Friday, September 30, 2011

The absolute minimum that you must do to get ready - for anything

There are times in life when you are going to leave home - for a few hours or a few days or a few weeks - and come home unprepared to deal with the real world for a while.

You may be getting a tooth filled, or picking up your mother at the airport, or bringing home a new baby, or going on vacation, or having surgery or watching a weekend-long roller derby tournament, or having a real hot date that you hope leads to more, or....oh I don't know. Working 6 back-to-back doubles at work. Let's say you are doing that. Sounds awful.

You get the idea.

Whatever your personal situation, there are some things you have GOT to do so that when you do come home, you are not overwhelmed with all of the stuff you didn't take care of in advance. This is also known as "cleaning up in case I die and my parents have to come pack up my house".

Because that? Is NO BUENO.

So here is my "high and (up)tight list of shit to do" for your note-taking pleasure.

1. Change your sheets. Change your kids' sheets. Change all the sheets. Just do it. Change 'em. This is especially important for dudes who are a little fuzzy on how often sheets should be changed. Hint: they should be changed more often than you think. Remake your bed with your favorite sheets and plenty of pillows.

2. Do your laundry and your dishes. You will be so glad you did. So glad. You will have clean underwear and towels!

3. Clean your room. Personally, this could take me the better part of a day, so I suggest you plan ahead. And have a vacuum handy. Hide the porn/weed/sex toys/costumes. Shred papers you don't need that have personal info. Lock up extra credit cards and checks, passports, marriage/birth certificates and tax returns. (What? Did you just call me paranoid? I'M NOT PARANOID.)

4. Go grocery shopping. Buy food that is shelf-stable (including a carton of non-refrigerated milk) or frozen (fruits and veggies!) and yummy, for quick meals, easy snacks, and on-the-go eating when you get home. If you were ever going to write up a one week meal-plan (like the ones they are always printing in magazines to make me feel bad about myself) and shop from a specific grocery list, now is the time. Buy things you want to eat, so that you don't have to order pizza the minute you walk in the door.

5. Get ready to relax. Set aside a book or magazine or DVD or something to entertain you when you get home.

6. Stash some emergency cash. Because you may come home broke, or be too tired to deal with going to the ATM, or need to tip the cab driver or whatever. Just leave some money in an envelope in a drawer somewhere. Try to remember where - that's important.

7. Stock the essentials. Make sure you have toilet paper, soap, deodorant, shampoo, garbage bags and dish detergent in the house.

8. Clean your bathroom. INCLUDING THE SHOWER. No one likes a dirty bathroom. If you have been somewhere that has the bathroom cleaned regularly, and you DON'T do that, you are going to be in for a rude awakening. You are also going to be mortified that you have been living in such filth.

9. Clean the kitchen. Okay, this one is important for a few reasons. A. Bugs and rodents love a dirty kitchen. They especially love a dirty kitchen when no one is home for a long period of time. Wash your dishes, wipe down counters, put the food away, sweep and mop the floor, and clean out the fridge. Throw out anything that is going to expire, all containers of leftovers, and wipe down the shelves a bit. You'll be glad you did.

10. Fill your gas tank. If you own a car, gas up. If you have propane in your house or on your grill, gas up. If you run on solar power, well aren't you something. Your mother must be very proud. She hasn't seen your bathroom yet. Go wash behind the toilet and between the faucet handles.

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