Worrying about your house while you are on vacation can put a serious damper on your trip. So can coming home to a problem. Luckily, a little time spent on prevention can go a long way toward making sure that your home’s in great shape when you return. Keep the following things in mind when preparing your home before you head out on vacation:
Make it look like someone’s there.
A vacant house can tempt burglars. Therefore, you should avoid displaying any outward signs that you’re away. Have your newspaper and mail delivery stopped. Purchase a timer for your lights, so that it continues to look like somebody’s using the house every night. Arrange with a neighbor or contractor to keep your yard in decent shape. In addition, keep your curtains in their normal positions, as having them all closed or all open could tip off a potential thief.
Prepare your utilities to lower bills and avoid surprises.
Unplug small appliances, like your television, because they can use electricity even when turned off. Set your water heater to its vacation mode if it has one. Put your thermostat on a setting that may not be comfortable but will still protect your belongings. Depending on the weather, you should also take precautions to make sure your pipes won’t freeze while you’re away.
Tell a friend you’re leaving.
Friends or neighbors will often be willing to keep an eye on your place while you’re gone. Leave them with a house key and your contact information in case they need to get in or notify you of an emergency.
Get ready for your return.
A little planning can make your first day home a lot more pleasant. Do your laundry and clean out your fridge before you go. If you use air fresheners, replace them. Change your sheets, do the dishes, and tidy up the house as much as you can. You’ll appreciate it when your vacation’s over.