Image & Design:  Laura Messersmith

Image & Design: Laura Messersmith

This weekend I broke my own rules. And, I wish I could say this is one of those posts where I say how freeing it was or how I realize now that my rules were silly, but it isn’t. Nope, I really wish I had followed the rules – today would have gone much more smoothly.

Perhaps I should be clearer, yes?

The rules I’m referring to are my Pre-Travel Home Prep Rules. Not yet widely recognized, but it’s only a matter of time before Real Simple emails asking for an editorial piece. You, as my trusted readers will get the inside track.

I love coming home to a place where peace and serenity rule and in an ideal world I would do all of these every time we travel for more than a night. In this actual world that we live in I maybe get to about 75%, which still makes a huge difference. These aren’t about setting the alarm or stopping the mail (which I also recommend); they’re about making home feel welcoming and that re-entry day less stressful.

Laura’s Pre-Travel Home Prep

Clean Sheets. This one is the most ‘unnecessary,’ but is my most favorite – in the midst of all the pre-travel laundry I try to throw in our sheets for a cycle. Because after traveling isn’t it awesome to get home to your own bed? And isn’t it even better when it’s made up with fresh sheets? I rest my case.

Pack Neatly. Yes, the suitcase, but also the ‘discards;’ all those things you considered taking, but then wisely decided not to because you were packing light. Putting them away (rather than leaving them strewn around) means less chaos. Always a good thing in my book.

Weed. Not the garden, the refrigerator. Doing a little pruning of the fridge shelves and getting rid of that withering bouquet of flowers before you lock up reduces the likelihood of mysterious smells when you return.

Clear the Decks. Run the dishwasher, and take out the trash & recyclables. A sink full of dirty dishes or an overflowing garbage can don’t really say “Welcome Home” do they? Doing this step sets the stage for a good morning your first day back.

So, there you have it. My tried and true Pre-Travel Home Prep steps – if the day ever comes that I manage all four I will let you know. In the meantime, how about you? I there anything you always do to make the first day back a little easier?