With the world slowly getting back to normal, every one of us deserves a vacation. The longer, the better.
However, no matter how hard the urge is just to pack your bags, leave your home and come back once your batteries are recharged, things are not that simple. Whenever you have to go away from your home for an extended period, there are some preparations and safety measures that you should handle beforehand.
Here is your handy-dandy vacation home preparation checklist. Just follow these steps, and you will be good to go.
Before leaving, it would be best if you could turn every appliance off and unplug it from the wall.
Empty the dishwasher and leave its door ajar so that all the extra water that might be left in there evaporates.
Make a mixture of vinegar and water and pour it down the garbage disposal to prevent any unpleasant odors from building up. You can use the same mix to wash your trash cans.
Leave your thermostat on, but lower the temperature settings. Just make sure your pipes don’t freeze due to too low temperature. Your water heater should also have a “vacation mode” or “low power” mode, so make sure you use that option.
If you can, empty the fridge and the freezer. If not, leave them running.
A house that hasn’t been open for a long time tends not to smell that nicely. To prevent this, take a couple of cotton balls with a few drops of peppermint oil and place them in your cupboard, trash cans, and closet.
Clean and scrub your bathroom but don’t leave it wet. A moist bathroom is a breeding ground for mold.
Safety and home care
If you have smart lights, set them up on a timer so different lights go on during other times of the night. Alternatively, you can ask your house sitter to manage the lights for you.
Speaking of lights, you should have at least one motion-activated floodlight at your home.
To make sure that potential burglars or evildoers can’t figure out that easily that your house is vacant, have someone pick your mail for you. While they are inside, ask them to flush your toilets as well – otherwise, there could be a buildup of sewer gases, especially if your house is on a septic tank. There are also organic pills that dissolve in water and help sewer gas buildup, so get them if you can.
Turn off water to the interior of your home. While you are away, a leak might happen, and the water buildup can lead to severe damage to your property and your budget. If you don’t have any plants that depend on an irrigation system for sustenance, it is best to turn the water off completely.
Finally, make sure that all the smoke detectors in your home function properly and replace any batteries that need to be replaced.
Things to do outdoor
Clean your gutters and water drains so that heavy rain or snow doesn’t cause a water blockage or even a flood.
Drain your garden hoses before putting them away. Otherwise, they might freeze and crack due to the cold weather.
Store away everything you can. This means that you should store away your tools and gear and all your lawn furniture, decorative cushions, etc.
Install storm windows if you have them.
If you have an outdoor propane grill, turn it off and disconnect the gas.
When it comes to window blinds, your initial instinct might be to close them. But, nothing sends a clearer message to potential intruders that nobody is home than blinds that have been left closed for days or even weeks.
Instead, the wisest thing to do would be to leave your blinds just the way they would be if you were home. Combined with all the precaution measures listed above, this should be enough to convince observers that your home is not empty.
Before you head out on that well-deserved vacation, double-check your luggage. Or even triple-check it. Remember, lists are your friends. Just like you have this checklist, you should also have a list of all the things to bring on a trip, and stick to it.
Before you go away, walk through all the rooms in your home and see if there is a window that was left unlocked. Hey, these things happen, so it is better to make sure.
Finally, make sure that all the doors are closed. Do not put your key under a mat or inside a false rock – if you know about these tricks, chances are that the potential thieves do, too. The best thing to do is to leave the spare keys with your housesitter.
And, there you have it. All that is left to do is to kick back, relax and have a good time. You have deserve it!