Summer is here and with it, long weekends away! My best friend runs events for a magazine with a big presence in the Hamptons so we spend a lot of time out there (we are so lucky as we have a free place to stay out there – our friend’s mom has a cute cottage behind her house in Sag Harbor.) There’s nothing better. The second we get out of the city and into the fresh air I immediately feel lighter and less stressed out. This is my second summer going out to Sag Harbor most weekends… but in the past, my ex-boyfriend and I rented a house with a few other couples. It’s always the most fun but it definitely requires a little bit of planning ahead.
Today I’ve teamed up with Clorox to share some tips and tricks for having the best summer getaway yet… along with some helpful cleaning tips. Although it isn’t particularly glamorous (or at the top of my to-do list when I’m on vacation, ha ha), it’s important to me to take good care of the space, especially when sharing such close quarters with a bunch of your friends. Poolside cocktails, grilling al fresco… these are my favorite things but if you’re not careful, things can get messy (and germy) really quickly. Here are a few of my favorite tricks and tips.
The new Scentiva™ products smell sooooo good and do an amazing job cleaning, deodorizing, and disinfecting in a single step. And they won’t take up much room in your travel bags, either. I have the Tuscan Lavender & Jasmine in my home in Brooklyn and am taking the Hawaiian Sunshine (lime, citrus, mandarin, pineapple) out East with me. I use the wipes on pretty any hard non-porous surface like my stainless steel appliances or sealed granite countertops. It’s great for most washable surfaces. If you are using them on something that comes into contact with food after, be sure to do a quick rinse with water. The multi-surface cleaner is great for tackling larger jobs like tiled walls, sinks, mirrors, and other hard non-porous surfaces.
Make dinner reservations ahead of time!
Not all restaurants out East accept reservations, but a lot do. In Montauk (my favorite Hampton but so far!) I love The Surf Lodge (get a reservation ahead of time) and The Crow’s Nest (they don’t take reservations so get there early, have some rosé and oysters at the outdoor bar, but be prepared to wait a bit for dinner). Gurney’s is also amazing during the day. As we stay in Sag Harbor, we typically stick to there or East Hampton. Last summer our favorite spot was Moby’s, but it closed this year which makes me so, so sad – the back yard there was the most fun! In Sag Harbor I love Dopo la Spiaggia, Le Bilboquet, Baron’s Cove, and Lulu’s. And a newer obsession is Bay Kitchen Bar – they have the best clambakes and seafood.
Pack the perfect travel bag.
I take my small carry-on and a beach tote. That way when I get there I can easily drop everything and get to the beach or lounge by the pool. In the tote I keep things for the train (laptop, a good book) and all the things I want readily accessible (water, snacks, a big towel which can double up as a blanket if I’m cold on the train, sunscreen, beach wave spray, nail polish in case I chip my manicure or pedicure, and a thermal water mist to cool off/keep my skin hydrated). I am a massive fan of Clorox Scentiva Disinfecting Wipes as they get things seriously clean without a lot of work… killing germs (99.9% of them), bacteria… even removing kitchen grease! Since summer shares are a virtual breeding ground for germs and viruses (hiiii, when you’re sharing a house with a dozen friends you need to be careful!) AND nobody wants to get sick in the summer, I consider them to be a must. I pack them in my carry-on bag (along with all of my other musts Clorox Bleach Pen as I’m clumsy but love to wear white) when I head out to the Hamptons, but really, if I had a car I would just keep them in my trunk or glove compartment as they are the best at cleaning something in a pinch.
Stock up + divide and conquer!
Summer share prep can be a drag. We’ll usually divide and conquer… one person will do the liquor store, another will do the grocery store, another the butcher, and we’ll send another one to pick up essentials (pool floats, grilling supplies, etc).
Take turns with coffee/bagel duty.
My friends and I are obsessed with The Golden Pear’s iced coffee. We take turns going… assigning someone bagel and coffee duty every morning. It makes it easier and then not everyone has to wake up/deal with the massive lines!
Plan to get around!
The best news ever is that the leading car-sharing services will work out East this summer! You might remember that it was basically unusable from Sag Harbor to Montauk (it worked in South Hampton) but new legislation is allowing it to work. Let’s all rejoice as cabs are SO expensive (and not necessarily reliable) out there.
Have a rain plan with non-beach things to do.
There is a lot of great shopping in town, but also… wine tasting and pop-ups! For wine tasting, love Wolffer (I mean who doesn’t!) and all of the pop-ups. There are SO many pop-ups. I am probably most excited to check out the One Kings Lane House and the St. Frank Pop-Up this summer. There’s also a cool Brazilian swimwear brand called Agua de Coco which is opening up a pop-up in East Hampton. I mean, there are a million pop-ups (and usually they’re serving rosé) so my favorite thing to do on a rainy day out East is to wander around the main streets of town, pop into the different pop-ups, get ice cream, and have a glass of wine with lunch.
Here are a few more favorite summer cleaning tips & tricks!
Make it a rule to put all food away and keep surfaces clean. This is an obvious one but makes a big difference, especially with bugs and pests.
Disinfect your Trash. Why does the trash smell extra bad in the summer? Okay we know the answer to that question – the heat makes the germs multiply. Ew. I also cook a lot more in the summer, making lots of fresh salads and grilling. All that produce smells terrible though after a day or two. I find myself taking out my trash more frequently, but I try to clean my trash cans as frequently as possible. The best way to sanitize them is to wash garbage cans with soapy water and rinse. Dilute ½ cup of Clorox® Regular Bleach with 1 gallon of water. Swish mixture on the inside of the trash can. Let the solution stand for 5 minutes before rinsing. You can use this trick for coolers too.
Eliminate Water Rings! Okay I am a little bit OCD with the coasters (I literally keep stacks of them everywhere – on my bar cart, dining table, coffee table, even my nightstands) but in the event that you get a water ring on your wooden table, I have a secret and magical solution: full-fat mayonnaise! Yup. Just brush it onto the ring and let it sit for an hour. Wipe it off with a cloth, and the ring will be gone. Another good tip is to go at them with a blowdryer. Just blast the ring with it on high until it disappears.
Keep Pool Floats Clean! Everyone loves a good pool swan but that swan might be really, really gross and dirty, especially in a summer share. This is something that is easily overlooked but think about the germs, grease, grime, (and sunscreen) that builds up over time. You can easily wipe them down with soap and water and a soft cloth after a pool party.
Stop Dirt at the Door. If your summer share doesn’t have a doormat, pick up a cheap one… you’ll be glad you did.
What are your best summer cleaning tips & tricks?
Photography by Lydia Hudgens.
Created in partnership with Clorox.