Coming-home chores can be such a drag - here are 5 do-ahead ideas to lighten your load
By Christina Peterson
1. Put fresh sheets on the bed and replace the bathroom towels before you leave. That way, your own room won't seem like a comedown from the hotel you just left.
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2. Arrange for the mail to wait an extra day or two at the post office or your neighbor's house. This will give you a chance to get settled in before facing a pile of bills and junk mail.
3. Take out the trash and recycling before you leave, even if pickup isn't for a few days. Ask a neighbor to please haul your barrels and bins out to and back from the curb when they do theirs - you'll return the favor another time.
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4. Water houseplants, making sure to fully saturate the soil. Once you've gone, the small ones will dry out the quickest, so maximize moisture by creating a mini greenhouse effect: Place them in plastic grocery bags, tie shut, and puncture the top of the plastic so air can flow freely. Direct sunlight will parch the soil faster, so move the bags from their sunny window to a shadier spot, like a bathtub or sink. For larger plants, which usually need less watering, give them a good dousing, then close nearby shades to block light. Your plants should now do fine without you for at least a week.
5. Figure out Monday-morning outfits for yourself and the kids and set them aside, so you're not scrambling (or heaven forbid, doing laundry at dawn) because no one has a thing to wear to school or work the next day.
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