with Busy Mom
When you have kids, the battle between order and chaos at home can take place on many fronts. Ordering Disorder is about ways to fight domestic entropy with organizing tips, tricks, meal ideas and more.
To learn more about Elizabeth, visit Busy Mom Blog or check out her Work It, Mom! profile.
Proper planning before you go is the key to piece of mind while you’re gone as well as the key to not coming home to chaos.
Sometimes, it’s hard to do everything while you’re trying to work, mange kids, do everyday tasks AND pack, but the preparation is worth it when you walk in the door on your return home and you feel like you’ve actually had a vacation rather than postponing tasks at home.
Here are a few tips to get things situated at home before you go:
1-2 weeks before departure
- Make arrangements for pet care
- Arrange indoor/outdoor plant care or for someone to check your house periodically
- Get your car checked: brakes, oil, tires, windshield wipers etc.
- Confirm that you have important documents: car insurance proof, health insurance IDs, valid driver’s license and license plate tags
- Pay the bills
- Reduce the amount of food you buy
- Check your personal and business calendars to see if you need to cancel (don’t forget kids’ sports practices!) or RSVP to anything and for events occurring soon after your return
- Confirm any reservations and make sure you have directions, keys, phone numbers etc. for your destination
- Pick up any dry cleaning/prescriptions
- Suspend mail and newspaper delivery, or get someone to pick them up (you can put your mail on hold online at the USPS)
- Mow grass, do other yardwork
- Clean the house (You’ll thank yourself when you get back. Just do it.)
Day before departure
- Charge any items that need charging
- Round up items needed to entertain kids en route Get cash, complete any banking arrangements
- Fill up gas tank
- Leave your itinerary and contact information with a relative or neighbor so you can be reached in case something goes amiss
- Clean out the refrigerator and discard (or eat!) anything perishable.
- Clean up yard and put away anything that could become a missile in the event of a storm (trust me)
Day of departure
- Turn air conditioning down (but not off)
- Empty trashcans
- Empty dishwasher
- Water plants
- Clean out coffee maker after use (No, really. Trust me.)
- Unplug most electronics to save electricity and protect from a power surge
- Adjust shades and blinds, consider leaving lights and radio on for safety
- Lock your doors (don’t forget the garage) and make sure you have your keys
Last, but not least? Turn off the water to clothes washer.
Yes, I know that’s standard women’s magazine advice and really, who does that, right?
Want to know why?
We had the water line to the washer burst while we were on vacation and came home to about 2 feet of water in the basement and the entire first floor saturated.
While you’re at it, consider replacing the water line to the back of the washing machine with metal braided hoses (rather than rubber or anything else) and check them often.
If you don’t, and something happens, I promise the aftermath will give a new meaning to “Ordering Disorder”!
Do you have any hints about preparing for vacation, or have you ever had a mishap at home while you were gone?
Share it with us!
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