The holidays are a hectic time for traveling, and any homeowner might be understandably uneasy about leaving his or her home unattended during the busiest time of the year. Prepare your home the right way with these tips for when you’re far away.
Clean out your refrigerator
This is one of those tasks that is easily forgotten, but it can leave your home smelling seriously unpleasant when you return from your time away. Check expiration dates on items that go bad quickly—such as milk and eggs—and use this as an excuse to throw away any other perishable items that could have you regretting leaving in the first place.
Let your neighbors know of your plans
We usually remember to let our friends and family know we’re leaving for the holidays, but make sure you don’t forget about your neighbors. Have them check your mail, and leave your cell phone number or any other emergency numbers with them in case anything happens while you’re away.
Double-check the locks
While you lock the front door before going to bed or out for errands, windows and other entrances are easily forgotten. Before leaving on your trip, take the time to go through your home, double-checking that every possible entrance is secure before you leave.
Be mindful of the lights
The biggest giveaway that you’ve left your home for an extended period of time is the lack of light coming from inside. Make sure to buy and use timers on a few lights throughout your home. Set them to turn on and off at different intervals to give the appearance that someone is home.
Another often overlooked chore is unplugging any appliances that you normally keep plugged in throughout the day. Phone chargers, hairstyling tools, the toaster, the microwave, and any other small appliances should be unplugged to avoid any safety mishaps in your absence.
Do the laundry
You washed your vacation clothes, but did you remember to take care of used towels or other dirty laundry lying around? Just like coming home to a smelly refrigerator isn’t ideal, neither is walking into a room and immediately noticing the full hamper. Take a couple of hours to make sure everything is washed before you leave.
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