The One Thing You Shouldn't Forget To Do Before Leaving For Vacation

When getting ready for a vacation, your agenda may be piled high. From deciding what clothes to pack to booking a hotel last minute, it's easy to get caught up in what's right in front of you. With that said, it may slip your mind to deal with what's literally right in front of you. Before you walk out the door, don't forget to take care of those household chores — especially the trash.

You're not doing yourself any favors by keeping an overflowing garbage bag in your home. Letting a heaping pile of milk cartons and takeout containers sit for days will probably produce an unpleasant odor. But that's not all. Leaving the trash out may also bring in some uninvited guests. Yup, it's highly likely that bugs and rodents will feed off your rotting garbage. Mice, rats, cockroaches, flies, and ants are common culprits. So, unless you want a pest infestation, take out the trash before leaving on vacation.

Prevent a pest infestation with these tips

There are lots of preventative measures you can take to ensure that critters don't invade your garbage. It's necessary to use heavy-duty trash bags, as they create a thick barrier between pests and trash. In addition, get rid of crumbs or spills left at the bottom of your garbage can. If you want to take extra caution, wash out the can with a hose, soap, and water. You can even use bleach to clean out the area and ward off pests. Beyond that, make sure you seal any cracks and holes in your trash can, as these openings provide entrances for small insects. Applying epoxy or fiberglass reinforcement tape will do the trick. Yet, if there's substantial damage, go ahead and replace your garbage can altogether.

Still concerned that pests will invade your garbage area while you're on vacation? Don't fret! There is one unconventional hack you can try — you just have to plan ahead of time. If you want to go the extra mile, install motion-activated lights. The bright motion sensors will scare off unwanted creatures.

Eliminate unpleasant odors

Besides preventing a pest infestation, there is a simple reason why you should take out the trash before leaving for vacation: it will smell. Who wants to walk into a putrid environment when returning from a glorious trip? So, toss out that mostly finished bag of Cheetos lingering at the bottom of your garbage can. Leaving just a single piece of trash out can make all the difference and affect the smell of the entire room.

Taking out the trash isn't the only step you should take to maximize your chances for a fresh-smelling, pest-free home. Clean out the refrigerator by throwing out any perishable items. Give the fridge a thorough wipe-down too. If you have a garbage disposal, make sure to run it, as residue can invite pests. Wash the dishes as well as your kitchen sink drain stopper. 

Upon your return, you may notice an unpleasant odor emanating from the sink drain if food particles are left unattended. To ensure a fresh-smelling sink, it's essential to clean the garbage disposal using distilled white vinegar followed by a thorough water flush. And here's a not-so-obvious cleaning tip you should consider before departing: toss out those coffee grounds. Besides generating a foul kitchen smell, leaving them in the machine can cause mold.