I always like to come home from a trip to a clean house, and I know my hubby sometimes just smiles as I run around doing last minute things so I can walk back into a clean home. Am I the only one? Very often, as I'm walking to the taxi, I have my luggage in one hand and the bin bag in the other - dropping the bin bag into the big outside bin as I walk past. Who wants to come home to a house smelling of old rubbish? Gah.
I do a quick run around with the vacuum cleaner and put clean linen on the bed as well. Kitchen surfaces are wiped clean of crumbs and the last dishes are hand washed. Some people advise loading up the dishwasher and pressing the "go" button as you leave, but I've heard some serious horror stories of dishwashers going wrong and water flooding into kitchens for days before you get home from your holiday - I don't want to come home to an indoor pool in my kitchen! There's already an old indoor pool under our living room floor, but that's another story for another day ...
Here's some pre-travel hints from www.apartmenttherapy.com:-
After a vacation, getting back into your routine can be rough. Make your return to reality a little easier by getting basic cleaning done before you head out the door.
A thorough cleaning would be great, of course, but to-do lists tend to get long right before a trip. To allow yourself to be more relaxed upon your return, here are a few key tasks to tackle.
Put on fresh sheets and make your bed. Climbing into bed between clean sheets — especially after enduring a layover or long car ride — will make you happy to be home.
Load and run your dishwasher. Take a minute to go around your home and collect dishes that have wandered to side and coffee tables. Take them to the dishwasher and load 'er up; you'll have clean plates and bowls to use upon your return.
Take out the trash. Because who wants to be greeted by the smell of garbage?
Wipe down countertops. Get your kitchen and bath looking cleaner quickly by removing crumbs, water spots, etc., from these big swathes of space.
Give quick order to clutter. If you're cleaning truly last minute and have a lot to put away (ahem), give yourself a head start on a deeper clean by making small piles in the appropriate room. It might not work for everyone, but if I'm really short on time, this method keeps me from feeling more overwhelmed when I get home.
Oh, and one more thing - clean out your fridge to get rid of anything that's going to develop a life of its own whilst you're away. When we got back from a trip to Detroit late last year I found a mouldy capsicum that had developed its own personality in our vegetable crisper ...