You don't want to come home from a wonderful vacation to a house that needs attention. You are tired and will probably just want to relax your first evening in the house. There are some steps you can take before you leave that will ensure your comfortable, stress-free arrival back home. You already did some things when you prepared the house before you left. See companion article How to Get Your Home in Order Before Taking a Trip. These tips are to be done prior to leaving as well.
Things You Will Need
non perishable food
frozen food for simple meals
Plan your first meal home. If you are going to be returning home late in the evening, you will not want to go shopping for breakfast so before you leave, stock your kitchen with cold cereal, coffee and a container of shelf-stable milk (it comes in a box and can be put in the refrigerator unopened while you are gone. It will not spoil.) You can also put a quart of milk in the freezer and take it out when you get home. It will be thawed in time for breakfast. Have frozen orange juice, bagels, etc. available as well, If you will be returning home during the day, be sure to have something simple and ready to prepare in the freezer or cupboard.
Keep the house smelling fresh. It is very unpleasant to come home to a house that has been shut up and is full of stale air. You can put out an air freshener gel or plug in one of those air freshener products that will keep the air from becoming stale. When you open the door on your return you will be greeted by your favorite fragrance.
Put fresh linens on all the beds. There is nothing better than coming home tired and crawling into a bed with fresh, clean sheets on it. Make up all the beds in the house with fresh, clean sheets and wash the dirty ones before you leave.
Clean up the house. Coming home to a messy house is not what you want to look forward to. Vacuum the floors, do the dishes, wipe down countertops in bath and kitchen, and even give the toilets a quick clean. You will be glad you did all that when you come home.
Clear your schedule for the first day after your return. Do not make appointments or plans that day if at all possible. If you must return to work, try not to schedule any meetings. Or, return from your vacation a day early so you have a day to settle in and sort the accumulated mail, pay bills, return calls, and do whatever laundry you brought back with you.