Bree here, from Home Zone Furniture.
Are you heading out of town this summer? No matter where your travel plans may take you, be sure to prepare your home before you take off. From common-sense pointers to some lesser-known tips, this checklist will help you save money, reduce mess and eliminate disaster risk while you’re away.
Electronics not in use continue to pull energy and cost you money. Save a few extra bucks while you’re away by unplugging everything from the coffee pot to the television. Aside from cutting down on energy consumption, unplugging electronics will also help prevent possible small fires caused by a power surge.
A quiet, inactive house can be a target for crime. Create the illusion that someone’s home by arranging for your lights to go on and off at various times throughout the day. If you hire a house sitter, have them turn on a different set of lights before they leave so the house appears tended to. If a house sitter isn’t an option, consider putting your lights on timers so they change accordingly. Keep in mind that just as keeping all lights off signifies that no one is home, keeping all lights on can send the same message!
Before you leave, clean the house, take out the trash and wash your dishes. As you go room to room cleaning up, don’t forget to clean out the fridge and throw away any produce that might be ripening on your countertop. No one wants to come home to a gallon of spoiled milk or a bowl of rotting fruit! If you’ll be gone for more than three days, I suggest throwing away anything with an expiration date.
Save money while you’re out of town by adjusting the thermostat. Before you leave on summer vacation, bump the temperature of your empty house up to 80 or 85 degrees if you’re going to be gone for three or more days. Sure, it might be a little toasty when you come back, but you’ll be amazed at how much energy you’ll save with this temporary change.
Enlist a neighbor
Sometimes the easiest way to deal with simple home tasks while you’re away is to ask a neighbor to lend a hand. A trusted neighbor can help pick up the mail, put your trash cans out on trash day, and park in your driveway occasionally to show that someone is home. Even if you don’t want to ask someone to perform these housesitting duties, it’s a good idea to let a neighbor know that you’ll be away. If you’ll be gone for longer than a week, consider pausing your mail delivery, and hire a lawn service to mow your yard. A uncharacteristically overgrown yard could signify to thieves you’re away from home.
Last but not least, don’t forget to lock all doors and windows before heading out. This may seem like common sense, but it can’t hurt to do a thorough check before you leave. Always remove any lurking hidden keys, too. You might think your hiding place is clever, but the plastic rock near the porch won’t fool everyone.
Once you’ve got the doors locked, the thermometer set and a neighbor alerted, it’s officially vacation time. Bon voyage!