When your aupair is getting ready to leave for home or for ‘her next adventure’, there is a confusing array of tasks for her to attend to. Here is a partial list of tasks — tasks related to the home and the kids– that might help you and your departing aupair stay focused.
Remove sheets from the bed.
Leave the comforter and decorative pillows on the bed, no need to wash these.
Spread the bad with the comforter and pillows, but without sheets.
Wash all the sheets, fold them very neatly, and put them in the closet.
Remove any decorations from the walls, remove any adhesive tape left behind.
Vacuum the entire room carefully, including under the bed, under and behind other furniture, and the corners of the ceilings. Lookout for spiderwebs.
Empty out the drawers completely, vacuum them inside if they’re still dusty.
Empty out the closet, and return all hangers neatly to the closet rod.
Wash the mirror and glass table tops with the blue spray glass cleaner to get them completely clean.
Please do not leave anything behind in your room for the next aupair unless you check with me first.
Wash, dry, and fold all the towels and all the bath rugs.
Put the towels and drugs in a neat stack in the closet in the bedroom closet.
Clear all of your toiletries and beauty products from the cabinet and the cupboard.
Wash the mirror with glass cleaner.
Wipe down the inside of the medicine cabinet, especially the plastic shelves.
Scrub the toilet and the bathtub with cleanser.
Use the vacuum cleaner to vacuum the entire floor, especially under the bathtub and in the corners. Pay special attention to getting up from the floor any bits of dust and hair.
Remove any of your files and discs from the laptop computer.
Be sure to check the area around the computer for any of your small electronic items and their adapter cords — you don’t want to leave anything behind by mistake.
Turn the laptop computer and monitor completely off.
Make sure you take any of your DVDs from the area around the television.
Turn off the television completely.
Put away any DVDs that you might have borrowed from the family.
Change the outgoing voicemail message on your house phone and also on the cell phone, giving someone a telephone number or e-mail address where you can be contacted.
Erase any voicemail messages and contacts information from the telephone.
Remove your name from the cell phone welcome screen.
If you have changed any of the voicemail passwords, return those passwords to the original numbers.
Other items: mail, telephone messages on the house phone, library books, library card, videos, random stuff
Please leave us a street address where your mail can be forwarded if any pieces if anything is delivered here after you leave.
Go to the post office and fill out a card they are so that the post office can automatically forward your mail to your new street address.
Please leave us a telephone number that we can share with anyone who calls trying to reach you.
Be sure to let your bank know that your address is changed, you don’t want to miss any important documents.
If you have any outstanding library books, please return these to the library.
If you have any videos rented from Blockbuster, return these videos
If you have a family blockbuster card, gather this up.
Please bring down the aupair notebook, and any other parenting books or information we might have given you.
If you have any car keys, pool tags, bike lock keys, etc. please gather these up.
Take the car to a car wash and have it cleaned fully inside and out.
Check all of the compartments in the car for your belongings.
Fill the tank completely with gas.
Check to make sure that the insurance documents and maps are put away neatly in the car glove box.
Finishing up your au pair responsibilities
You should leave all of the kids” things that you are responsible for in neat and tidy order. The idea here is to leave everything ready for the next aupair when she arrives later this week.
Finish washing the kids’ laundry, fold it and put away.
Check the laundry room for any random pieces of kids’ laundry, put it away.
Check the laundry room for any of the kids’ ironing, finish that up, put it away.
Be sure to check the laundry room for your clothing — it’s easy to leave something behind on the drying rack or in one of the laundry baskets.
Put fresh sheets on the kids’ beds.
Wash the old sheets, fold them neatly, and put them away in the linen closet.
Tidy up the girls’ room.
In all of the places around the house that the aupair is responsible for keeping tidy, gather all library books, laundry, shoes, etc., and cookies away wherever they go. Please leave these areas very neat.
For the Host Parent(s)
Make sure that you give your aupair all the supplies she might need to get her room clean.
Offer her a few boxes, tote bags, etc. in which she can pack extra stuff.
Have any duct tape? She might need that too.
Be ready to complete the paperwork that closes out your aupair’s year. (Our agency gives us a form for this.) The worksheet helps calculate how much money you might owe your aupair for education expenses and vacation day(s). It also reminds you to check to see if there are any outstanding telephone charges that the aupair may be responsible for.
[I sketched out this list the last time we had an au pair depart…while it’s specific to my house and the things that drive me nuts (e.g., au pair leaving without telling me the voicemail password…), you can of course modify it to fit your needs. As always, your mileage may vary.]
Can you think of anything else that should be added to this list?