You are going away on vacation. It’s exciting and you just can’t wait! Not so fast. Before you leave, it is important to put your house in order. This will ensure that your possessions will be adequately protected and you will come back to a house that’s well put together.
So, how do you prepare your home before a long vacation? Here’s how:
1. Clean out the Fridge
Take a peek inside your fridge to see if there is anything likely to go bad while you are away. You can then consume it or properly preserve it in the freezer.
2. Turn the Water off
It is advisable to turn the water off at the main supply to prevent both foreseeable and unforeseeable leaking and flooding accidents.
Also ensure to drain all sinks, water faucets, and sink valves. Additionally, flush all your toilets and turn off their water supply. Taking these measures will help get rid of stagnant water that is likely to encourage algae and mildew buildup.
3. Thoroughly Clean Your House
No one wants to come back to a house that stinks! To avoid such a scenario, clean the dishes, mop the floors, wipe any dusty surfaces, clean and put away your laundry, and ensure everything is in its proper place. You should also take out all your trash and clean the bins to get rid of any remaining particles and dirt.
A clean house will not only make you feel relaxed once you are back but will also keep away pests such as fruit flies and cockroaches. You may also need to implement additional pest control measures to eradicate any that are already in your house and prevent them from breeding.
4. Unplug Appliances from Sockets
This applies to all the devices that will not be in use while you are away. They include TVs, computers, laptops, microwaves, and water dispensers just to mention a few. Unplugging the appliances will not only help reduce the energy bill but also protect your devices in case of a power surge.
5. Install Programmable Light Timers
You can set programmable light timers that can turn on and off at specific times. This will create the illusion that someone is at home thus turning away intruders.
6. Stop Any Home Deliveries
This applies to newspapers, mail, magazines, food, and any other deliveries you get. You do not want to incur unnecessary costs or make it obvious that you are not home due to piled up deliveries. To avoid that, let your service providers know, prior to your vacation, that you will not require their services and for how long.
In case you cannot stop any of these deliveries, have someone else hold them for you till you return.
7. Make Plans for Your Pets and Plants
If you have some pets, they will need to be fed and looked after, while you are away. To make this possible, you can take them over to a friend or family. Alternatively, you may have someone come over and tend to them perhaps on an overnight basis. They could also water and prune your plants if you have some.
Related: How to Choose a Pet Hotel
8. Put on Hold the Phone, Cable Television, and Internet Services
In cases where you pay for cable television or internet every month, you can get in touch with your service providers and ask them to put on hold your subscriptions until you are back. Most service providers describe this as a seasonal hold. However, they may still charge you a minimal fee.
9. Put on Hold Your Gym Membership
If you are a member of a gym, fitness class or a country club, you can put on hold your membership for a specified amount of time. Even though you may be a charged a minimal fee, it is better than having to pay in full for services you will not utilize.
10. How about a Security System?
If your budget allows it, you can install a professional security system in and around your home. The system includes:
It helps notify the alarm security company and your neighbors of an intrusion in your home. It may also help scare away the intruder.
Door and Window Sensors
Usually, door and window sensors work in collaboration in that one part of the device is installed on the window and the other on the door. Should either of the openings be tampered with or opened, the alarm goes off notifying both your neighbors and the alarm’s security company.
These can be set up in areas that contain your valuables or those that you rarely go to. In case anyone trespasses these areas, the alarm goes off.
Thanks to technology you can now keep watch over your property from wherever you are in the world. There are several manufacturers that provide high-quality cameras that enable you to seamlessly monitor your home. You can either choose to have an internet security company install the cameras at a monthly fee or get your preferable camera kit and do it by yourself.
Yard and Window Stickers
These are stickers that notify others of security devices within your home. This can help deter intruders as it lets them know your home is constantly under watch.
11. Plan for Your Car
If you plan to leave your car behind it is important to leave it well secured in your garage. You should also have someone take it out and drive it at least once a week. This will help prevent the battery from totally discharging and ease the pressure exerted on the car’s tires. It also keeps the engine and transmission well lubricated and the car’s fuel system clean.
Alternatively, you can disconnect the battery to prevent it from discharging and place the car on jacks to prevent tire damage.
12. Lock All External Doors, Windows, and the Garage
This goes without saying. You should ensure that all your windows, doors, and garage doors are properly locked.
Do not carry all the keys with you; leave a copy of the main doors and garage with a trusted friend or neighbor. This will enable them to attend to any arising issues or emergencies while you are away.
13. Request Your Neighbors and the Police to Keep Watch
Let the police and one or two of your neighbors know of your travel plans. They can then keep an eye on your property. Note that, only a few trusted people ought to be in the know. Otherwise, you risk having informants lead burglars into your property.
Now you know how to prepare your home for vacation, you can go ahead and have a stress-free vacation knowing that your home is well protected. From time to time, you can use your phone to monitor your house via the surveillance cameras.
Be mindful also to not share too much information about your vacation on social media. This will prevent any ill-intentioned persons from monitoring your movements. Though it may be very tempting to share your wonderful pictures and escapades, leave that for when you are back.