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5 Reasons to Clean Your Place BEFORE You Leave on Vacation

Updated on December 5, 2015

Broom and Dust Pan


Ok, procrastinators and people who need many hours of sleep, do not bother reading this. You won’t have the time to do it.

Getting Ready for a Vacation Away from Home

Allright – planning and packing for a stay somewhere else can be stressful. One needs to balance anticipated needs with space available in the travel vehicle. Hopefully, the excitement of going somewhere nice or visiting fun people will turn this into eustress (good for you stimulation), rather than anxiety-filled extra work. So, why in the name of all that is sane, would anyone suggest adding housecleaning to the list of pre-vacation duties?

There are five good reasons to do cleaning. Some or all may apply to your situation.

No rotting food garbage or fermenting dirty diapers

These are not things you want to have or to smell when you return from a lovely vacation. Make the time to get them properly disposed before you leave. Just do it. There is an added risk with aging food left in your trash or recycling containers inside the house: insects and vermin. I personally do not want to see how orderly the ants are marching to my kitchen trash can. Nor do I want to see evidence of even bigger pests inside my domicile. So, I do not leave anything that would be the least bit attractive to those sort of critters.

It needs to be done anyway

If you are an Obsessive-Compulsive-Disorder cleaner, then of course you will agree with this subtitle and do not really need any reason at all to do more cleaning. If you are NOT a compulsive cleaner, then I will bet that some cleaning needs to occur. It needs to be done sometime. Read the other sections to learn why cleaning the place before the vacation makes sense.

Returning to a clean home is the scrumptious icing on the vacation cake

Imagine the lovely vacation – no doing dishes (I hope this is true for you), no regular chores, just finding fun things to do, sleeping in, eating out, exciting or peaceful environs… Now imagine coming home to a neat and clean pad. Wouldn’t that be a very nice ending to a delightful vacation? There will be no dread of returning to a pigpen. No dread is a good thing.

Returning to a clean home provides room for unpacking

You will need to unpack, sort out what goes where, do laundry. By having a cleaned space, you will have room to work. Thus, these chores should go more smoothly and quickly. It’s a win-win.

The grandmother argument

The grandmother argument goes: If you die on vacation or on the way back from vacation, do you want to shame the family by having someone see your household in a messy shamble? Do you want the people making your funeral arrangements and settling your estate to also need to clean your house? This follows along closely with the rationale for why it is so important to wear clean underwear in good condition at ALL TIMES. What if you get in an accident? Do you want to shame the family by having the hospital emergency room workers see your ratty, holey, dirty underwear?

Do it

Although some of the reasons are presented in a light-hearted fashion, I sincerely believe that cleaning before a vacation makes sense. If it is at all possible – even a partial cleaning – consider doing it.

Photo and text copyright 2013 Maren E. Morgan.


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    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 3 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Dolores Monet - great idea! Although one of my clocks would be flashing 12:00 if there was a power outage, I would not know if it was a long one. I love the upside-down cup in the freezer trick! Thanks!

      OldRoses - another super idea! The coming home and getting back into the routine can be tiring. Having a home-cooked meal ready to heat sounds wonderful.

    • OldRoses profile image

      Caren White 3 years ago from Franklin Park, NJ

      Before traveling, I always clean my house and cook something that can be frozen so that I don't have to cook when I get home.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 3 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Ha ha, I love the grandmother angle! Also, coming home from vacation would be a huge letdown if you come back to a messy house. In summer, it's a good idea to check if you have lost power for any significant length of time. You pour some water into a plastic cup, freeze it, then place it upside down in the freezer. If you come home and the cup is empty, sitting on top of a frozen puddle, you'll know that the power has been off long enough to, perhaps, spoil food. (shared and tweeted)

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Stacy Louise - I am glad you found the humor entertaining. I hope some readers will just follow the advice without needing to experience the mouldy cheese in their home! Thanks for your comments!

    • Stacy Louise profile image

      Stacy Robinson 4 years ago from Blackburn

      Wow, this sounds like I would of wrote it. I am a total clean freak and totally understand the need to clean before you go away, maybe it sound's daft to some people but just wait until they return home to mouldy cheese and a god awful smell in the fridge like I did one time, it was disgusting. Thank you for such a funny but hardhitting blog : )

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Truthfornow and DDE, thanks for your comments. Some things just make a LOT of sense!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Cleaning your place before going on vacation is something I always did and so true of what you mention here thanks

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      I agree. At least take out the trash so you don't have come back to a smelly home.

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks, DexisView. I agree that the no-stress return is very nice.

      Wabash Annie, I love your humor, too. Cleaning the house means impending death - gotta love it.

    • wabash annie profile image

      wabash annie 4 years ago from Colorado Front Range

      I am not a compulsive cleaner but completely agree with the listed reasons for cleaning your house before leaving on a trip. Throughout the years I have experienced a compulsive need to clean (on rare occasions) and always jokingly referred to this as being in early pregnancy or getting ready to die in an auto accident. Loved this Hub!

    • DexisView profile image

      Dexi 4 years ago from New England

      I agree! So much less stress when you return to a clean home :)