When I first heard the phrase “take care of your future self” I thought it was a little strange. I had never thought about self-care in that context. (And honestly, the whole self-care thing gets a little old). However, I have found this idea extremely helpful as I plan out my schedule and work towards simplicity. A little work now takes away stress in the future, and I need all the help I can get with my future stress!
A great example of how this has worked for my family is when we travel. Can you imagine the luxury of having a maid or butler to take care of your home while you are away? This idea is so far removed from my life situation, that it truly is a great reach….however I do have a good imagination!
Picture arriving home after traveling. Whether you were traveling for business or pleasure, chances are you are coming home at least a little tired, right? Imagine walking through the front door and being greeted by freshly scented air, vacuumed floors, fresh towels and sheets, and everything neat as a pin? It would literally be a breath of fresh air right?
This might sound a little unrealistic. Travel is after all a frantically busy time for most families. No matter how hard you plan ahead, there always seem to be last minute details to take care of. But if you can work one hour of time into your schedule to take care of your pre-travel reset, you will find the rewards will be incredibly enjoyable and well worth the time and effort. If you can get your home into a routine of neat and clean, then the following steps truly will be quick and easy to take, leaving you with a beautiful clean space to come home to!
Remember, as I’ve said so many times, organization and cleaning are really not something that come easy for me. Believe me! I have to put a lot of effort in which is why I know that you can do this too. If this isn’t something you can manage yet, it might be that you still need to pare down the stuff to make your job easier. Click here for some of my other posts on Minimalism!
The best way to tackle this Pre-Travel Reset is after you’ve packed your car, one hour before you plan to leave.
One Hour Pre-Travel Reset!
- Kitchen:1) Quick fridge clean out. This is just a chance to quickly throw out food that won’t last and maybe wipe down the shelves quickly. Also deal with produce & baked goods. For example this week before leaving, I tossed some bagels into the freezer and threw away a couple of stale pieces of bread. One lone banana also got the chop.
2) Quick Clean up. Wipe down all the counters, rinse coffee pot (don’t forget to toss the old grounds…..they will mold if left behind!). I’m not including dishes in this reset because hopefully you’ve gotten in the habit of taking care of these after each meal!
- Trash: This really doesn’t need any clarity, right? Don’t forget to gather trash from all over the house and put it in the dumpster so that you won’t be greeted with any unpleasant odors when you return home!
- Plants: If you have any house plants, you definitely want to water them before you take off. If you have difficulty keeping houseplants alive, I totally recommend these self-watering planters! They have made plant care possible for me.
- Vacuum: Quickly vacuum all the rooms. It might seem like a huge pain right now, but when you walk back through those doors you will be LOVING it. It’s so worth the effort, believe me.
- Surfaces: I don’t take time to do any scrubbing or serious cleaning (we’re on the clock, here). However, I do spritz Force of Nature Cleaner on all my counters, sinks and showers before leaving. This means that everything has been sanitized and any hard-core stains gets a nice long soak while I’m gone. Killing germs while you are traveling seems like a great plan to me.
- Towels. Put out fresh towels in the kitchen and bathroom. You’ll feel like you’re walking into a posh hotel room that’s ready for relaxation and rest!
- Diffuse. If you are into Essential Oils (and in my opinion, you should be) add some oils to your diffuser and set it on intermittent so that your house will be getting some lovely aromatherapy while you are away. It will kill germs and keep things smelling lovely. 9 times out of 10 I’ll choose Relax by Plant Therapy but another great option for killing germs is Germ Destroyer. Both are Kid-Safe!
- Details. Make one last walk-through and close closet doors and dresser drawers, open all the bedroom doors, make the beds and neaten up throw pillows. Check the thermostat. Turn off lights and leave on a couple of lamps. Be sure none of the toilets are running or faucets are dripping!
Total minutes: 50 (let’s say with any minor distractions you still come in under an hour).
Have an awesome trip and enjoy the knowledge that a clean home is ready and waiting for your return!