Get ready to enjoy a relaxing summer vacation by ensuring your house is clean and tidy. Follow these expert tips to prepare your home for a stress-free getaway and return to a pristine living space.
1: Two Weeks Before Your Vacation – Organize and Secure
Schedule Mail and Newspaper Holds: Ensure a clutter-free mailbox and maintain home security by visiting the post office’s website to schedule holds for your mail and newspapers. Plan this ahead of time to avoid any last-minute hustle and let potential intruders know that your house is occupied.
Go Through Cupboards and Fridge: Prioritize food consumption before leaving for your vacation. Check your cupboards and fridge for items that need to be finished before you go. While condiments typically have a longer shelf life, perishable items like yogurt and eggs are more likely to spoil. This inventory check will also help you plan a smarter grocery trip.
2: One Week Before Your Vacation – Spruce Up the Outdoors and Deep Clean
Yard Work: Devote at least a week before your departure to tackle yard work. Pull weeds, mow the lawn, fertilize, and protect against bugs. This effort will ensure that your yard maintains an attractive appearance during your absence. Additionally, consider purchasing watering bulbs or asking a friend to stop by and tend to plants that require extra attention.
Check Smoke Detectors: Prioritize your home’s safety by testing smoke detectors before you leave. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends monthly alarm tests. Take a minute to ensure that your home is well-protected during your vacation.
Deep Cleaning Session: Dedicate a few hours to thoroughly clean your home from top to bottom. Sweep and wash the floors, scrub the bathroom, dust surfaces, and wipe down cupboards and baseboards. Though it may require extra effort, returning to a clean and fresh-smelling home after your vacation will be worth it. If overwhelmed with last-minute vacation details, consider hiring a professional cleaning service for a deep cleaning session, allowing you to focus on other tasks.
Wash Bedding: Don’t overlook the importance of fresh bedding upon your return. Remember to wash all towels, sheets, blankets, and pillowcases, so you can enjoy a comfortable and clean bed when you come home.
3: Days Before Your Vacation – Final Touches and Preparations
Clean Out the Fridge: Discard any perishable items that won’t be consumed while you’re away and thoroughly clean the interior and exterior of your fridge. This step ensures a clean and odor-free refrigerator upon your return.
Clean the Disposal: Eliminate unwanted odors from your garbage disposal by pouring vinegar and baking soda down the drain.
Laundry Preparation: Before departing for your vacation, complete all laundry tasks. Wash, dry, and fold your laundry to avoid unnecessary stress upon your return. Save yourself from having to tackle a load of laundry while tired and sunburnt.
Quick House Tidying: Quickly tidy your house before leaving. Run the vacuum cleaner, put away the dishes, and do a swift sweep of the floors. Don’t forget to close all blinds and double-check that all windows are locked. Perform a quick dusting while checking each window.
Take Out the Garbage: Ensure that all garbage from every room in your home is properly disposed of, paying special attention to bathroom and kitchen trash. Leaving garbage behind can result in unpleasant odors upon your return.
Schedule a Follow-Up Cleaning: If you have a regular cleaner, remember to schedule an appointment for cleaning shortly after your return. For longer vacations, consider arranging for someone to dust and organize your home a few days before your arrival, ensuring a welcoming environment.
4: Bonus Tips – Extra Measures for Peace of Mind
Adjust the Thermostat: Set your thermostat to maintain a slightly higher temperature while you’re away. This energy-saving measure can also lead to reduced utility bills.
Check Medication Supplies: Ensure you have an adequate supply of medications before your trip. Schedule any necessary refills a day or two before departure. Also, remember to take your medication and relevant pharmacy information with you in case of loss or forgetting them at home.
Unplug Electronics: Before leaving, unplug electronics such as the TV, radio, microwave, toaster, and other media players. However, leave the DVR plugged in if you have one, as it won’t record if unplugged. This precaution ensures energy conservation and eliminates potential fire hazards.
Notify Your Credit Card Company: Contact your credit card company and inform them of the dates you’ll be out of town. This helps protect your credit and prevents any payment issues while you’re away.
Conclusion: Investing time in cleaning and preparing your home before your vacation rewards you with a refreshing return. Imagine the joy of stepping into a pristine living space with clean floors, no dishes, and fresh laundry, alleviating the post-vacation blues. Follow these tips to ensure a worry-free trip and a welcoming homecoming.
FAQs: Preparing Your Home for a Summer Vacation
1. Why is it important to clean and prepare my home before going on vacation?
Cleaning and preparing your home before leaving for vacation ensures a clean and comfortable environment upon your return. Coming back to a tidy space reduces stress and allows you to transition smoothly from vacation mode to daily life.
2. How far in advance should I schedule holds for my mail and newspapers?
It is recommended to schedule holds for your mail and newspapers at least two weeks before your vacation. This ensures that your mailbox doesn’t become cluttered and prevents potential burglars from knowing you are away.
3. Why should I check my cupboards and fridge before leaving?
Checking your cupboards and fridge helps you identify any perishable items that need to be consumed before your departure. This minimizes food waste and prevents items from spoiling while you’re away.
4. Should I hire a professional cleaning service for a deep cleaning session?
Hiring a professional cleaning service can be a great option if you feel overwhelmed with last-minute vacation preparations. They can efficiently deep clean your home, allowing you to focus on other tasks before your trip.
5. How often should I test my smoke detectors?
It is recommended to test your smoke detectors at least once a month. Before leaving for vacation, make sure to test them to ensure the safety of your home while you’re away.
6. Why should I wash my bedding before leaving?
Washing your bedding before your vacation ensures that you come home to a clean and fresh bed. It adds to the overall comfort and relaxation when you return from your trip.
7. Can I leave electronic devices plugged in while I’m away?
It is generally recommended to unplug electronic devices to conserve energy and reduce the risk of fire hazards. However, if you have a DVR, you may leave it plugged in to ensure continuous recording.
8. Should I notify my credit card company before going on vacation?
Yes, it’s a good idea to inform your credit card company about your travel dates. This helps protect your credit and prevents any issues when using your card while you’re out of town.
9. How soon should I schedule a follow-up cleaning after my vacation?
If you have a regular cleaner, schedule an appointment for a week or so after you return from vacation. For longer trips, consider arranging for a cleaning shortly before your arrival to ensure a clean and organized home.
10. Can adjusting the thermostat saves energy while I’m away?
Yes, adjusting the thermostat to a slightly higher temperature can help conserve energy while you’re on vacation. This simple step can contribute to reduced utility bills.
Brazilian mother of two and CEO of Sparkling Clean Pro & Green Living Supplies since 2005. Working as an ecological advocate within the cleaning industry & aiding immigrant families and women at risk.