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Packing for a Relaxing Vacation? Here's the ONE Step Everyone Forgets During Vacation Preparation.

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

This task may fall far from our minds when gearing up for a vacation and for most, it isn't hugely enjoyable, but you'll be glad when it's done–CLEAN YOUR HOUSE! Here's a list of high-priority areas to tackle before you say Bon Voyage as well as a bonus Expert Tips section and Free Instant Downloadable Checklist!

A person packing a bag for vacation

Not sure about you, but I have a tough time getting into relaxation mode while on vacation. It usually takes me a few days until I really feel like I'm "off" and by then I'm packing up and heading home. Granted, I have a toddler so relaxing is generally far from my reach! Side note, blog coming soon with baby and toddler travel tips.

One thing that I've found to be super helpful with my mindset is knowing I'm coming home to a clean house. It makes a world of difference. It also makes it much easier to get settled, unpack, and feel comfortable once I'm home. Now, where to start? With a list.


Get started on the right foot - Don't underestimate the power of list making:

Let's talk about lists for a minute. I firmly believe every project should start with a list and this includes the project of vacation preparation. So first things first, get a checklist on paper of the cleaning chores that you'd like to have completed in order for you to feel good upon your return.

Put your checklist on the refrigerator about a week before you're due to take off. This is an excellent way to feel organized and stay on task. Some items you can check off earlier in the week while others you'll likely have to save until you're closer to your departure.


Now to the good stuff, here's the list of cleaning chores to include in your vacation preparation:

Keep in mind, the intensity with which you complete these tasks is up to you as is the time frame. A light and quick visit of the below may be all some need to feel good while others may wish to do a really deep cleaning - a full reset if you will.

  • Laundry (towels, clothing, bedding)

  • Vacuum and/or mop floors

  • Clean and disinfect bathrooms

  • Wipe down kitchen surfaces and appliances

  • Empty all trash cans and replace liners

  • Wash and put away dishes

  • Clean Mirrors

  • Clean Light Fixtures

  • Dust Furniture

  • Vacuum furniture and upholstery

  • Remove perishable food from cabinets and refrigerator

  • Make sure all supplies are fully stocked (toilet paper, soap, paper towels, etc.)

  • Clear clutter from surfaces

  • Empty and wash pet food and water bowls

  • Wash pet beds, linens, and accessories


Cleaning Checklist
Download PDF • 29KB


Expert Tips:

Have some frozen meals and non-perishable snacks kicking around. You'll thank yourself when you get home and realize that not only is there no fresh food to cook but that you're too exhausted to cook anyway!

Lay out a cozy set of PJs on your bed so they're ready and waiting.

Keep a phone charger readily available. This way you don't have to dig through your suitcase right away.

Set out a couple of reed diffuser oils of your favorite scents (nothing that uses electricity of course). Being greeted by a cozy scent is always refreshing. Check out this Clean Linen Reed Diffuser Set!

Utilize exterior and interior lights on a programmable timer. Coming home to a dark house is no fun and leaving your home looking unoccupied for a lengthy stretch of time is dangerous. There are plenty of wallet-friendly options on Amazon that are worth a look, this is a solid one: 24 Hour Mechanical Outlet Timer.

Before you leave, tackle any looming responsibilities that you've been putting off. Complete anything that could potentially cause you to stress while you're away if left undone. Have you been procrastinating on calling your insurance company about a bill? Do it. Dragging your feet on scheduling an eye doctor's appointment? Schedule it. A pile of mail you've been meaning to sort through? Sort it. You'll feel better when it's all done.

Record a vacation outgoing voicemail. Give callers realistic expectations, let them know you're away and may not be tethered to your phone so chances are high that you won't be able to give a call back with your usual sense of urgency.


In conclusion:

I like coming home after a vacation to clean surfaces and fresh bedding. It makes for a gentler transition back to my daily routine. I also find that even though I may have just had a vacation I often get back home feeling like I need to decompress, being able to chill out without the distraction of clutter and mess helps.

I hope you find that the suggestions in this blog are helpful. If you have anything to add, please feel welcome to pop in the comments section : )

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