Whether you’re going out of town for two days or a few weeks, there are things you can do to prepare your home for your absence and for your smooth return. It is important to have a checklist of what needs to be done and to start planning in advance.
Here are some things to do in preparation for that much-needed vacation and to ensure a relaxing first night back at home.
Pet Care: Find a family member or friend to stay in your home and keep your pet company, feed and play with your pet and clean the litter box or take them out for their daily walk. If you do not have someone who can stay at your home while you are away, do research to find the best boarding facility to suit your pets’ needs. There are hotels and even spas for pets now and they may just get the same royal treatment you will be receiving when you are away. Be sure to leave detailed instructions with the pet sitter or facility on caring for your furry family member and be sure to leave your pet’s favorite foods, treats, toys, and other much-needed medication and supplies on hand.
Clean out the fridge: Throw away food that will expire while you’re gone and wipe down all surfaces.
Tackle the laundry: Wash and put away the laundry before you leave.
Prep your plants: Ask the pet sitter or if you don’t have anyone staying in the home, contact a trusted friend, family member or neighbor to water your plants, and be sure to leave multiple lists of all plants and their locations. Otherwise, invest in self-watering plant stakes.
Leave a light on: During a short trip, leave a few lamps on throughout the house to make it look occupied. For a longer vacation, invest in inexpensive automatic timers that can turn our lights on and off at staggered intervals, making your house look occupied. Alert your home-security service or a trusted neighbor so one or the other can keep an eye out as well.
Unplug and reset the thermostat: Temporarily adjust the thermostat so the air-conditioner or heater won’t waste energy by running in an empty house. Unplug unnecessary appliances in preparation for your absence.
Hold mail and newspapers: A call to your post office and news carrier will put your mail and newspapers on hold so they won’t pile up in front of your house while you’re gone.
Change the sheets: Make up beds with fresh sheets for a welcoming first night.
Tidy the house: Sweep or vacuum floors; Do the dishes; Wipe down counters in the bathroom and kitchen with an all-purpose cleaner; Give toilets a quick clean.
Most of all, enjoy yourself! Take lots of pics and try not to post them on social media if your home will be unoccupied until you return. This will help to keep your home safe while you are away.