Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tip 58: Clean before your trip

With visions of myself relaxing during Memorial Day dancing in my head, I prepare to trudge through my final day of work and SOL tests (ridiculous acronym, I know -- welcome to government-mandated testing). Before we can head to freedom and the beach, Matt and I are doing a little tidying up around the house, following this advice...

Tip 58: Clean before you go on a trip out of town so that when you return to your home you'll get to feel relaxed for longer and have one less annoying thing staring you in the face.

I am not talking about any serious cleaning here. Let's face it, you're busy packing and running errands and taking care of things at work. In the middle of this, though, find about one hour you can spend tackling those unclean items you can't overlook.

Here's what Matt and I are doing:
  • Cursory vacuuming -- We're at the peak of shedding season in our house, to the point that I was so disgusted Saturday morning that Matt vacuumed a day ahead of schedule. So, by vacuuming today, it didn't take long, and we are making it so that we won't have to come home and immediately vacuum.
  • Mop hardwood floors -- It had been too long, and we tried something new. More on that later.
  • Wipe the dog wet-nose smudges from the front windows and door -- Notice I didn't say wash the windows, just eliminate the obvious offending marks.
  • Clean the bathroom counters -- For some reason, they seem really dirty.
  • Quick clean of the interior of my car -- We always take my humble 2003 Mazda Protege on our road trips because of its automatic transmission and extra space in the back for the dogs (this is compared to Matt's 2003 Volkswagen GTi, which is both smaller and has a manual transmission).

And here are a few other chores we always handle before running away:
  • Unplug all appliances, within reason (most are already unplugged, but I like to do a final check)
  • Empty trash and recycling, so as not to come home to anything smelly
  • Clear the sink 
  • Refill dog food container, if someone else is taking care of the dogs
  • Water plants inside and outside
Speaking of watering plants, it's come up in a number of conversations lately that many of my friends feel they can't keep a plant alive. I don't know if this is late-20s hyperbole or what, but if you honestly feel like you kill a lot of plants, maybe you should try a peace lily.

I got this one about eight years ago during college, and I've somehow managed to keep it alive. Yes, there have been times when it wilted and I felt like a bad mother, but it's always forgiving and it bounces back to life. 

But, I digress...

What are your get-out-of-town rituals?

1 comment:

  1. I would definitely add Going Through the Fridge to the list. Anything that will go bad during the time that you're gone should be in that last trash run - Worst.Chore.Ever. if you wait until after the vacation :)