Have you ever returned home from a trip and your house was a mess. If you left in a hurry, you may have left everything in shambles. As you walk in the door from you fun vacation, you look around and see nothing but work. The stress level just went up a notch because you can’t think about relaxing after traveling all day because everywhere you look is a mess.
I learned a very long time ago that I have to close the door on a perfectly cleaned house so when I return, I can just walk in and not have to worry about dishes in the sink or a mess left in the floor.
I have also said that you never know what could happen while you are away. I know this sounds morbid, but, I have often thought that if I died while gone and someone had to go into my house to take care of things, they would either find it very messy or very squared away. I will be at peace if I know my house was in order when I left this world. I know….my brain thinks crazy things like that sometimes.
We just returned from a week long trip and had traveled for 12 hours before getting home. When we walked in the door I can’t explain how happy I was to walk into a clean and orderly house. We can drag all of our things in from the car and put everything away. Starting the laundry is always the first thing I do when I get in.
I thought I would share what I do to have order and peace for when I return from a trip.
As soon as I know the date that we are going out of town, I will set a schedule for myself. I try to get things done a couple of days before we are to leave. I have learned the hard way that you never know what can happen the night before you are to leave. If you leave your packing or shopping for the day before, you might get caught with the unexpected and will then be behind for the big day that you were to leave. For me, there is nothing worse than rushing and not being able to think through with my packing and getting my house in order.
I then make sure the following is done before I close the door for the final time:
All trash is taken out.
Refrigerator and pantry are cleared of anything perishable.
Fresh sheets are on the beds. (so nice to sink into a bed with clean sheets)
All the beds are made. I never leave unmade beds.
All items out of place are put back where they belong.
Laundry is done, folded and put away.
Floors are swept and vacuumed.
Front porch and yards are squared away and clean.
Make arrangements for packages that will be delivered to be taken care of.
Make sure mail is taken care of.
No dirty dishes left in sink or on cabinets.
It sounds like a lot to do, but it is so worth it. When you walk in that door from a long trip or even a short one, you will love the feeling of having everything in order.
Think of it this way. When you check into a hotel, the room is perfectly clean and in order; it’s just as nice when you return home and everything is perfectly clean and in order.
If you aren’t used to doing this it will take work to get your pattern down. I begin a week before our trips to have my plan in order.
Nope, I’m not a perfectionist and I don’t have OCD. I have just learned that I feel better and function better when things are taken care of. There was a time when I left things in the sink and piles of things laying around. I decided many years ago, I just couldn’t do that anymore. The main trick to all of this, is to be organized to begin with. If you aren’t normally organized and strive to keep things picked up, I can only imagine that this post sounds like an impossibility. I’m sure there are some people that it doesn’t bother them in the least to walk into your home after a long day of traveling and find things in a mess from running out the door. If you are like me, you just can’t do it.
Have you seen the movie, Home Alone? The beginning of the movie shows the family preparing to leave for a long trip to Paris for Christmas. They have family members staying with them so they can get up early the next morning and all fly overseas together. Total chaos is going on. They oversleep the next morning and everyone is running around throwing their things in the van to rush to the airport. I can hardly watch that part of the movie as it makes me want to break out in hives. Just the thought of all the mess they are making and leaving would cause me to want to cancel the entire trip. It’s so chaotic, they forget one of their children. I won’t spoil the rest of the movie in case you haven’t seen it. Trust me, total chaos!
I do hope you were inspired or challenged to make your home “Home Sweet Home” for when you return from your next trip.
What is the one thing that you must do before you leave on a trip?
I’m linking this post with A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.