Sunday, May 29, 2016

five tricks to a smooth vacation recovery

Over the years we've traveled frequently to visit family or go back home to Omaha for friends' weddings and each time we went out of town we felt we picked up a new little trick to make traveling easier for the next trip. A lot of our tips come from my mom or my sister whom always have some way of making things easier. I love having them just a phone call away as we often bounce ideas off each other and share new tricks. 
Last week Mike and I took the kids on vacation with friends. Although we love going on trips and they can be fun and filled with memories, it can be exhausting going home. Back to the reality of laundry, dishes and dirty house especially after the frantic chaos that tends to happen right before you leave to go out of town. I know we're not the only ones who have tossed last minute items on the counter tops or stairs, left dishes in the sink or forgot about that little load of laundry sitting in the washer. But the worst thing to do after a nice relaxing vacation is to come home to chores, chores and more chores. No one wants to come home and clean their house. No one. 

With summer officially here and so many traveling for fun vacations I wanted to share what we do to prep ourselves for a smooth recovery. There is an easier and much more pleasant way to come home, but does require a little extra planning and time, but it's worth every second. Before leaving on a trip or vacation we always do the following...
1. Strip the beds, wash the sheets and remake the beds. It’s always so comforting to come home to a freshly cleaned and made bed. It’s never fun coming home and seeing a messy bed I know i’m going to have to wash the sheets the next day. Doing it beforehand leaves less laundry for us to do later.
2. Fill the dishwasher and run it. I do one last load of dishes before leaving the house and make sure there are no dishes in the sink and if there are, I do them quickly by hand. I hate dirty dishes and who knows what I’m going to find growing in them after being gone for a few days. 
3. Empty the washer + dryer + turn off the water. This helps us double check both machines to verify they’re empty. Turning the water off is something we’ve always done just in case a hose bursts or something catastrophic happens. We’re at peace knowing we’ve turned off the water source to something that could cause a lot of damage if it were ignored. We definitely don’t want to come home to a flood so we take extra precautions. 
4. Take trash out. None of us wants to come home to a house that smells to the high heavens of garbage. Just take it out and let it do it’s nasty business outside and keep the inside smelling fresh. 
5. Adjust the thermostat. Since we won’t be in the house there’s no point keeping the AC or heat running like it normally would. In warmer months we raise the temperature to 78-80 depending on the humidity and in cooler months we drop it 64 degrees. This would vary depending on one’s location and climate. We recently installed EcoBee3 WiFi Thermostats on both floors. It’s a smart thermostat which learns your daily behavior and adjusts accordingly to what movement it senses. it also comes with remote sensors to place in other rooms in order to monitor temperatures in multiple locations and not just where the thermostat is located in the hallway. This has really helped and we’ve noticed a difference between the rooms located on different sides of the house. No more having one room that becomes stuffy and one that is freezing. We especially love the EcoBee3 because it’s compatible with Apple and allows us to make adjustments in the system from our iPhone while we’re away.

Coming home from a nice, relaxing, usually busy vacation can still leave us exhausted and we often need a day to recover.. We hate having to come home to a major to do list of everyday chores, but by doing these five easy tips makes coming home a breeze. We love knowing we don’t have to worry about dishes, trash or cleaning and we can actually use our recovery day to get back into our routine without the busyness of distractions.

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