I was always taught by my mom when I was growing up to clean the house before we left for vacation. This way, we wouldn't have to worry about cleaning when we got home from vacation. The training I received from her stuck with me. I cannot stand to leave my house in a mess when I am leaving for anything overnight.
Of course, there will always be loads of laundry to do after unpacking upon return, but it is so nice to come home to a clean home.
A few things that I like to make sure are done before I leave:* Dust
*Laundry is done (so I don't have double loads when I return)
* Bathrooms are clean
* Dishwasher is at least turned on (if time allows, unload it)
* There's a place for everything and everything is in its place
* Trashcan is empty
* Plants are watered
* Floors are swept/mopped
So, while you pack your bags, keep your house clean too! You'll be glad you did!