Summer is in full swing! This means we are in the season of ice cream, long days at the beach, and sunbathing. Of course, for many of us, it also means that it is time to take that long-awaited vacation! Unfortunately, before you get to the rest and relaxation, there is a looooong checklist of to-dos waiting for you to take care of them.
We aren’t just talking about setting up your out-of-office email message or picking the perfect luggage. You also need to remember to prep your home!
If you are wondering how to prepare your home for a vacation, you have come to the right place! We’ve made a comprehensive of all the little details homeowners often forget when they’re in vacation mode. Whether you are headed off on an extended vacation or just a short trip, follow these tips to create a home you are excited to come back to.
1) Empty Trash 🗑️
We’ve all been there. You rush out the door, ready to get the vacation started, only to return home and be greeted by a deeply unpleasant smell.
Before leaving your home, it is hugely important that you empty the trash bins throughout your home. If you are working with a house sitter or pet sitter, make sure that they know when trash day is so that they can set the bins out for your waste removal company.
2) Yard Work 🌳
It may be the last thing you want to think about, but it is important to take care of any yard work you may need to do before leaving. This includes:
- Mowing grass
- Raking leaves
- Shoveling snow
Doing this beforehand will make sure that your home is prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws its way.
We also recommend setting up timed sprinklers in order to keep your gardens flourishing in the warmer months.
3) Pause Mail and Newspaper Delivery 📫
Putting a hold on your mail isn’t just a convenience issue…it’s a safety issue! Allowing uncollected mail to pile up in your mailbox can signal to intruders that no one is home and watching the property. By pausing your service, you will help to ensure the safety of your home when you are traveling for an extended period.
4) Arm Your Home Security System 🚨
Before you leave, it is important to take security measures to ensure the safety of your home. Do not forget to arm your security system before you leave. Also important: if you have a friend or neighbor tasked with looking after your home, let them know what the code is!
5) Set Your Lights on Timers 💡
For burglars and other intruders, a lack of lights – or lights on when they shouldn’t be – is an easy way to identify an empty home. While we always recommend closing your blinds before you leave, it may also be worth your time to invest in a timer for your lights.
The timer will switch your lights on when it gets dark out, which will give the illusion that your home is occupied.
6) Clean Refrigerator 🥗
It’s easy enough to forget about that Tupperware of leftovers tucked into your fridge when you’re there every day. But when you are off on an extended vacation? Food can easily go bad and create unpleasant smells and messes inside your refrigerator.
It’s a good idea to take the time to clean out your fridge before your trip. Alternatively, plan your groceries accordingly so that you aren’t greeted by soggy bags of wilted spinach upon your return.
7) Check the Laundry 🧺
We’ve definitely been guilty in the past of starting a load of laundry and then forgetting about it, only to be greeted by that unpleasant mildew smell. It can be even worse when you’ve left your house for vacation for a number of days.
Before you head out the door, be sure to check your washing machine to make sure there aren’t any stray clothes.
8) Lower Your Thermostat 🌡️
No one likes paying unnecessary bills! So why pay more for heating and cooling when you are on vacation? Turning your air conditioning or heating system on low can help you save money and reduce your footprint. Investing in a mobile system that you can control from your phone may also help ease your mind, knowing that you can adjust the temperature accordingly.
9) Turn Off the Water Heater 🥵
Similarly to your thermostat, you don’t need your hot water heater running on full blast while you are gone. If you are traveling during the winter months, we recommend still keeping it on but at a lower temperature to conserve energy.
However, if your vacation falls during the summer months, you are likely safe to shut it off entirely.
10) Unplug Appliances 🔌
Save extra energy by unplugging unnecessary appliances such as toasters, microwaves, fans, or lamps!
11) Shut Off Water Valves 💧
It’s a smart idea to shut off your water valves while you are away. Whether you are using water or not, the water in the pipes stays at full pressure. This becomes a problem if your home develops a leak or pipe bursts.
Save yourself the headache of a flooded basement by shutting off the water valves before you go.
12) Have an Emergency Plan ⚠️
They say you should always expect the unexpected, and that is true of your vacation plans, as well. Make sure you have an emergency plan in place that includes:
- A friend or family member who can be there if needed
- A spare key
- Repair companies
- Insurance information on hand
Put Aquarius On Speed Dial
Looking for a full-service home repair company that can help to keep your home safe? Look no further than Aquarius Home Services! From plumbing to electrical, we can help get your home in tip-top shape before your trip. Need help in a pinch? We offer 24/7 emergency service to more service areas than any other company in the state of Minnesota! Contact us today to learn more!