Friday, June 3, 2011

Preparing Your House For Vacation

Vacation season is about to begin for us. And while packing up to hit the road is obviously top priority, there are some great things you can do to make coming home even better.

LISTS!! I am a big list maker and I love going over them! I have a master beach (or any trip packing) list. I also make lists for getting ready for vacations. Here are some tips for when you return home from a trip.

Ask a neighbor or friend to keep an eye on your house while you are away, bring in the mail, any packages, or contact your post office and put a hold on things until you return.
Ask your friend/neighbor to take the trash out on trash day. We do this ourselves before we leave for two reasons - we have more trash then the average person and I'd feel bad to have anyone else carry all that out to the end of our driveway, also, the trash company comes the day after we leave. I just ask our neighbor to bring back the empty cans.

Be sure to leave emergency contact information with your neighbor or friend. If you will be unreachable leave the name and number of someone else to contact in case of emergency.

Have pets? Arrange for pet care, either by boarding or having someone come look in on your pets. Double check to be sure you have enough food and any other supplies for your pet for a few days beyond your planned trip, just in case. Leave your veterinarian’s contact information, too.

Clear your cabinets, frig and pantry of any fresh fruit or veggies and leftovers. You do not want to return to fruit flies or bad smells.
Empty all inside trash cans so that you return to the sweet smell of home, not garbage.
I also scrub my sinks and drains before I leave for vacation.

Our house definitely has that lived-in look. Well, maybe it has that really lived-in look. The week before we leave, I like to attack the clutter and make things look nice for our return. I don’t strive for perfection, but I do a few things so that when I come back, it can be more of a fresh start.

Double check that all your bills due while away have been paid or are scheduled to be paid.

Think about your first meal back at home. Will you be arriving late at night and want to be sure to have milk early the next morning? (Organic milk typically has a very long expiration date. Get a fresh carton before you go and leave it sealed.) Or will you be arriving in time for dinner and want to bypass fast food on the way home? Think about what foods you can have on hand to welcome you so you aren’t scrambling.

Make a post-trip to do list. Look over your calendar for what is coming after the trip and jot a few notes of what you’ll need to do when you get back. Leave it out in a spot where you’ll be sure to see it when you return.

Have a great trip!
Smile and walk out the door, ready for a great vacation! Even if you are running late, stop, smile and bid your house adieu… Then go have a great vacation!

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