Getting ready for a vacation can be overwhelming at times. There’s lots of packing to do and then there’s getting the house ready for you to be away. Don’t let this overwhelm you though. Here’s a list of 11 things to do to prepare your home for vacation.
Clean the House
Start about a week before leaving for vacation and clean your home so you won’t have much to worry about when you return. There’s nothing worse than coming home from a fantastic, relaxing vacation to find a house in chaos. If you run out of time, at least do these five things.
- Straighten your family room, kitchen, and bedroom. That way you can relax a little while you’re doing the laundry upon returning home. And if you arrive late at night, your bedroom will be a relaxing sanctuary.
- Change your sheets. There’s nothing like clean sheets to help you relax after a long travel day.
- Clean out the refrigerator. You certainly don’t want to have a smelly refrigerator when you get back. Throw away all the veggies, meats, and milk that might spoil if left while you vacation for a week or more.
- Take out the trash. This is another MUST! All those items you just threw away from your refrigerator must be put in the garbage cans before you leave. Otherwise, your whole house will smell bad.
- Check your washing machine to make sure all the clothes have been dried. You don’t want to come home to a washer full of sour clothes.
Unplug Electronics and Small Appliances
Unplug your small kitchen appliances like the coffee maker and toaster. Don’t forget to unplug tech gear like your computer (unless there’s a reason it needs to remain plugged in), TVs, unused chargers.
Manage Mail and Newspapers
Either have the post office hold your mail or have your neighbor collect mail and any newspapers you receive. Contact the newspaper to have them hold delivery until you return if you don’t have a neighbor to help you with this.
Manage Your Plants
Make sure your outdoor plants are on a watering schedule and put self-watering devices in your indoor plants. Or if your neighbor is especially helpful, ask her to water them for you. Leave good instructions about watering each plant if you ask someone to help with this. Check out decorative self-watering devices here.
Program Thermostat and Lights
Be sure to set your thermostat to an energy-saving level while you’re gone. No sense in running up a big electric bill if you aren’t even home. If you don’t already have timers for your lights, purchase some and program your lights to come on and off as if you’re at home. Click here to purchase light timers.
Double-Check Windows and Doors
Make sure ALL windows and doors are locked and bolted. Check and double-check this. Remember to lock the upstairs windows too, especially if you leave your windows open at night.
Set Your Security System
After the car is packed and everyone is in the car, be sure to SET the security system as you lock the final door.
The Wrap Up
Preparing your home for vacation is as important as packing for vacation. You don’t want to come home to a dirty, smelly house or one that’s been broken into. Check this list of 11 home preparation essentials to make sure your return home is as relaxing as your vacation.
To read more about getting ready for vacation, check out these articles.
- Why You Need and How to Get a Passport
- How to “Pack Like a Pro” for Women
- The Top 10 Travel Accessories You NEED
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: Which is Better
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