Making sure your house is ready for you to travel is just as important as preparing yourself for your trip. Nothing is worse than coming home to a house that is messy or finding all your plants dead! Here are some of my tips for making sure your house is safe and will be ready for your return.
1. Have Your Mail Collected or Stopped – A pile of mail is a signal that you are not home and may not be home for a while. Have a trusted neighbor or friend collect your mail. If you are going to be away longer than a few days, usually the post office will hold your mail till you return.
2. Make Arrangements for Pets and Plants/Yard – If you have pets, have someone come over or take them to a pet hotel. Depending on your pet, they may do better in their home, or they may need more attention. Leave specific instructions on feeding schedules and if they need medicine. I recently took my plants to my office so that my coworkers could care for them as getting into my apartment is hard, and my plants need to be watered about once a week. It is less stressful for the plant if you can have someone come over to water them than taking it somewhere. This is true for your outdoor plants as well. Make sure you have someone mow your lawn if applicable.
3. Get Someone to Start Your Car – If you are gone longer than two weeks, have some start your car a few times. This will help ensure that your car starts when you return. If you really trust the person, have them drive the car around the block a few times.
4. Unplug Small Appliances – To help with electric bills and for safely, unplug your toaster, coffee maker, television and other non-essential appliances. This way if you have a power surge, then your small appliances will not get fried, especially true for your computers.
5. Throw Away Perishable Food – If you can’t eat it or give the food away, throw away perishable food. Not only will your fridge not smell, but you also won’t come home to a science experiment in the fridge!
6. Do Laundry – You are going to have laundry to do when you return, so do as much as you can before you go. This will make unpacking less stressful when you return.
7. Turn Up or Down Your Thermostat – Depending on the season, you can turn the AC up or the heat down. Don’t turn the system off unless you are living in a temperate climate that doesn’t change much. This will help you save on bills, but also keep the house somewhat comfortable for your return or your pets. It also helps to leave it on so that your books and art are protected from the environment.
8. Make the House Secure – Have inside and outside lights on a timer, have someone check on the house, don’t post on the internet that you are going away if your address is public, leave a radio on, ensure doors and windows are locked, hide valuables, and tell trusted neighbors you are going away so they can report any suspicious activity.
Now you can go away and enjoy your trip knowing that your house is being taken care of and will be ready for your return!
What do you do to your house when you leave? Tell us in the comments!
Lighting timers are good, but also make sure that you can turn on and off the TV and radio randomly – don’t disconnect them. There are loads of home automation apps (like Axial or ImperiHome etc) which you can use to make it sound like you are having a party or which allow you to watch your home remotely, even though you are thousands of miles away.
You can check on your phone and/or laptop and turn the lights, heating, TV, stereo etc on and off (and up and down/change channels) at will, as well as view the place through hidden cameras at strategic locations inside and outside the house.
There are also apps which alert you by phone in the event of any unusual activity in any given area, like SalientEye, iCam etc etc. You can take photos and they are saved remotely in a couple of places, and also allow you to contact the cops.
Thanks for your added tips and apps!
These are all great tips. You don’t want to have to worry about your house while you’re trying to relax on your vacation!
I totally agree!
I definitely agree that pet owners should consider finding a hotel for their four-legged friends, especially if they need more attention. When you said that, it convinced me to find one for my aunt. That way, she can come home to her well-fed, energetic Persian cat and bulldog after her vacation in Africa next month.
Hello there! Thank you for sharing these tips!
Glad I stopped by your blog!