Tip #66: Tidy up before you go on vacation.
Bits of entirely practical advice for surviving the return home after a short stint away. These tips require a modicum of forethought, but the payoff is considerable.
1). Ditch your fresh flowers. Or if you think they’ll survive your time away, give them fresh water. Parting is sweet sorrow, I know. But there is nothing worse than the stink of sour flower water. Returning to a diminutive apartment is hard enough, no need for it to be stinky too.
2). Take out your trash before you leave. Have a I written yet about the time that I left my apartment to come home for Christmas but I failed to empty to the trash? Well. If you’ve ever been curious about the lifecycle of the common house fly, my apartment would have been the perfect case study. When I finally returned, I didn’t find a mess of maggots, but an entire apartment infested with enormous bugs. It was as though someone had installed polka-dotted wallpaper where the dots are just slightly too far apart, and moving.
3). Leave your sink empty. Even if there’s only a coffee cup in the sink, take a minute to wash it up and wipe down that sink before you head out the door. Returning home to a sink with dirty dishes can make even the most restorative weekend seem like a distant memory.
PS. Last summer I urged you all to unpack your bags straightaway upon arrival home. This still stands. In fact, after a weekend at my parents’ where a sizable washer and dryer were at our disposal free of charge, I’m tempted to include the addendum that not only should you unpack straight away, but that you should make every effort to unpack clothes that are already clean. I doubt that I’ll trundle down to the hotel wash room the next time I’m off seeing the world, but a girl can dream. Emptying a bag directly into my drawers instead of directly into the laundry bin was just shy of incredible.