertainment, take a change of light weight cloths, just in case your luggage goes a stray, always good to be prepared and It’s generally recommended that you take your valuables with you in your hand luggage, again in case of lose or damage it’s better to have items such as your watch, jewellery, camera or laptop in your hand luggage.


How to remove suncream stains

Suncream can be a real pain to get out and the longer you leave it the worse it is going to get.  If you are out and about when the stain occurs you are naturally going to wipe the stain with a tissue or a wet wipe but the heat from the sun and perspiration can activate the grease even more making it much worse. Try to gently blot to absorb as much as the cream as you can or if you have your hand sanitiser with you, cover the stain and this will stop if from spreading.

This is a fantastic old school tip but If you are at the beach cover the stain with sand to dry out the stain.

Try to prevent Suncream stains always rub the suncream into your skin really well and wash your hands straight after application. If you are travelling with suncream always place it in a safe secure plastic travel pouch bag or place inside two carrier bags and wrap tight. There is nothing worse than getting to you destination opening your suitcase to burst suncream.

My Advice to remove suncream 

As soon as you can rinse the stain from the reverse under a cold water tap, this way the stain is being pushed out of the fabric and hopefully flushing out as much as the stain as possible.

White vinegar

Sun cream has an oil base so you need something to break that down, one of my go to products is white vinegar. Simply cover the stain in the vinegar then leave for a good 30 minutes to really allow the vinegar to work and wash as normal.

Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil has magical stain removal qualities when it comes to greasy marks – and it smells incredible.

Coat your stain in the stuff, leave for 15 minutes, then wash as normal.

If the staining was really bad then you may need to repeat but don’t panic as it will come out.


For light coloured clothes where the sun cream may have stained the fabric yellow, try hanging your clothes out in the sun to dry after the wash. The sun is great at naturally bleaching whites in a natural way. If the stain is really not budging, squirt some lemon juice on it first.

If you are due to travel soon then don’t forget my Holiday organisational planners which can help with your packing and ensure all those needed jobs are done before you travel.

Bikini washing

How to look after your swimwear this summer.

Swimwear can be expensive and leaning how to take care of your items is important and it will keep your items looking great all summer. Whether you use your swimsuit daily or just once in a while when on holiday, the fabric can take a beating from pool chemicals,hot tubs, sand, temperatures and sun creams.

As you come out of the sea or pool make sure you rinse your swimwear so that all of the salt and chemicals are rinsed out. When your at the beach don’t be tempted to lay it out on a rock to dry as the salt will stop it from drying out fully and the sun will make the colour fade. You can rinse your costume out while you are wearing if there’s a beach side shower facility, or you can take it off and find a public bathroom with a sink to give it a wash. If all else fails, take an empty bucket, put some bottled water into it, and rinse.

Always wrap your swimwear in a towel and squeeze out as much of the water out as you can. Try to roll your swimming costume into the towel rather than wringing it out as, if you wring it out, you’re likely to bend any wires and put any padding out of shape. Even if your swimwear is quite a simple one with no adornments it’s not good for the material to be overstretched could find that you end up with a saggy bottom and I am sure you don’t want that!
When at home and able to wash your swimwear you can put straight into the washing machine, but if you have a laundry bag then zip the swimwear inside to prevent anything else rubbing against the delicate fabric. It’s also best if you can use a delicate detergent  or if you have swimwear that is covered in lots of appliques or beads it might be worth your while to wash it by hand. Either way you need to make sure that all of the detergent is out afterwards or else it can damage the hi-tech fabric. Put it through an extra rinse if you’re not sure. Then finally, if possible, dry flat and out of the sun to avoid it losing it’s shape and colour.

Follow these rules and your swimwear should look just as good at the end of the summer as it did at the beginning.

Thanks for reading
Queen of Clean xoxox