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How to Prepare Your Home Before Going on Vacation

June 5, 2012

Summer vacation is here, and with it is lots of time to go on family trips and getaways! With great weather and school out, it’s the perfect time to go on a road trip, visit friends or family out of state, or even rent a vacation house near the beach.

Even though many people love to travel, they cannot help but worry about if their house will be okay while they are gone.  Will the newspapers and mail pile up on my doorstep?  Will a dark house at night make it obvious that I’m gone?  Is my home safe enough against possible fire or theft?

Preparing your home properly before leaving has a couple of different benefits.  First, you won’t come home to a messy house with lots of chores.  It’s stressful enough to return to the real world from vacation anyway, so be nice to yourself and make your return as pleasant as possible. Second, by taking the proper safety and security precautions before you leave, you can rest easily on your trip, knowing that you’ve done everything within your power to protect your house.

Here are some tips on how to prepare your home before leaving, so you can enjoy a worry-free vacation:

  • Clean out your fridge and pantry. Throw away expired food and give your neighbors any perishable foods that you think will expire before you return. The only things that should remain when you leave are non-perishable foods or perishable foods that will still be good by the time you get back.
  • Place a hold on your mail and newspaper at the post office or have a neighbor collect it for you while you are gone. Piles of newspapers on your doorstep are a sure sign to thieves that nobody is home.
  • Ask a friend or family member to house-sit for you or ask a neighbor to check on your house from time to time while you’re gone. That way, even though you and your family are not there, you know somebody reliable is looking after your home.
  • Secure your valuables. Lock them in a safe or place them in a secure location where no one would think to look.
  • Lock all windows and doors, including the garage door.
  • If you have an alarm system in your house, test it before you leave to be sure it’s working. If someone is house sitting for you, make them aware of the alarm and teach them what to do to turn it on and off.
  • Clean your house, run the dishwasher, and do the laundry before you leave, so you can come home to a clean house and simply rest.
  • A few minutes before leaving, double check to be sure all electrical items are unplugged, faucets and other water sources are turned off, doors are locked, valuables are secured, and certain lights are timed to automatically turn on at night, so it looks like someone is home.

Chris George
Oklahoma City Realtor

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