Summer time is one the most relaxing times of the year. Hot sun, more daylight and just an overall break from the drudgery of everyday life. Summer is also a great time to vacation. One of the best parts about vacation is packing up and heading somewhere else where you have fewer responsibilities. Surprisingly for a lot of people, vacation can be just as (if not more) exhausting than regular workdays. Long days of playing in the sun are likely to leave you needing an extra day just to recover from your vacation! And, nothing’s worse than coming home from a relaxing week at the beach to a dirty, cluttered house. In the weeks up to your vacation, you can take a few steps to ensure that your home is clean before you leave, so there’s one less thing to worry about when you get back home!
Two weeks before you go:
Schedule your mail/newspapers for hold:
Log on to the post office’s website and schedule your holds. You can set the dates you’ll be out of town. Get it done ahead of time so you don’t forget in the last minute hustle. Not only will keeping your mail on hold keep your mailbox from cluttering up, it’ll keep would-be-robbers from knowing you are out of town.
Go through cupboards:
Check your cupboards and fridge for food you need to finish off before you leave on vacation. While most condiments will hold up, yogurt, eggs and other items that typically take a bit longer to go through are also more likely to spoil. Monitoring your food about two weeks out will also help you plan a grocery trip a little wiser.
One week before you go:
Tackle any yard work at least a week out. Pull weeds, mow the lawn, fertilize and keep bugs at bay. This will ensure your yard still looks put together when you get back. Now is a good time to plan for plants that need extra attention while you are away (purchase watering bulbs or ask a friend stop by for your).
Check Smoke Detectors:
The U.S. Fire Administration recommends testing your alarms at least once a month. Make sure to test them right before you leave to ensure you home is safe while you’re away. Testing only takes a minute.
Dedicate a few hours to cleaning your house from top to bottom. Sweep and wash the floors, scrub the bathroom, dust, wipe down cupboards and baseboards. It may be a little extra work, but you’ll love walking into a clean home when your vacation is over.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with last minute vacation details, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to come in for a deep cleaning session. Then you can just keep the house tidy the last few days before your trip.
Don’t forget to wash all of your towels, sheets, blankets, and pillowcases. That way you’ll get to come home to a clean bed too.
Days before you go:
Clean out the fridge: Get rid of food you won’t be eating and scrub it out. Clean the inside and outside.
Clean the disposal: Pour vinegar and baking soda down your garbage disposal to eliminate odors.
Wash, dry and fold your laundry before you leave for vacation. You may think you won’t mind a load of two when you get home. But you will. You’ll be tired and sunburnt. Save yourself a little stress and just get it done before you go.
Quick pick up:
Tidy your house quickly before you go. Run the vacuum; put the dishes away, do a quick sweep etc. Don’t forget to close all of your blinds and double check that you locked every window. (You can do a quick dusting when you check each window).
Take out the garbage:
Make sure the garbage from every room in the home is out. This is especially true of bathroom and kitchen garbage as leaving them out could have you returning to a very smelly home.
Schedule a follow-up cleaning:
If you have a regular cleaner come in, don’t forget to schedule an appointment for a week or so after you get back. If you plan to be gone for a few weeks, you may want to have someone come in shortly before you get home to dust and put things together so your home is ready when you arrive.
Here are a few extra tips for prepping before vacation:
- Adjust your thermostat so your home stays a bit warmer while you are away. This helps conserve energy (and can save you a little on your next utility bill).
- Make sure you have enough of your medications before you trip. Plan refills a day or two before you leave so you know you have enough. Additionally, take medicine and pharmacy information with you in case you lose you medication or forget them on the counter.
- Unplug electronics. Unplug the TV, the radio, the microwave, toaster, radios and other media players. If you have a DVR, you may want to leave that plugged in because it won’t record if it’s unplugged (learned that the hard way!).
- Call your credit card company to let them know the dates you will be out of town. This will keep your credit safe and prevent any hiccups if you try to pay with a card while out of state.
Taking some time to clean your home before vacation is a great way to reward yourself when you get home. Walking in the door to clean floors, no dishes, and fresh laundry can take a little of the vacation-is-over-blues away.