7 Cleaning Tips to Beat the Post-Vacation Blues

woman waking up to a clean home after vacation A smile that lasts for weeks is the hallmark of a vacation done right. However, returning to a nightmarishly messy house is a quick way to tank your happiness levels and leave you with the post-vacation blues instead.

But you deserve to keep those rested and refreshed vibes flowing for as long as possible, so the Merry Maids team is here to help you make the most of your time off. Take a look at our list of seven things to do before vacation to max the relaxation of any break.

  • Come Up with a Game Plan

    Proper planning is key in preventing the post-vacation blues. Make a checklist of all the chores you need to accomplish and a second list for packing, so you don’t have to stress about forgetting to do or take anything. Start your cleaning the weekend before you’re set to go out of town. By the night before you leave, you should only be left with dinner dishes, a little laundry, trash removal and packing (which will be a snap thanks to that handy checklist you’ve already made).

  • Clean Out the Fridge

    This is one of the most important things to do before vacation as you certainly don’t want to come home to a variety of molds and rotten produce. While there’s no need to deep clean your refrigerator before vacay, you should at least weed out the contents of your fridge and freezer. Toss anything past its best-by date along with fruits and vegetables that have started to look defeated. You’ll thank yourself when you get home and aren’t accosted by stinky fridge smells.

  • Take Care of Laundry

    Look. You’re probably going to come home with loads of clothes to wash as it is. Why set yourself up for the post-vacation blues by leaving yourself piles of chores to come back to? Instead, go ahead and get the laundry done before you depart. Whatever you do, don’t try to wash all the dirty clothes the evening before your trip. This will most likely result in failure and abandonment of the tasks at hand. Instead, take care of laundry throughout the week and — if you’re gearing for extra points — pack items you’ll need as you go.

    Bonus tip: Put fresh linens on the bed the night before you head out. That way, you’ll come home to sheets that have only been slept in once and are still fairly crisp. (You’re welcome.)

  • Vacuum and Tidy

    Those who rely on a daily cleaning schedule might already be on top of this part. If not, that’s OK. But in the week leading up to your vacation, you’ll want to spread the chore love out so that you can get your home in tip-top shape. Enlist the help of the family and have kids straighten their rooms and vacuum while you tend to chores like cleaning the bathroom, tidying the mudroom and giving the kitchen a good scrubbing. It’ll make for a busy few days before vacation, but the effort will all be worth it when you can unwind knowing there’s not a mess lying in wait for you back at the house.

  • Arrange Pet and Plant Care

    Bored and upset pets can make some of the biggest messes you’ve ever seen, leaving both you and your furry friends with the post-vacation blues. Even seemingly independent cats need someone to pop in on them once or twice a day to scoop the litter and give them some cuddles and playtime. Likewise, pups should be visited at least three times daily to make sure they get plenty of potty breaks and loving. This extra care can go a long way in warding off pet messes when you’re out of town. And while a sitter can also care for plants, people without pets should ask a neighbor or friend to stop by and care for their leafy potted pals, especially on long vacations.

  • Tie Up Loose Ends

    There are many little things you can do before vacation to make sure your return is a pleasant experience. The loose ends will vary with every home, but here are some ideas to get you rolling:

    • Take the trash out
    • Hang towels used during morning showers so they’re less prone to mildew
    • Check to be certain faucets are off
    • Make sure timers, security cams and your thermostat are set (If you have pets, consult your vet about ideal temperature settings.)
    • Unplug computers, appliances or electronics that could be damaged by a lightning strike or power surge
    • Plug electronics that must stay connected — like routers and security cameras — into surge protectors
    • Make sure all your windows and doors are locked
    • Ask a neighbor to get your mail and to park in your driveway occasionally so it looks like someone is home

  • Treat Yourself

    Sometimes you still just don’t have the time or energy to complete all the things you need to do before vacation. If that’s the case, let us help you beat those post-vacation blues. Our professional housecleaning dream team can take care of the dusting and vacuuming while you’re sipping cocktails from coconuts or hiking scenic mountain trails. And that means you get to come home to a clean house. Contact your local Merry Maids today to find out more!

  • Looking for some extra professional housecleaning tips that can help keep the stress away while you vacay? Check out our vacation rental cleaning tips and learn how to keep sand out of your beachside hideaway.