DIY & Tips

Vacation Home Preparation Checklist

The days before a vacation can be especially hectic, making it too hard to remember every task that needs to be done to get your house ready for your departure. Here is a handy pre-vacation checklist, to help you prepare your home before you go on vacation, so you can enjoy a worry-free trip and settle in at home after your vacation conveniently.

  • Make arrangements for your pets. — Give your pet sitter or pet boarding facility detailed instructions for your pets’ care. Make sure that your pets will have plenty of favorite foods, toys, treats, necessary medicines and other supplies available.
  • Prepare your houseplants. — Ask someone to water your plants. Leave a list of locations of all plants and watering instructions for each plant. Or, insert self-watering stakes in pots.
  • Leave a light on. — For short trips, leave several lights on throughout your home, to make it appear occupied. Before longer vacations, attach inexpensive auto-timers that turn lights on and off at varying intervals.
  • Designate an emergency contact. — Ask a friend or a neighbor to keep an eye on your home,  and provide your contact information so that they can contact you, if necessary.
  • Stop mail and newspaper deliveries. — Keep your mail and newspapers from piling up, by contacting your post office and newspaper delivery to put your services on temporary hold.
  • Adjust the thermostat. —Temporarily reset your thermostat to help prevent the heating and air-conditioning system from wasting electricity in an empty house. Unplug appliances, if appropriate.
  • Check smoke detectors. — Inspect all smoke detectors, and replace batteries as needed.
  • Straighten the house. — Wash all dishes, vacuum or sweep floors, dust, wipe counter tops, and clean the bathroom. Prepare your house, to end your vacation with a pleasant return to a tidy home.
  • Clean out the refrigerator. — Dispose of food with expiration dates that are prior to your return date. Wipe up spills and any food particles inside the fridge.
  • Do the laundry. — Leave home with the joy of knowing you won’t be facing laundry loads when you return, by doing laundry before you go.
  • Change the sheets. — Return from your journey to a comfortable awaiting bed, by making your bed with fresh sheets for a cozy first night home.
  • Empty the trash. — Don’t forget to take out the trash.
  • Lock your house. — Remember to lock all windows and doors, including pet doors. But leave blinds and curtains as you normally keep them, to avoid drawing attention to the fact that you’re away.

Takeaway

Taking time to make sure your home is in good order can make all the difference in your ability to get the most enjoyment from your vacation. To prevent those nagging concerns about what may be happening at home while you are away, take the simple steps above to ensure that your home has been secured and that proper pre-travel health and safety measures have been taken before you depart. And, have a great trip!

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