PREP YOUR PLACE FOR TIME AWAY
Your car is gassed up, your bags are packed, and you’re ready to head off for some R & R. But wait! Be sure your place is properly prepped for your time away, so you don’t return to anything unpleasant. For your peace of mind, here’s a handy checklist to follow so you won’t spoil even a moment by worrying about what you may have left undone at home. Getting your place vacation ready is the key.
SHARE your travel plans with the management of your apartment, condo, homeowners’ association, or a trusted neighbor in the event there’s an emergency. Better to be safe than sorry in this crazy world of ours. And if there’s an emergency, chances are you will want to be found. (Except for work. Don’t tell them a thing. LOL.
HOLD the mail. Visit your local post office or stop the mail online. This is such a great service for when you are on vacation, on a business trip, or will be spending time away for any reason. As an added bonus, you can schedule the day you want all your mail delivered to your home.
INSTALL a timer on one or more lights so it looks like someone is home. Programmable timers let you randomize the daily on/off times.
SET your A/C and heating system’s thermostat. When the weather is cold, set the heat to at least 50 degrees (to prevent pipes from freezing) and when it’s hot outside, set the air conditioning to 85 degrees.
SHUT OFF the water. Not really necessary for shorter trips, but if you will be away for an extended period, close the valves to your washing machine, dishwasher, ice maker, and toilets to prevent potential leaks.
ADJUST your blinds, shades, and/or curtains. Don’t completely close your window coverings if you don’t normally. Instead, close them partially to block the view while giving an “at-home” appearance. Tilting mini blind slats up will let in light but prevent snooping eyes. And you don’t want to completely close all window coverings. Remember mold and mildew thrive in dark places.
LOCK all doors and windows, and your car if you’re leaving it behind. This is a critical step for getting your place vacation ready!
PAY your bills. Sewer, electric, gas, rent, car payment, phone, internet, etc. Be sure to make any upcoming payments to keep your credit in good standing. With online banking, you can set payments to occur when they are due even if you’re away. Gotta love technology, right?
TOSS any fresh-cut flowers, which could start to smell if left in your home.
CLEAN your kitchen and bathroom. Wash dirty dishes, clean the sink trap, and pour vinegar down your garbage disposal so you don’t come home to yucky smells, bugs, or mildew.
CHECK to ensure the oven and stove are turned off. Don’t embarrass yourself by having to call a friend or neighbor to go check. Prep your place for time away!
EMPTY the trash. Take the trash to the dumpster so you don’t come home to a horrible stench or unwanted pests.
CLEAR the fridge and pantry. Eat or toss leftovers and perishables. Check those expiration dates! Rotting potatoes smell unbelievably gross. Onions, potatoes, and garlic may sprout, so toss them, too.
FREEZE a microwave meal for when you return home tired and hungry. Especially if you’ll be arriving late.
WASH, dry, fold, and stow everything in your laundry basket. Damp workout clothes can smell really nasty if left unwashed and spread the smell to everything else in your hamper. Don’t forget that last peek into the washing machine. Wet or even damp clothes sitting for a week or more will reek and only create more work for you once you return home with all your dirty vacation clothes.
UNPLUG small appliances, such as your toaster and coffeemaker, hair dryer, and curling wand.
MAKE your bed up with fresh sheets. This one is my favorite way to get my place vacation ready. You’ll love it too when you arrive home exhausted and get to sleep in a neat clean bed instead of a tangle of dusty sheets. It will be like being back in your hotel room! (If only).
Now that your place is perfectly prepared for your time away, pack your bags, leave your cares behind, and enjoy your vacation!