An essential part of preparing for a vacation is making sure your home is well looked after while you’re away so that it will be clean and peaceful when you return. Standard tasks like putting clean sheets on the bed, taking out the trash, and emptying the fridge are likely already on your to-do list, but make sure you also keep these three less obvious checklist jobs in mind:
Leave important contacts (as well as a key) with a neighbor.
If the neighbor keeping an eye on your house has to deal with unexpected emergencies while you’re away, he or she is going to need more than just a key. Make sure you give this person the contact details of another friend or family member he or she can call on in a pinch, the numbers of any of your go-to service people, and any relevant insurance details in case your home sustains some kind of damage.
Most of us remember to unplug kitchen appliances like coffeemakers or kettles (which also helps calm that “did I remember to turn that off?” feeling), but why not go the extra mile and unplug any energy-sucking appliances that won’t be in use while you’re away. This includes most electronics like TVs, DVD players, and computers, which continue to draw energy even when they are turned off. Another helpful energy-saving strategy is to unplug your fridge, or turn up its internal temperature, if it doesn’t contain any perishable items.
Turn off your main water supply.
Leaks may be unlikely, but they can be catastrophic if they happen while you’re away from home, even if someone is checking on your house regularly. Turning off your water main only takes a minute and can be critical in helping avert a crisis. Remember, when you turn off the main water supply, the outside sprinklers can still function, so you won’t have to sacrifice the health of your garden.