Close your eyes and picture—wait, I guess that would make it hard to read—don’t close your eyes. Instead, picture this. You return from a nice seven-day trip feeling relaxed and refreshed. But then you walk into your house, and it’s a mess. The sink is full of dishes, you have clothes all over your floor from packing, and the dog’s toys are all over the house. All that relaxation vanishes, and you are starting to feel stressed.
Here are seven small things you can do before you leave on your next vacation to make sure your return home is a little easier.
Pick up the house. Be sure everything is put away where you want it. If there are dog or kid toys laying around, clean them up—or better yet, have your kids help. It doesn’t need to be a deep clean or take a long time, but this little task can go a long way.
Adjust the thermostat. If you aren’t going to be home, there is no reason for your heat or air conditioning to be set at the temperature you normally keep the house. If it is winter, let your house get a little colder to cut your heating bill. And during summer, you can let your house reach higher temperatures to help lower the electric bill since you won’t be enjoying the cold air.
Clean the dishes and run the dishwasher. Don’t leave dishes sitting in the sink when you’re gone. Wash the dishes or put them in the dishwasher. You may even want to run the dishwasher before you leave so all your dishes are clean when you get home.
Put your lights on a timer. When you leave home for a long period of time, you want to make it appear lived in. By having your lights on a timer, it can look like you’re home during certain periods, while also saving money by not keeping them on all day.
Make your bed. This one is easy to let slide, especially if you have an early flight, but making your bed will help your room feel neat and tidy when you arrive back home.
Have your laundry done. When you get back from vacation, you are sure to have a ton of laundry to do. Don’t add to the work by letting your laundry sit before you leave. Running a few loads as you pack will give you few more options to select from too!
Put a hold on your mail. You don’t want your mailbox to pile up while you are gone. This is a surefire way for people to know you are not home. Instead, place a hold on your mail, and then you will receive it all the day you return.
As you plan for your spring break trips, or even just a long weekend away, be sure to keep these tips in the back of your mind.