Preparing for a holiday, regardless of its duration, requires careful attention to various home tasks to ensure a worry-free and enjoyable time away.
With a multitude of things to organize, it’s easy to overlook crucial steps when it comes to safeguarding your home before your departure.
To ensure a seamless vacation experience and a smooth transition upon your return, make sure to prioritize these ten essential home tasks. By checking them off your list, you can embark on your trip with peace of mind, knowing that your home is secure and well-prepared for your absence.
By completing these ten essential home tasks before your departure, you can embark on your vacation with confidence, knowing that you have taken the necessary steps to ensure the security, safety, and well-being of your home.
This comprehensive preparation will contribute to a stress-free getaway and a smooth return to your everyday routine once you’re back home.
20 Home Tasks You Have to Check Off Before Leaving
Secure Your Home.
Before leaving, take the necessary precautions to secure your home against potential intruders.
Ensure all doors and windows are locked securely, double-check the functionality of your security system (if applicable), and consider installing timers for lights to give the illusion of activity inside the house. By implementing these security measures, you can deter any unauthorized access and protect your property during your absence.
Adjust the Thermostat Settings.
To optimize energy usage and maintain a comfortable environment in your absence, adjust the thermostat settings accordingly.
Depending on the season, set the temperature to a level that conserves energy without subjecting your home to extreme temperatures. Finding the right balance will help prevent unnecessary energy consumption while safeguarding your belongings and preserving indoor conditions.
Stop Deliveries and Services.
Avoid attracting unwanted attention by pausing mail and newspaper deliveries while you’re away.
Accumulating mail or packages left unattended for an extended period can signal that nobody is home. Additionally, consider suspending any regular services, such as landscaping or cleaning, to avoid unnecessary expenses and ensure a well-maintained appearance even during your absence.
Notify Trusted Neighbors or Friends.
Inform trustworthy neighbors or friends about your upcoming vacation and ask them to keep an eye on your property.
Share relevant contact information with them so they can reach you in case of emergencies or urgent matters. Their presence and vigilance can provide an extra layer of security and peace of mind while you’re away.
Arrange for Pet Care.
If you have pets, make appropriate arrangements for their care during your vacation.
Whether it’s hiring a pet sitter, booking a boarding facility, or entrusting their well-being to a trusted friend or family member, ensure that your furry companions will be properly taken care of in your absence. Provide detailed instructions regarding feeding, medication (if applicable), and any other specific needs they may have.
Unplug Non-Essential Electronics.
Minimize standby power usage and protect your electronic devices from potential power surges by unplugging non-essential electronics.
Items such as TVs, computers, gaming consoles, and chargers can consume energy even when not in use. By unplugging them, you’ll not only save on energy costs but also reduce the risk of electrical hazards and extend the lifespan of your appliances.
Set up Light Timers.
Maintain the appearance of an occupied home by using light timers.
Program them to turn on and off at different intervals throughout the day, simulating regular activity. This simple but effective technique can deter potential burglars who might be monitoring houses for signs of vacancy.
Store Valuables Securely.
Safeguard your valuable possessions by storing them securely before you leave.
Consider utilizing a home safe, locking important documents in a secure cabinet, or moving valuable items to an off-site storage facility. By taking these precautionary measures, you can protect your valuables from theft or damage and enjoy your vacation with peace of mind.
Double-Check Home Appliances.
Before departing, double-check that all home appliances, including stoves, ovens, and small kitchen appliances, are turned off.
Additionally, ensure that faucets are tightly closed to prevent any potential leaks or Water Damage. By verifying these simple but essential tasks, you can avoid accidents and Save Energy during your time away.
Notify Security Providers.
If you have security alarm monitoring or home surveillance services, inform the respective providers about your vacation dates.
Provide them with your contact information and any designated emergency contacts in case they need to reach you. This ensures that your security provider is aware of your absence and can promptly respond to any alerts or incidents that may arise.
Manage Perishable Foods.
When you’re about to go on vacation, it’s essential to handle perishable foods wisely to avoid returning spoiled items.
Take the time to plan your meals, and if there are any produce or leftovers that won’t be consumed in time, consider freezing them or donating them to friends, family, or local food pantries. Additionally, if you have canned or jarred goods nearing their expiration dates, donating them to a food pantry is a great way to prevent food waste and support those in need.
Wash the Dishes.
Leaving a sink full of Dirty Dishes behind not only creates an unpleasant sight but also attracts pests and unpleasant odors.
Even if you’re just going away for a short weekend trip, it’s best to tackle the dishes before you leave. Run a cycle in the dishwasher or hand wash them to ensure that your kitchenware doesn’t accumulate bacteria or develop unpleasant smells while you’re away.
Empty the Trash.
Arriving home to overflowing trash cans is far from welcoming.
To avoid this situation, make sure to empty all the trash and recycling bins before you depart. If your departure doesn’t align with the regular trash pick-up day, consider asking a neighbor for assistance in taking your full bins curbside.
It’s also important to ask them to bring the emptied bins back to a secure location to prevent theft or fines. If necessary, you can drop off the trash at a local city or county rubbish dump before you leave.
Electronics that remain plugged in, even when not in use, continue to draw standby power, resulting in unnecessary energy consumption and potentially higher electricity bills.
Unplugging these electronics before you leave can help reduce energy waste and protect your appliances from unexpected power surges. Take a moment to unplug items such as lamps, phone chargers, toasters, coffee machines, alarm clocks, and electronic toothbrushes.
For added safety, plug any other necessary devices into a GFCI socket or surge protector to minimize the risk of minor electrical hazards.
Adjust the Temperature.
Optimize your home’s energy usage and save money by adjusting the thermostat to an appropriate temperature while you’re away.
Depending on the season, this may mean turning off the heating or air conditioning completely. However, if it’s winter or summer and extreme temperatures are expected, find a comfortable and energy-efficient setting.
Set the temperature right before you leave and take advantage of any smart settings that allow the thermostat to auto-adjust during your absence. Remember to turn off any space heaters or window air conditioners before departing.
Provide Backup Access.
While you’re on vacation, unexpected emergencies can occur at home, so it’s important to plan for such situations.
Prepare for unforeseen circumstances by hiding a spare key in a discreet location, such as your car or a trusted friend or neighbor’s home. Make sure that any pet or house sitters you’ve arranged know exactly where to find the spare key.
If you have smart locks, consider sharing the access code with visitors or individuals you trust.
Manage Mail, Papers, and Packages.
Leaving important mail or packages unattended on your doorstep for extended periods can pose a security risk.
Safeguard your deliveries by putting a hold on mail services or rerouting packages to a more secure location. Alternatively, you can ask a trusted neighbor to collect your mail or packages left outside your home.
If you anticipate important documents or deliveries during a season prone to rain or inclement weather, take extra precautions to ensure their safekeeping, such as requesting delivery to a back or side porch.
Secure Access Points.
When securing your home before vacation, it’s crucial not to overlook windows, door screens, and back or side doors.
While it may be easy to remember to lock the front door, other access points are often neglected. Even higher floors are not immune to potential burglaries.
Take thorough measures by ensuring all windows, including those with vulnerable entry points such as crawl spaces, fire escapes, or garage door windows, are securely locked. If you have a security system, activate any window access alarms or motion detection features in susceptible areas to enhance your home’s protection.
Keep your indoor and outdoor plants thriving even when you’re away by giving them a good watering before your departure.
If you’re going on an extended vacation and no one will be available to tend to them, consider using self-watering spikes or globes to provide a steady water supply. Don’t forget to make arrangements for backyard gardens or grass that will be left unattended during the hot summer months to prevent dehydration and damage.
Close Window Coverings.
Before leaving your home, take a moment to close the drapes, curtains, and blinds.
This simple action not only helps keep the interior cool by blocking out direct sunlight but also prevents outsiders from peeking inside and realizing that the house is unoccupied. By closing your window coverings, you can save energy, maintain privacy, and create the illusion of an occupied home even when you’re away.
*The information is for reference only.