Your bags are packed. You’re ready to leave. Before you head out the door, here are 4 things to clean before vacation.
There’s just something about knowing that I’ll be gone for a while that makes me want to get all my homemaking ducks in a row.
I come by this habit honestly: I watched my mom scrub and scour our family home before any trip. So now, as a wife and mom, I scrub and scour my own home. Everything has to be just so, so that when my husband and I close and lock the doors to our house, it looks more like a model home.
And I’m passing this trait along to my family, too. For the past five years, my husband, kids and I hurry to clean up the outside of our home before vacation, too. We rush around, weeding, mulching, and mowing to leave a nice looking home for our neighborhood. It’s like we try to create a Stepford house … and then we escape to our getaway.
While it might sound like we’re leaving our home in ideal condition, it’s exhausting. And we’re more than ready for a break when we pack up and leave.
Why come home to a clean home?
Inevitably, I make the vacation preparation process so much harder on myself as I plan and pack for our trip – and then rush to majorly clean our house.
But it’s just so welcoming to finally come home … and everything is clean. (That is, it’s clean until I start unpacking.)
Practically speaking, there’s no way I’d want to come home after a restful vacation to a messy house. It’s tough enough to leave our fun getaway, unpack, look at my souvenirs (by the way, I love these creative ideas!), and settle back into everyday life when I’m used to living in vacation mode.
Because I know it’s one of my most effective motivations to clean, I absolutely welcome vacation preparation.
(Sometimes, though, I think my need to clean may stem from a little bit of paranoia – if something happens to me on my trip and I don’t return home on the expected date – I want people to find a clean home.)
What you need to make sure you clean before you leave
You may not feel a need to deep clean your home before you leave for a trip. And that’s OK.
But I have to warn you … if you don’t clean certain areas of your home before you leave for an extended time, you’ll be welcomed home with disaster.
Believe me. One year I was sure I had cleaned everything. But after one week away, I was shocked to come home, open my door, and be welcomed by the stench of a rotting potato.
Ever since that trip, I check how old any potatoes or onions are before I leave them for a week.
So what should you clean? Here are 4 areas you’ll definitely want to make sure you clean before you leave:
Make sure you empty all the trash cans and garbage cans in your home. And make sure to flush the toilet, while you’re emptying things.
2. Refrigerator and pantry
Eat, drink, or throw away anything that may spoil. Like old potatoes. Or milk.
Make sure all wet laundry is out of your washing machine and dried. If possible, take the dried clothes out of your dryer so they don’t get completely wrinkled.
If you’re drying them late at night before you leave and you don’t feel like putting them all away before you leave early in the morning, simply fold them and neatly stack them in your dryer. I’ve done it before. It works.
4. Dirty dishes
Make sure to wash your dishes before you leave. If at all possible, put them away, too.
Other areas to clean
Aside from those essential areas, you may want to:
- Make your bed.
- Do a quick clean of your bathroom. (Make sure any damp bath towels are hung up to dry properly.)
- Pick up clutter.
- Put clean laundry and dishes away.
- Mop and vacuum your floors.
Now that everything is cleaned, get ready to leave … and have a wonderful vacation!
When you clean before vacation, what do you always make sure you do?
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