This past Monday I came back to my home in Wisconsin after a trip to Texas. My family went to see my 18-year-old son’s graduation from basic training with the Air Force.
The eight weeks he was gone seemed to stretch on forever. But in the days leading up to the trip, I had so much on my mind in the way of packing and planning, that it diverted my thoughts at least somewhat.
One of the goals that I had for this trip was to come back home to a clean house. I didn’t want to leave it in shambles.
After being gone a week, I knew that I would be physically and emotionally depleted. I would have a lot of laundry to do and I certainly didn’t want to add on any housework.
So here are some tips on what I did and how it made coming home so much easier. First, I made sure that I left no dirty dishes. The night before leaving, we used paper plates and cups, along with plastic utensils.
The few dirty dishes that I did have were placed in the dishwasher. The very last thing I did before walking out the door to drive to the airport was turn it on. That way I would come home to a dishwasher that had clean items inside.
We all took showers in the evening because we had to leave so early the next morning. Then I made sure the last of my laundry was washed, dried, folded and put away the night before. That eliminated leaving wet towels in a basket for a week.
I did my final sweeping, dusting and vacuuming the night before. I took out the last of the garbage shortly before leaving and put in a clean bag.
But I didn’t just focus on cleaning. I thought about safety.
So I unplugged almost everything. You never know when something electrical will have a short. In addition, I used timers for our lights, so they would come on and off at certain times of the day.
By the time we walked through the door, after driving 22 straight hours in a car, it felt like a huge relief. Not just because we were home, but the feeling of walking into a clean house.
Home sweet home.
Photo by jaaron in Flickr