You’re getting ready to go on vacation but you’re worried you might not have secured and prepared your home properly. There may be some nagging doubts about the state you left your house in. If that’s something you find yourself dealing with every time you travel, then here are a few tips you can use to put your house in order before you leave and make it pleasant to come back to.
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Check your security
You will feel more at ease if you check each lock and door yourself. As the family loads up in the vehicle to travel, you can do a final check through the house to personally make sure that all windows and doors are locked. If you have a security system, make sure it’s armed, and set the system appropriately for your absence. If you have someone coming to feed your animals, for example, you want to give them a way to access the home, if they need to. Some security company also offer special traveling services to do checks on your home while you’re away.
Plan for your pets
If you have any pets, you want to make sure they’re taken care of while you’re gone. Dogs and cats may be happiest in a kennel, where they’re not alone and where they’re sure to be well taken care of. Smaller animals like fish or gerbils should be left with someone to be regularly cared for while you’re on vacation.
Do a thorough clean
This will probably take the most work all these pre-travel tasks, but it’s also a really important one. Cleaning your home well before you leave ensures that it’s nice to come back to. It also helps to keep pests away and to eliminate odours that could worsen while you are gone. If you need some help with this because of all the work you have to do to prepare for travel, it’s a good idea to call a pro cleaning company to tidy up for you. They can take a lot of work off your hands and probably do a more thorough job.
Remove all garbage
One of the most overlooked tasks that we highly recommend people do before they travel is to get rid of all the garbage in their house. Empty every single trash bin, even the ones that are well covered. Trash can turn nasty after several days, leaving behind awful smells that are hard to get rid of and attracting pests. It’s wise to empty every trash bin, no matter how little trash is in each one.
Run all the laundry
On that note, it’s a good idea to put all your dirty clothes through the wash before you go. This not only gives you lots of choices for what to pack when you travel, but it ensures that there won’t be a musty odour to come back to. Your home will be locked up and closed up while you’re gone, so you don’t want any lingering smells to permeate your home in your absence.
Turn off heating and hot water
Don’t forget to switch your boiler off before you go. Heating an empty house is pointless, a waste of money and far from eco friendly. Likewise, if you have a hot water tank, there’s no point in heating up water for nobody. If you have a smart heating and hot water system installed then you can always switch things back on a couple of hours before you get back home.
Secure doors and windows
Go round the house and ensure all your windows and doors are closed and if possible locked. The same applies to back garden entrances, sheds, garden offices or any other outbuildings you may have. You don’t want to leave any accessible areas of your home open or unlocked for thieves to easily access.
Switch off electrical devices
It’s good practice to switch off all the electrical devices that won’t be needed whilst your away. Things like TVs, stereos and media units will drain your electricity on standby so it’s a good way to save a little on your bill if it’s not being used. You may however want to leave your internet connection on so that you can access security devices remotely. Likewise the fridge or freezer will need to stay on if they have food in them.
If you don’t already have one, try installing a timer on a couple of lamps within your house. Check they work before you go on vacation as these will deter thieves. You could also try a smart switch on your lamps and programme these in the same way.
You might have food in your fridge that will spoil and rot if left for too long. Check items use by dates and recycle or dispose of anything that isn’t going to make it before you return. You should also check other cupboard items like bread for best by dates.
Tell someone you trust
Don’t forget to tell and friend, family member or neighbour about your trip as they might be able to check on your property whilst you’re away. A neighbour will be best suited for this task as they will be close by and can easily peek through the windows now and then.
Water your plants
If like us you have lots of plants then give them a good water before your set off. Both inside and outside. You might also want to invest in a drip water feed system that can slowly water your plants whilst you’re away. These can be as simple as an upturned plastic bottle or a drip feed water system hooked up the the mains water supply.
Check all taps and showers are off
This might seem like an obvious one or maybe a little unnecessary but it can be worth a quick check to make sure no one has left a tap on. Even a little dripping can add up. Also, if you have any known small leaks anywhere in the house you might want to switch the water off at the mains stop tap to prevent any damage to your house whilst you’re away.