Dawn Rebel


10 At-Home Must-Dos Before You Travel

Nobody Wants Maggots in The Living Room

Vacation postcard

Dear Organized Self,

I’m on vacation!

So far, the weather has been lovely and no one has food poisoning. Everyone has a sunburn.

I’m sending this short note to thank you for doing a number of things before you left on this trip. Your forward thinking has spared our family the common home-hazards that often follow a vacation. These include, but are not limited to:

·      Maggots

·      Dead plants

·      Mess and smell

·      Piles of mail stuffed into the box

·      Burglary

By doing these ten little things, you have made coming home a whole lot easier. You now have so much carefree vacation time, that you are writing yourself to brag. Isn’t being prepared amazing? To jog your memory, you prepared for this trip by:

1) Arranging for mail and paper pickup. One of your amazing neighbours will be lending a hand. It prevents deliveries from being stolen off the porch, and gives the appearance that someone is home.

2) Leaving your spare keys with a neighbour. Thankfully, this same amazing neighbor can be trusted not to rob you blind. Spare keys mean that s/he can enter the house in the event of an emergency. One less thing to worry about.

3) Arranging for plant and animal care.

4) Turning off lights and using light timers. Flicking off is one thing, but light timers can be used to discourage would-be burglars.

5) Powering down and unplugging. Thumbs-up for turning off all appliances, and going a step further by unplugging:

•   Desktop and laptop computers

•   Televisions

•   Cable TV boxes

•   Cordless phones

•   Stereos, radios, and iPods

•   Coffeemaker

•   Lamps

•   Toaster

•   Gas fireplace (pilot light)

You’ve saved yourself money, and hassle in the event of a power-surge.

6) Cleaning out the fridge. You checked for anything that might go rancid during your week away, and tossed out all the suspect items. Buying that emergency box of KD for your first day home was truly a stroke of genius.

7) Pitching all garbage, recycling, and composts. Remember that time you went away for two weeks and forgot to empty the garbage can? Do you remember standing on the couch and screaming at the flock of maggots that were doing a synchronized army-crawl toward you? The lesson was well learned, as you have emptied EVERY garbage in the house this time. Then you jumped out of the car at the last minute to be certain you really had done it. Then you thought about it at the airport and remembered you didn’t empty the shredding bin.  It’s been a struggle to let that one go.

8) Turning down the thermostat. Many experts seem to agree that about 18 degrees Celsius is the right temperature to set when you leave for a trip. Who are you to disagree?

9) Doing the dishes. Giving the dishwasher one last run means you won’t be headed home to stinky food baked onto plates and forks.

10) Making the bed. After a week with someone else making your bed, coming home to a pile of crumpled sheets is a very rude reality check. Now that hotel-feeling will last just one more night.

Thanks again for being so organized! See you (sans maggots) in a week.

Dawn Rebel