Heading back home from your amazing vacation means it’s back to reality, whether it’s back to work or school. You probably would be too tired or won’t have enough time to unpack your stuff and do some spring cleaning for your travel essentials.
With the COVID-19 situation in mind, many of us have been at home and it's normal to feel restless. Whether you’re on “Stay Home Notice”, quarantined or your country’s government implemented a lockdown, you will be spending days or weeks cooped up at home. What better way to kill time than to do some spring cleaning, especially for the travel essentials from your last trip? Here's a list of 10 ways to spring clean your travel essentials!
1. Wash/Clean and Store Winter Gear
If your last trip happened to be a winter destination, we are sure you have got a mountain of winter gear such as your winter jackets, gloves, beanies and scarfs to pack. As these can be really thick, it’s best to head down to your nearest laundromat (if they are open!) to do some heavy-duty washing unless you have a washing machine at home which has the option for washing a heavy load ?
After your winter gear dries either in the dryer or under the sun, store them in a box or Ziploc bags in your wardrobe, ready for your next winter vacation. We would recommend using vacuum-sealed bags to store your thick jackets to save up space in your wardrobe.
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2. Clean or Wash Footwear
This next point is especially if your last trip was a hiking trip or a holiday out in sea. Do this as soon as possible! This is because your shoes, slippers or sandals may smell if it's left dirty or wet for a long time. Slippers and sandals can easily be washed with water and soap or detergent. Just grab a sponge and start scrubbing off the dirt.
We would recommend using an old toothbrush to brush off the dirt from the nooks and crannies of your slippers or sandals ?
Shoes, on the other hand, might prove to be a challenge as washing them with the wrong soap can actually damage your shoes. You can purchase specialised products (eg. shoe shampoo), which can be found at your local supermarket or in online stores, specifically for the cleaning of shoes.
P.S. Here's why you shouldn't stop dreaming about travelling, even if you can't do it now!
3. Organise Clothing Brought Back from Your Trip
You would probably have a mountain of clothing to unpack after reaching home but after a tiring, maybe long flight, you would probably be too exhausted to do anything. There are a few ways to make your life easier with regards to unpacking clothes ?
After washing your clothes, it's time to organise them! Firstly, you might need to empty out your closet. Purchase closet organisers. You probably have to get this online, considering the COVID-19 situation.
With the closet organisers, you can easily arrange the contents of your closet according to the type of clothing, so you know where to find them if you need it for your next trip! This is also the perfect time to sort through your wardrobe and see which clothes you don't need anymore and pack them for recycling or donation. Check out this handy guide to organising your closet from Spruce!
P.S. Make your future travels easier by getting these 9 handy and multi-purpose travel essentials.
4. Organise toiletries from hotels
A habit of many after sleeping over a hotel is to keep the hotel toiletries such as their bottles of soap and shampoo. Yes, it is not wrong to bring them back but sometimes we end up with too many of the same item. From soap to razors, these supplies can probably last you a week or 2.
Of course, you'd need to find a place to store them. So, spend just a few minutes unpacking the toiletries and placing them on your toilet shelves. Alternatively, you can place it on a display rack as travel memorabilia ?.
5. Sort Travel Documents
Now, this can really be a hassle especially if your last trip had multiple city stopovers. Most importantly, never dispose of sensitive travel documents without shredding them. These documents may include boarding passes, visas and photocopy of passports. Alternatively, instead of disposing them, how about keeping them as memorabilia?
Print out photos of your trip and stick them up on a huge frame alongside your travel documents. This shows proof that you’ve been to that country, something that you can be proud of especially if that trip has sentimental value ?
6. Organise Travel Memorabilia
Apart from bringing back travel documents, you would probably head home with a stack of admission tickets, receipts, currencies, brochures and maps from your trip. Time to sort them out!
Maps, currencies and brochures would probably be useful for the next time you visit that specific country or if any of your friends need any tips. If you have no intentions on heading back to the same city, just for memory’s sake, you can frame them up. As for receipts and admission tickets, you can either frame them up or just thrash them.
Transport cards such as Singapore’s EZ-Link cards and Japan’s SUICA or PASMO cards can be considered as travel memorabilia too. Do store them properly as you never know when you might need to use them again in your next trip ? If you need additional help in organising your travel memorabilia, we've done up a useful guide for you!
7. Clean and Wash Souvenirs
If you are looking to start displaying and using the souvenirs brought back from your trip, you should start by cleaning them. Do give your souvenirs a wipe down, if possible, disinfecting them. Kitchenware such as mugs and plates should be cleaned thoroughly using soap and water.
You can even do this for older souvenirs! If you have a fridge where you keep all your magnet souvenirs or a shelf where you display all your memorabilia, this is the perfect time to clean them thoroughly!
Wearables such as clothing should be washed. As these clouds are new, do hand wash them separately to prevent any colour run, which can affect other clothing in the same load.
8. Disinfect Luggage Bags
If you have yet to do so, do a thorough wipe down of your luggage bags. Cleaning them with a disinfectant is useful in killing the germs (and viruses) that have been lingering on the surface of your luggage bag.
Disinfectants such as Dettol Disinfectant Sprays are effective against germs and viruses on most surfaces. But do note, these disinfectant sprays are flammable so, do not spray down your luggage bags near a flame source.
Alternatively, you can wipe down your luggage bags with disinfectant wipes, which works the same as the sprays ?.
9. Clean and Store Camera and Accessories
The next point is for travel photographers, especially those who lug around their camera (or cameras) and its accessories everywhere they go.
P.S. If you are a solo traveller, do check out our photography guide for solo travellers.
The headache only starts after you head home. From cleaning lenses to brushing dust away from your camera, it will take a bit of your time (and patience) to clean your camera and its accessories ?.
Store your camera and its accessories in a dry box after cleaning them. Dry boxes can come in different shapes and sizes, at different price points. When purchasing one, do take into consideration the size and quantity of your photography gadgets.
10. Check and Store Your Travel Medication
Medication is a must for most travellers, especially for those who are not willing to spend on healthcare when they are overseas. Common medications include Panadol or Paracetamol, medications for runny nose and motion sickness medication ?.
Do check and store your travel medication in a safe place. Since you have time now, do check your travel medication for their expiry dates. These include travel sickness pills, nausea medication and so on. Expired medication should be disposed of. If you find that you're lacking in some travel medication, make a list of what you need to buy.
As most drug stores and pharmacies are open throughout this COVID-19 lockdown period, replacing your expired medication would not be too much of a hassle. This, of course, is dependent on the type of lockdown your country is in.
We hope we have given you some motivation and ideas on how to start spring cleaning your travel essentials. Once you've made use of this time and settled all your travel essentials, you'd be ready to go for a trip once the COVID-19 pandemic is over! Till then, it's time to start spring cleaning!