Leaving the house checklist

No matter how much planning I do and how many lists I make, there are always some things I forget to do.  Which is not good because when I forget things, like take the trash out, when I get home I’m greeted with a wafting smell of old beans.  As I was getting ready for my most recent trip, I took note of a lot of the things I do to make sure my house is ready for me when I return.  I thought of making a list just for me to have to check off for the next time.  Thought I would share it in case you need a list, too.

Here are some of the things that I do:
  1. Take out the trash and get rid of leftovers.  I empty out every container in the fridge that has leftovers in it.  I get rid of all produce items that could rot, which brings me to my next point.
  2. Juice produce. Instead of just tossing those apples and carrots in the trash, why not juice them?  I juiced all the produce I could find and drank it.  You can also freeze it by filling up ice cube trays with juice and thus having delicious juice cubes waiting for you when you get back.  Those should stay good for at least a few weeks. 
  3. Turn off stuff. Turn off all electrical items and lights (except maybe one or two so it looks like there’s someone around), unplug hair appliances, turn off the Keurig, anything that would suck electricity while you’re gone.
  4. Turn down heating or cooling.  If you’re not going to be in the house for a while, might as well not pay for just the mice to be comfortable.  You don’t want it to be frigid or burning hot when you get home, but turning it down enough to save some money is a good thing.
  5. Do the dishes.  Make sure the bulk of them are rinsed and put away.  I usually have a few items still in the dishwasher, but make sure no stinky containers from your leftover purge are still in there.  I’ve made that mistake before and it really does smell the house up.
  6. Bleach countertops and sink.  You don’t want to leave spots of jelly and crumbs all over the counters to rot and attract bugs, mold or anything else disgusting.  Make sure there are no bits of food hanging around the counters, sink or even on the floor.
  7.  Make the bed.  I do this every day, but remember if you’re coming home late from a trip, you want to have a nice bed that’s ready for you.
  8. Lock the doors and close the garage door.  Remember on Home Alone where the mother was asking about everything she possibly forgot.  She said, “did you close the garage?”  The father said, “no… that’s it… that’s what we forgot.”  He forgot that, plus his youngest son.  So not a bad thing to put on a list as a reminder.
  9. Laundry.  I don’t do all the laundry, I never do.  But I make sure I don’t leave anything in the washer to smell like mold when I return.  I make sure the washer and dryer are both clear.
  10. Water plants.  You don’t want all your houseplants to be wilted and brown when you return.  You want them pumping that oxygen through the house for you. 
These are some of the things that I do before I leave the house.  I’m sure there are more things, but I probably forgot. 

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