What to Clean Before your Vacation

Vacation, all you ever wanted. Vacation, had to get away?

These inspiring Go-Go’s lyrics may pop into your head during the middle of winter, or perhaps when you’re at the office with no window view.

Sometimes, we just need to get away. But before you get away, you have to take care of a few things.

There’s nothing more annoying than coming back from your trip to a dirty house. You’re exhausted and probably cranky that you have to go back to work or school, so why would you leave that extra chore for yourself? Do yourself a favor and do the cleaning BEFORE you go on your trip. You’ll come back home fully relaxed and ready to spend the evening or weekend in preparation for getting back to reality. Today, I’m going to write to give you some tips on the cleaning you’ll need to do before your vacation. Trust me, it’s worth it.

•  Clean out the refrigerator. The first thing you should do is get rid of all your produce. Now, I hate to see perfectly good food go to waste, so try to eat as much of it as you can before tossing it. If you leave it to rot, it will do just that–rot. Depending on how long you’ll be gone, you might want to go ahead and drink the rest of the milk as well, as it can also go bad very quickly. Basically the only thing you want to have left in your fridge are basics like condiments, butter, some juices, and soda if you drink it.

• Take out the trash. This is a MUST. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone away for a weekend and left the trash, only to come back to a putrid smelling house. Do this right before you walk out the door, so you don’t have to make repeat trips.

•  Run your garbage disposal. This is another must-do before you leave. It can have the same smelly effect as not taking out the trash. Believe me, it won’t be pretty.

•  Do the dishes and put them away. The kitchen is typically in the front of the house, and the sight of dirty dishes when you  first walk in is not going to put you in the brightest of moods.

•  Wash your sheets and bedding. If you have time do this, it’s a wonderful thing to come home to. If you don’t have time or you just don’t want to make the bed, just leave all of the linens at the edge of the bed. This is also a good opportunity to air out your mattress.

Water all the plants. Don’t let your green friends die while you’re vacationing! If you’ll be gone a while, consider asking a friend or a trusted neighbor to come over and water the plants. Leave some yummy food in the refrigerator or a gift card to their favorite restaurant to say “thanks.”

•  Make sure all the laundry is done. You’ll have enough laundry to do when you come back home from your trip. Make sure you have all the clothes washed, dried, and put away before you leave. And also, if you have pets I would suggest to leave the washer and dryer doors open. Cats especially have a tendency to crawl in small spaces and hide out, so just be SURE before you close the door. If you’re just going out of town for the weekend, cats will typically be fine without anyone checking on them. Just make sure to leave enough food and water. Dogs and other pets will need special attention. I suggest hiring a sitter or checking them into a kennel.

Finally, remember to enjoy yourself! If you don’t get all of these things done, don’t sweat it. (You are going on vacation to relax, afterall.) If there are a few extra flies or some pet stains on the floor when you get back, it won’t be the end of the world. I promise.