Do You Clean Before You Travel?

posted by Andrea | 07/2/2012

We’re back from our crazy wedding road trip… and by the time we arrived home last night, I think Dave and I were just as tired as Nora was! It was a really fun {but really busy} five days — and although it actually went much better than I anticipated, I’m still glad to be home again.

As much as I like preparing and packing for a vacation, I like unpacking even more. I love coming home, restocking our fridge with groceries, putting everything away, and plowing through laundry. I know, I’m a sick woman!

However, one thing I DON’T like to do when I come home is clean the house. I want to walk in the door to a relatively clean home (dusted, vacuumed, bathrooms cleaned, dishes washed, etc). I don’t want to have to clean the house on top of all the laundry, grocery shopping, and unpacking.

So if I can help it, I always make sure to clean the house thoroughly before we leave for any type of vacation. 

Of course, our kitchen is still a dusty, dirty mess; but we have the kitchen partitioned off from the rest of our house… so the rest of our house was still very clean when we arrived home. I washed all the laundry (including the sheets), cleaned the bathrooms, vacuumed, and mopped the hard floors the day before we left. Then when we arrived home, everything was clean, organized, and welcoming.

Am I crazy?

Maybe, but it sure feels great come home after a busy family vacation and know that everything is nice and clean!

Do you share my obsession with cleaning before your travel? Or do you just save it all for when you get home?

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52 comments

  1. Brooke

    07/02/2012

    YES, YES, YES!!! And, it’s a bit frustrating, as my husband does not get it at all… his thinking is, let’s just go, it’s vacay time. Yet, who is the one that has to come home from said vacay and get the house in order! With two little ones, vacations tend to be a bit exhausting, and the LAST thing I want to do is walk into a dirty house! YUCK!!!
    And, really even pre-munchkins, I always really cleaned the house before leaving… as like you, there is nothing better than walking into your house (where most are usually feeling bittersweet, about leaving vacay, but also happy to be home!) and it being clean! With just laundry to be done! Is it just us women? Does Dave help out with the pre-vacay cleaning????

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  2. Sheri

    07/02/2012

    Yes, I clean before I go because if something happens to us while we are gone, I don’t want people coming in to a dirty house. Talk about a weird lady! That would be me!

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    Murrey Reply:

    Exactly! If we don’t return, I don’t want people walking in and thinking what a messy housekeeper I was.

    It used to drive my husband crazy that I needed to have everything cleaned before we left, but now he asks what I want to get done before we leave. Then he helps make that happen.

    And after you’ve walked into that tidy house (it’s like a maid came while you were out) and everything’s unloaded, that glorious moment when you sink into your own lovely bed with nice clean sheets! THAT is the best part of the entire trip.

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    Selena Reply:

    Haha, that’s totally my reason too! Not my whole reason (I just like coming home to a clean house, too), but the thought of “what if I never return, and someone else has to come in my house” always enters my mind. Glad to hear I’m not alone! :)

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  3. Katherine

    07/02/2012

    My friend Lisa just paid someone to come clean and then lock the door behind her when she left. If I have the extra funds, that sounds like the way to do it!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Wow… what a great idea. I may have to keep this in mind for our next road trip :)

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  4. Emily S.

    07/02/2012

    I *love* coming home to a clean home after being gone! So, yes mam, I clean before we go! And no, Andrea, you are not crazy for cleaning before you travel. But I can’t say I share your love for restocking the frig and laundry after returning. :)

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  5. Morgiana

    07/02/2012

    I thought I was the only obssesed woman that cleaned house before leaving on a trip. I told my family that if we don’t clean and the house is dirty I would just turn around and go back to the hotel. Can’t stand a dirty house after having someone cleaning for me while on vacation.

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    Demaroge Reply:

    Yes! I hate coming home to a messy/dirty house! …. And, “My Mama taught me better!”

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  6. KimH

    07/02/2012

    Absolutely… and if Im traveling alone, my boys will make sure the house is clean when I walk in the door.. I musta trained them right on that at least cuz they sure dont clean any other time. ;)

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  7. melissa call

    07/02/2012

    I try to clean as much as possible as well…it makes coming home even that much better!

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  8. Deana

    07/02/2012

    Both my husband and I hate coming home to a dirty, messy house, so we always clean before we leave. We also try to get home in late afternoon/early evening, so we can get everything unpacked, washed, etc. before we go back to work.

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  9. Stel

    07/02/2012

    I used to clean my res room at university before I left at the end of the semester – wash the floor, closet, everything. Took the bedding off, folded it neatly. My friends couldn’t understand, but it was great to return to a clean room. One friend returned, a couple of us met in her room, sat on the (unmade) bed, and realised the electric blanket was left on for the whole three weeks she was away !

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    Kris Reply:

    When I was in college I did the same thing! It was always hectic to try and manage studying for finals, packing for a long break, and cleaning my room, but it made me feel so good to see a clean, tidy room once my bags were packed when I left and then come back to the same thing once I returned. It helped me get into the the swing of a new semester when everything in my room was clean and fresh, too (not to mention the new things I’d bring back to college from home that made my room feel like it got a mini-makeover!).

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  10. mamta

    07/03/2012

    I thought I was the crazy person cleaning my house before a vacation. I hate coming back to a messy house. Glad to know that there a minds that think alike.

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  11. Ana

    07/03/2012

    I don’t see anything crazy about it… I ALWAYS clean my house before I leave. When you come back home from a vacation, you’re tired and the last thing you need is more laundry to do, dishes to wash and dust to clean! It makes me so much happier when my house is clean after a trip.

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  12. Julie

    07/04/2012

    I always clean the house before we go on holidays and I also make sure that all the laundry and ironing is up to date, so that all I have to do when we come home is unpack. I am glad I am not the only one!

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  13. Amazonite

    07/05/2012

    One thing I always used to do (back when we actually WENT AWAY during vacation times…) was to make sure we had clean sheets on the beds before leaving on vacation. I like the house to be tidy before we go away but I don’t go nuts about it (particularly since there are two cats and a dog; they’re going to get their fur all over everything anyhow) but I do like laundry to be caught up. Of course I always make sure the fridge is cleaned out — nothing like coming home from a week or ten days away and have the whole fridge full of ‘science experiments’!

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  14. Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving

    07/05/2012

    Oh, Andrea, yes! I always clean before my trips, too, because even though it adds one more thing to do then, it’s worth it when I come home to a clean house! In fact, guess what I’ll be doing this weekend before we leave for our family reunion in the Smokies? :-)

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  15. Laura

    07/06/2012

    I wouldn’t say I *clean* before I travel, but I do at least make sure the house is tidy, I’m caught up on laundry, the garbages are emptied, etc. If by some miracle I manage to have enough time before we leave, I’ll dust/vacuum/etc., but I hate packing so much that I usually put it off as long as possible. I’m always debating whether packing or unpacking is worse – ugh! So coming home to a relatively tidy house is one way I try to relieve the stress of coming home and getting back in the swing of things.

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  16. Stephanie

    07/10/2012

    This is great advice,

    While I don’t go on a cleaning spree before a long trip, there are a few areas I do pay attention to and make sure are caught up before traveling and those are the things that tend to get worse if left alone :)

    - Laundry
    Dirty laundry will get musty over time sitting in the hamper. Add a 2 week vacation to clothes that have already been in the hamper for a while, and it’s going to be hard to get the odors out of your clothes.
    - Kitchen
    Get rid of stuff that’s out of date or will go out of date before you return. Give the kitchen a quick cleaning. Make sure all the dishes are done. If you have a disposal. right before you leave, you can throw some lemon into it to knock down odors.
    - Bathrooms – quick scrub and leave bleach in the bowl (just remember to flush when you get back)
    - General – make sure all the trash is taken out. Cut off the hot water heater (in case there’s an unexpected problem with the water while you are gone) Set thermostats – in spring winter and fall, you should set the heat at 40F rather than completely turning it off, so that if there’s unexpected cold weather, it shouldn’t get cold enough to freeze pipes.

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  17. Donna Wright

    07/12/2012

    I always clean before ai go anywhere for more than a day. It is my treat to myself to come home to a clean house. My husband thinks I am crazy but sometimes he will take the time to help.

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  18. Ree

    12/08/2012

    I also do the tidy house thing (and clean sheets if I’m able to).
    While on vacation, I’ll do laundry while we’re away if I can. It’s nice to only have one or two days worth of dirty clothes when we get back.

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  19. Shelley

    04/02/2013

    I though I was crazy until I read this articule. I also clean the house, do laundry, clean the fridge before I go on vacation. I really hate to come home and find a mess. I am so glad I am not the only one.

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