If you have travel plans this holiday season, you have a lot to think about before you go. Make sure amidst your packing that you take time to consider how to prep your home. The last thing you want is to spend your time away worrying about whether your home is safe, or to come home to a house in disarray.
If you follow these simple steps, you’ll ensure your home is prepared and that it is looked after while you are away. Here are five key things you have to make sure you do before leaving:
Set Up Home-Sitting Help
Before you leave, you need to organize any home-sitting help that you might need. Ask a neighbor or family member to do this for you. Alternatively, you can hire somebody if there is nobody available to do it for you. Make sure to arrange this ahead of time so you can give them all of the instructions that they need and give them a key.
If you have pets that you’ll be leaving behind, you’ll want to plan well ahead of time whether to put them in a pet day care or leave them in the care of a pet sitter. Also consider if you’re leaving plants that will need to be watered while you’re away.
Many people like to have a friend or neighbor stop by daily to check on the house and bring in your mail and any packages. If you are concerned about home security, having somebody come to the house on a regular basis will put your mind at ease.
Clean Out the Kitchen
The last thing you want is to come home to a kitchen with offensive odors. Make sure you’re not leaving trash sitting there for weeks or leftover food in the fridge to rot. Before you leave, create a day-of checklist to make sure you’re not leaving things in the kitchen you’ll have to deal with late.
Make sure the dishwasher and sink are emptied of dishes, as food remains can harden to be impossible to remove, and stink as well. Empty all of the trashcans just before you go and sort through the fridge as well. Put things in the freezer to keep them if needed and throw any other perishable items away.
Set Your Water Heater to the Right Temperature
You don’t want to leave the heating on full blast while you are out of the house because it’s a waste of energy. However, if you switch your water heater off when you are away during the winter, there is a danger that water can freeze in the pipes and cause damage.
The Water Company, a water heater company in Burbank, recommends lowering your thermostat before you leave so the pipes don’t freeze but you are not wasting energy while you are away. The best way to do this is to put the heater into vacation mode. They have a great guide here if you don’t know how to operate vacation mode on your heater.
Set the Lights On Timers
Homes are at higher risk of robbery when it’s clear that they’re empty for extended amounts of time. If you want to secure your home while you are away this holiday season, it’s a good idea to set your home lights on timers.
Having the inside lights turn on and off in the evenings gives the impression that somebody is in. Simple timers for your lights are not very expensive and they’re a great security feature. In addition, consider installing motion sensor lights around the outside of the property. Making the area well-lit makes your home a much less attractive target for intruders.
Update Your Security System
A home security system is the most effective way to deter potential robbers and alert the police to a break-in. Modern systems also often send updates to your smartphone device so you can get notified of any activity while you’re away from home.
Before you leave this holiday season, you should take the opportunity to upgrade your home security system. Make sure that you are familiar with how it works so you can set it before you leave and check in on it while gone.
It’s important that you prepare your home before you leave. As long as you follow these simple tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your trip without worrying about your house.
If you are injured in any kind of rideshare accident while traveling, make sure you check up on all these items to make sure they stay in place.