It’s summer, and that means vacation! You have already booked your flight, made hotel reservations and selected the sights you will see or the beach where you’ll relax. But, before you pack your suitcases, look around. Is your home ready for you to leave? Will your home be ready when you return?
Imagine coming home after a wonderful, fun-filled vacation and walking through the door to unpleasant smells or dead plants. A recent article in RISMedia’s Housecall (How to Prepare Your Home Before Going on Vacation), written by Emily Long, offers several suggestions to ensure your homecoming will be a pleasant one.
Clean Up – Remember to leave your home looking its best before you go. Empty your refrigerator of any perishables that have “use by” dates close to expiration. Throw away opened pantry items that may grow stale. Take out trash and recycling items. Finish, fold, and put away laundry. When you return you will have an empty washer and dryer ready for your vacation laundry. Wash sheets, towels, and make your bed. Clean counters and sinks, and run the garbage disposal before you leave.
Close Out – Keep up with maintenance and repairs throughout the year. Be sure your heating and cooling systems are in good shape. Change filters, if necessary, so air quality is good when you return. If you have a yard, be sure it is clean and grass is mown. Check for any loose limbs that may cause damage should severe weather occur while you are away. Unplug small appliances such as coffee makers, toasters, etc. This will save power and eliminate any potential short circuits. Check smoke detectors and be sure they have fresh batteries. If you are away in the winter, be sure water is shut off to prevent freezing pipes. Leave closet doors open to prevent musty smells upon your return.
Secure – Protect your home and belongings from thieves. Most burglaries occur during the summer months. Set up a remote monitoring system, or start one with a wireless security camera from a smart phone. Let your system carrier know you will be away. Cancel your newspaper delivery for the time you are away, and have the post office hold your mail. If you live in a condo, inform management and lobby concierge that you will be away. Be sure they have a set of spare keys should they need to enter your unit for any reason. Consider having a friend or family member check on your unit periodically to water plants. Advise your neighbors on either side of your unit/property that you will be away.
A bit of preparation before you leave will ensure a safe, secure, and worry-free vacation – and a relaxing return.