This list isn’t just for students, it also applies to anyone leaving their home for the extended Christmas period (but that doesn’t make a very catchy headline, does it?).
Make sure any dirty laundry is dry
If you’re in a rush and don’t have time to do your laundry, it’s easy to forget to properly hang damp towels and flannels, but you must ensure everything in the laundry basket is dry before heading home. Damp laundry can cause mould on your textiles and clothing, as well as very unpleasant smells. Worst case, it might even ruin your clothes. So, if you don’t have time to do the laundry before leaving, make sure the dirty laundry is dry.
Especially for students: if you’re planning on taking your laundry home to poor old mum, be sure to let her know! For extra brownie points, separate the darks / whites / delicates etc into separate bags.
Take out the rubbish
Remove any rubbish bags (no matter how little is in them!) and check around the bin area to see if there are any remains. Wipe around and inside the rubbish bin too as any food remains will mould. It’s also a good move to pull out the fridge and check behind it.
Empty the refrigerator of all perishables
Anything that is fresh or unsealed needs to go – you can always take it with you in Tupperware if you don’t want it to go to waste. Failing that, maybe you could have a leaving feast the day before with all you leftovers? Wipe away spots inside the refrigerator as well. You might as well take a look in your freezer while you’re at it, but this isn’t quite as immediate.
Rinse your dirty dishes
Just like with the laundry, not everyone gets around to that last round of dirty dishes before going away. In that case, it is really important that you rinse away any leftover foodstuffs, because they will start to smell. Don’t leave them languishing in dish water either!
Clean the bathroom drain
Hair, remains of skin and shampoo, and other debris can cook up a real cocktail of stink if they are left to dry for a couple of days. Cleaning the drain is not fun, but make sure you do it before you leave. You will not regret it.
Put disinfectant in the drain after cleaning it, and in all the sinks as well. Just put a proper dose of chlorine in there, let it work its magic for at least 15 minutes, and rinse thoroughly.
Make sure the windows are shut tightly, and set the thermostat for 12 degrees. Never turn off all heating during the winter!