We spend our vacations relaxing with family and friends. Maybe you are looking forward to hiking in the mountains, spending time at the beach, or visiting relatives. You’re ready for a break, but how do you prepare your home before vacation? It’s normal to be anxious when leaving your residence for an extended length of time. Here’s a guide to making your home vacation-ready before you leave so you can relax while you’re away.
Maintenance Steps to Prepare Your Home
Make sure your house is clean and secure before you leave so you don’t return to stinky garbage, a high electricity bill, or plumbing problems. Attend to these things before heading out:
- Throw out food that will expire. Clean the refrigerator and seal any food containers you’re leaving behind.
- Take out all the trash in the house.
- Unplug electronics and appliances that aren’t going to be used while your away. Even when idle, televisions and computers still use electricity when they’re plugged in.
- Set the indoor temperature closer to the temperature outside so you’re not excessively heating or cooling an unoccupied home.
- Turn off the water at the main shut-off valve to prevent leaks while you’re away.
- If your water heater has the option, put it in vacation mode to save on the utility bill.
- Test the smoke detectors’ batteries and make sure the devices are working properly.
- Have a plan in place for how your pets and plants are going to be taken care of. Board your pets or hire a trusted pet sitter.
Prepare Your Home to Discourage Burglars
As you prepare your home before vacation, learn about burglars’ habits. Follow these steps to make sure your home is safe:
- If you have a home security system, call and let them know you will be away.
- Mail piling up attracts thieves. Have the post office hold your mail or ask a friend to pick it up for you.
- Put lights on timers to make it look like someone is home. Install an outdoor light that turns on when motion is detected.
- Make sure valuables are not in plain sight from the windows.
- Find someone to keep the lawn trimmed. An overgrown yard is a sign that a home may be vacant.
- Ask a friend to park their car in your driveway occasionally so you have activity at your house.
- Don’t announce that you’re leaving on social media and wait to post your vacation photos until you’re back at home.
Prepare Your Home for Your Return
Now that you’ve prepared your home before vacation, take a few more steps to get it ready for your return.
- Clean sinks, toilets, and surfaces. Run the garbage disposal with a half cup of vinegar and some water to clean it. Vacuum your rugs and sweep the floor. Your house should look and smell fresh.
- Wash, fold, and put away your laundry. Double-check to make sure your washing machine is empty.
- Change the sheets on your bed so you have fresh, clean bedding when you get home.
Let a trusted neighbor know you will be on vacation so they can watch out for any suspicious activity. Use this checklist to help you prepare your home before vacation so you can enjoy stress-free time off.