7 Things You Should Always Do in Your Kitchen Before You Go on Vacation

published Jul 22, 2022
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I don’t know about you, but as rejuvenating as a vacation away is, returning home can be a bit of a let-down for me. Not only do you have to readjust to regular life, but you also have to catch up on all of the things that went undone while you were gone. 

To ease the post-vacation blues, I like to leave my house as clean and welcoming as possible. That way I can walk inside and feel happy to be home. That’s why taking the time to “shut down” your kitchen before you go on vacation ensures that you aren’t slammed by offensive odors when you return. 

Here’s a punch list of tasks to check off for your kitchen before you head out on that much-deserved vacation. Future You will thank you.

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1. Wash any dishes that are in the sink.

A sink full of dirty dishes is never fun. It’s even less fun when coming back from vacation. Talk about an unpleasant dose of reality! Do your future self a favor, and leave your sink empty and clean. 

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2. Run the dishwasher.

Leaving dirty dishes in the dishwasher for days on end not only means that food particles will get crusted on and be difficult to remove, but it also means bad smells. Run the dishwasher before you leave so that the only dishes left inside are clean. 

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3. Clear counters.

Cluttered counters are chaotic. Prioritize your counter clutter before you leave so you can return to a kitchen that feels and looks organized.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

4. Clean out your fridge.

Dealing with food that’s gone bad after being out of town will bring you crashing down from that vacation high real fast. Go through your perishables before you leave. Make plans to eat what you can before you head out, and pass along items that remain to friends or neighbors. 

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5. Flush your disposal.

A garbage disposal with food left sitting in it is one of the worst offenders when it comes to kitchen odors. Run your disposal before you leave. For extra credit, clean your disposal or toss a few ice cubes and a lemon peel to freshen the blades. 

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6. Take out the trash.

Save this until the end — but don’t forget it! Obviously, trash that sits for a long time won’t smell good when you return home. Take it out. Don’t forget your compost and recycling too. 

Credit: Sarah Crowley

7. Clean your floor.

Not only will cleaning your floor make your kitchen feel squeaky clean when you return home, but it will also help ensure that crumbs don’t attract pests while you’re gone. 

How do you shut down your kitchen before you head out on a vacation? Tell us your tips in the comments below.