7 Things I Frantically Do 24 Hours Before His Homecoming

7 Things I Frantically Do 24 Hours Before His Homecoming (Even Though They Don't Make Sense)

The end is near. Well, the end of deployment or TAD or any separation ever.

And I have a few things on my deployment homecoming to-do list.

Pinnable 7 Things I Do in the 24 Hours Before My Service Member Comes Home

1. Laundry: I do ALL the laundry that I haven’t done in the last few days/weeks/months. I’ve basically been living in an endless loop of laundry: taking clean clothes out of the dryer to wear, then putting them into the washing machine later to clean. The end of deployment means that I actually should fold and put away those things. And maybe throw in a few of his things too, just to freshen them up.

2. Sleep: Not just any sleep though. I mean sleeping directly in the middle of the bed with every single pillow circling me to create an oasis of space and comfort.

After today, I will be back to sharing the bed, and I want to soak up every last second without having to worry about getting kicked, poked or breathing morning breath.

3. Deep Clean: This is a losing battle, but I bet that you do this too. I know logically that the moment he walks in the door, my house will be a complete disaster zone.

It will be filled with nasty seabags, sandy boots and stinky utilities. Yet, here I am, on my hands and knees scrubbing that kitchen floor.

Will my service member notice?

Nope. But I feel like a clean house is important for some reason.

4. Search Pinterest: And all of my cookbooks for a suitable crockpot-worthy recipe to prep. Then I spend hours agonizing over the ingredients, the shopping list and whether it will actually turn out as well as I thought it would. After the actual commissary run, prepping and assembling the ingredients, and then setting it up, this takes up a bunch of time.

5. Scavenging My Closet: To be honest, if it’s been a really long separation, I’ll start this a few days before the actual event. I want a super special something to wear. Starting early gives me time to go out to buy anything I might be missing or just get a whole new outfit. But, let’s imagine that I have everything already.

The day before, I take out all the possibilities and lay them out on the bed. I try on everything in all of the possible combinations and narrow it down. Right before I need to leave or he walks in the door, I’ll scramble through yet another outfit rotation since the items I selected suddenly don’t seem quite right anymore.

6. Relax: A nice bubble bath, facial, mani/pedi and a glass of wine help to erase, sort of, any last-minute jitters. Reconnecting after months apart can be challenging. And even after just a few days or weeks can be an event that brings on the butterflies. While I know I might still be stressed out or overwhelmed, having a few moments of peace and quiet helps me to unwind just a little bit.

7. Freak out: Yes, I’ve checked my list twice and I definitely know that not everything will be perfect. But there is still that niggling little voice in the back of my head that insists it has to be just right in order to be a success.

So, instead of resting peacefully (see number 2) or unwinding (see number 6), I’ll be double-checking my meal plan, worrying that I got the right kind of beer or scrubbing the bathroom one more time.

Because obviously the one thing on his mind will be the disinfected toilet. Duh.

What’s on your to-do list in the hours before your service member comes home after a separation? Tell us in the comments. 



  1. I did all except the laundry, I even cleaned my own hotel rooms (I know extreme), but the laundry never mattered. I was about to be loaded up on a sets of green, dirty, stinky, disgusting laundry that somehow always had the best smells ever because it smelled like him.

    • Michelle Volkmann

      Oh, the laundry explosion that happens when they come home. Emily, you’re so smart to wait on the laundry.

      • Honestly I usually enjoy the laundry when he comes home. The only time I didn’t is when he forgot laundry money once, and he couldn’t contact me the entire deployment (3 months, sucked but sergeant told him that he was able to give a heads up on no contact that time). That time the stench was so bad I had to use a gas mask, and the neighbors in the next apartment were complaining. I think one of his pants had some mustard gas that did not dissipate completely. And him being a CBRNE specialist, it makes sense.


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