Now, imagine it this way. You’ve walked in from the airport to a bright and sunny apartment. Your kitchen is sparkling, and that bed that’s beckoning to you from across the room, well, you can hop right on it without worrying about the chores you need to do. This second scenario could be all yours if you’d taken a bit of time to plan – not just your vacation, but the days before and after as well. Before you leave, make a list. Make a giant list. On it, write down everything you can think of that you need to do to have a stress-free vacation. Once you know what you need to do, prioritize. The top priority items should be done as quickly as possible. The quicker you get those things crossed off, the better. Not only will it make you feel like a rockstar while you’re on vacation (nothing like laying by the pool without a worry in the world!), but you’ll be less panicked when you get home. Thinking ahead is the name of the game. Do all your laundry, and actually put it away. Run the dishwasher so nothing starts to crust over. Go through your fridge and throw away perishable items that will be rotten by the time you get home. If you’re feeling ambitious, stop at the store and get some non-perishables so you’ll have a meal to cook the day you return home, and won’t have to resort to a greasy drive-thru meal. The same goes for any flowers or plants you have. If they’ll be dead by the time you get back, pass them along to a friend or go ahead and toss ‘em. Some final steps before you leave should include making your bed (or at least getting those pillows off the floor), making sure your trash is taken out and your kitchen sink is clean. No nasty smells here! Unplug your electronics and turn off or up your air conditioning. Right before you walk out the door, make sure all the lights are off and you have your house keys. Oh, and don’t forget a smile – you’re officially on vacation!
I know you can see it: you come back from a trip out of town, tired from days of holiday-ing, dehydrated from a plane ride, and ready to sink down into your own bed. But when you open your apartment door, your heart falls. You’re confronted with dishes in the sink, a pile of laundry strewn across the bedroom floor, and a smell that can only be described as…questionable.
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