One of the best feelings after a vacation is coming home to a clean house after a tiring trip. Cleaning may be the last thing on your mind as you tie up loose ends for your much-awaited trip. It’s better to get things done now than to deal with them when you get back. Besides, you wouldn’t want to spend the last few days of your break doing chores before you have to get back to work.
That said, here’s a list of things that you shouldn’t forget to clean before leaving for vacation.
Give your floors a good clearing up with a vacuum cleaner or a mop, especially in high-traffic areas. Dust can still accumulate on your floors while you’re gone, and it’s better to return with a minimal amount of dirt in your house after your trip. Better yet, hire a carpet cleaner to give your carpets a real deep clean, especially if you’ve been putting it off for a while.
Nothing screams “reality check” more than a pile of laundry that you left unwashed before you went on vacation. Do your laundry now so that you have one less chore to worry about when you get back. In addition, you’ll have enough clothes for the week ahead of you. Doing laundry before going on vacation will also give you the chance to pack outfits that you forgot were in the hamper.
Accumulated trash can attract all sorts of pests when left undisturbed for too long. You will also have to deal with full trash cans if you fail to take out the trash on collection day. If you won’t be able to catch the garbage collectors before you leave, take out the trash at the very least. If your bins are full, ask a neighbor or a friend to put your trash out on the curb on collection day.
Don’t forget to do the dirty dishes in the dishwasher before you leave. The food debris on your dishware can rot and even grow mold if you’re going away for too long. Moreover, it’s another chore that you won’t have to deal with while resting after your long trip. The last thing you want is to not have any dishes to use while relaxing with your post-vacation meal.
Lingering waste on the toilet can have you coming back to a less-than-pleasant surprise when you get home. Furthermore, the trap underneath can dry out if left unused for too long, allowing the smell of sewer to rise to your bathroom. If you are going to be gone for more than a few days, clean the toilet and give it an extra flush to prevent bacteria from emitting foul smells. Better yet, ask someone to come over and flush your toilets and run your faucets every once in a while to prevent the traps from drying out.
Food residue in the garbage disposal can rot and emit all sorts of nasty odors after quite some time. Avoid coming home to unpleasant smells in your kitchen by pouring white vinegar or some other scent neutralizer down the garbage disposal and running it a few times. It’s also a good idea to toss in a few citrus peels while it’s running to freshen up the smell.
Clearing out your refrigerator is a must before you leave for vacation, especially if you’re going to be gone for more than a few days. Eat, cook, toss, or give away anything that can spoil while you’re away. You can also freeze perishables to extend their shelf life, or perhaps bring them with you as travel snacks and meals. Don’t forget to clean the inside of the refrigerator as well to prevent food spills from decomposing and growing mold.
If your bedsheets are due for a change, it’s better to do it now than have to do it when you get back, as you will likely be exhausted from traveling. Toss them in with the laundry, too, so that you have fresh sheets when you come home from vacation. If you’re going to be gone for long, it may also be a good idea to put a top cover on your bedsheets so that you don’t sleep on accumulated dust.
Pet food bowls
Residue in pet food bowls can attract pests and even decompose (unless the food is dry). Give them a good wash before leaving and keep them inside the cabinet until you get back.
Get rid of any lingering crumbs or spills on your counters to prevent your kitchen from being a beacon to pests. After your last meal before vacation, give your counters a good wipe with a wet rag and a kitchen towel.
Coming home from vacation can come with a melancholy feeling, but it can also be stressful when you return to a long list of chores. By tackling these cleaning tasks now, you have more time to rest and fewer responsibilities to worry about when you get home.