The countdown has ended, the planning is done, and thoughts of sweet, sweet vacation time is the only thing filling your mind. But wait … what about the house? It’s important, even in pre-vacation bliss, to prep your house for your time away, so that while you’re gone you know you don’t have anything to worry about. We’ve made it easy with this quick checklist. Have any must-do’s that you recommend? Leave a comment!
1.) Clean Out Fridge
Avoid spoiled food and everything else that comes along by cleaning out your fridge before you leave. Bonus? Wipe down the shelves, and do a little organizing while there is less food in the fridge for a little post-vacation joy.
2.) Remove Spare Keys
No matter how tricky you think you are with your key placement, being gone with a key hidden near your home is a dangerous situation. Avoid the potential of those keys ending up in hands you don’t want them to, by removing the spare and giving it to a trusted friend or family member while gone.
3.) Leave a Light On
There is no better protection for your home while you’re gone than simply looking like you are NOT gone. For shorter trips leave a small light on. For longer trips, it’s worth buying a cheap automatic timer for lights to turn on at different points throughout the day. If you have a security system, alert them that you will be out of town, as well.
4.) Stop the Mail & Paper
One more tip safety – be sure to stop the mail & paper. There is no better sign that someone isn’t home than letting a big pile of newspapers pile up!
5.) Unplug Appliances
Even when appliances are turned off, there is still an electrical draw. To save electricity, prevent the potential disaster of fire catching, and save electronics from electrical storms, it’s best to just unplug!
6.) Turn Water Off
Because you will not be using water while you’re gone, your safest bet (especially for long trips), is to simply turn off your water with the main shut-off valve. The quick little shut off could save from extremely expensive flooding. (Hint: You can also put your water heater in “vacation mode” to save on energy).
7.) Lock Windows & Doors
It may seem obvious, but do you really always lock ALL windows and doors. Be sure to lock even the hard to reach windows or high patio doors. It’s not worth seeing if someone could reach those hard to reach windows when you could instead just go ahead and lock.
8.) Adjust Thermostat
It’s not smart to completely shut off your AC in the summer because of humidity (and potentially causing your refrigerator to overwork), but it is definitely your best bet to set the AC to 85 degrees to save on energy costs and wasting electricity for not being home. In the winter you can lower to 50 – 60 degrees, but going any lower risks freezing pipes.
9.) Trash & Disposal
In the final moments before leaving town, it’s easy to forget taking out the trash! Nothing is worse than coming back to less than desirable smells and flies in the kitchen! In addition, use white vinegar and water in your garbage disposal and run for a minute to leave a clean disposal while gone.
10.) Clean Up
There’s something to be said about coming home from vacation to a clean house. This isn’t for potential robbers, or lightning strikes, or saving energy … it’s just for you, and the bliss that is coming home to a clean house. Clear the clutter, and treat yourself to fresh sheets to ease yourself back into post-vacation life.