How to Properly Clean Up Your House Before Traveling

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Learn how to clean your home before you go on vacation to ensure you always return to a spotless place.

Whether it be a weekend break or an around the world adventure, there’s nothing more exciting than going traveling. You can forget about reality for a while, escape the stresses of everyday life and put your feet up without worrying about doing any cooking or cleaning. But, like always, there’s still all that housework to get through before setting off. Now, you’re probably thinking, “Don’t be silly. I’m not planning on doing any more cleaning, that’s why it’s a good idea to hire home cleaning services until I get back from my vacation.” Well, sorry to burst your bubble here, but you may want to think again.

If you want to return to clutter in every room, dishes in the sink and a dirty toilet, fine. Feel free to learn the hard way. But, if you’d rather step into a clean and welcoming space, you’ll need to clean your home properly prior to leaving town.

To ensure you feel more relaxed upon your return and to make arriving home a little easier, here is a checklist of all the tasks you’ll need to tackle before your trip.    

Tip #1: Change your bed linens

While it’s always a little depressing returning home from a vacation, it’s hard to beat that feeling of slipping into your own bed. It’s even nicer when your bed is beautifully dressed with clean sheets, especially after a long flight or car journey. Wash or change all your bed linens before heading off to ensure a good night’s sleep when you get back.

Tip #2: Do the laundry

It goes without saying that you’re going to have plenty of laundry to do upon your return, so don’t leave anything that needs doing now for when you do. Get all the laundry out of the way and put your clothes, sheets, and towels back in the closet or drawer. The aim here is to give yourself fewer things to clean when you come home, not more.

Tip #3: De-clutter and dust each room

Start by picking up any clutter and put away anything you want to keep. If you come across items you no longer need, throw them out, donate or recycle them. Left it to the last minute? You can make small piles of clutter in a corner of each room and go through them properly when you get back home. Once you’ve removed (or moved) the clutter, you can get on with some dusting.  

Tip #4: Wipe down all kitchen countertops and bathroom fixtures

You want your kitchen and bathroom to be ready for use when you return home, right? Then you’ll need to give your countertops and fixtures a quick wipe down. Give everything a good spraying of all-purpose cleaner, leave it to do its thing for a while, then come back to it and wipe any messes away. If you have time for a deep clean, then great, but if you don’t, save it for after your trip.

Tip #5: Run around the house with the vacuum

Okay, so don’t actually run – but you can speed things up a little when cleaning your floors. Start vacuuming from the farthest corner of your room and use long strokes until you find yourself out the door or in another room. Just run the vacuum over each floor section once so that you pick up any visible dirt and most of the dust.  

Tip #6: Do the dishes by hand or load and run your dishwasher

If you own a dishwasher, use it. No dishwasher? Time to put those rubber gloves to good use. Go around the house collecting any dirty dishes and cups that are in places where they shouldn’t be. Either load them up in the dishwasher or let them soak in the kitchen sink. Once cleaned and dried, put away all of your dishes and cups so that they’re out of sight.

Tip #7: Disinfect the drains

Kill the odors and keep insects at bay while you’re on your travels by disinfecting your drains. You don’t even need to buy any special products to do this, as long as you have some baking soda or vinegar in the house. Simply run some hot water through the drains for about 30 seconds, pour down a teaspoon of baking soda and continue to run hot water for a further 30 seconds. Alternatively, pour a cup of vinegar down the drains, leave it for 30 minutes and flush it away with hot water.  

Tip #8: Check your refrigerator

Unless you’ve got a thing for moldy food, you will need to go through your fridge and throw out anything that might turn nasty. If you can and you still have some days left before setting off, make meals out of the foods that are about to go out of date and get rid of any unused ‘soon to be bad’ items before you leave. Also, pop anything you can into the freezer to cut down on waste. If you’re going away for a couple of weeks or more, it’s best to clear out your fridge completely or donate what you can to a food bank.

Tip #9: Don’t forget to empty the trash

Otherwise, you’ll be greeted by the stench of all that rotten food. Yuk! Before doing so, go into every room where there’s a small trash can and empty those too. You can also scan the floors, surfaces and any other places where you think candy wrappers, old newspapers and garbage might be lurking.    

Tip #10: Unplug all small electrical appliances

This one is more of a bonus tip as it isn’t really cleaning related but it’s still important nonetheless. Besides, who doesn’t want to save a buck here and there whenever they can? Your electrical appliances consume a lot of energy and even when in standby mode, so it makes sense to unplug them while you’re out of town. Save yourself some money by unplugging your kitchen appliances, TVs, DVD players, computers and anything else that doesn’t need to be left on.   

Anything you want to add? Get sharing in the comments section below. Oh – and, of course, have a fabulous vacation!

Dylan Walsh

Dylan Walsh

Dylan Walsh is a world traveler and a writer that once worked on Wall Street, then decided to quit and discover the world around him, one country at a time.
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