The Ultimate Guide to Preparing Your Home for an Extended Vacation– Getting to finally go on an extended vacation, especially in our current circumstances, is a dream come true! However, there is much to be done before you can actually head off to enjoy the bliss of leisure and family time. Your home is the core of your family, and you want it to be just as perfect and inviting as it always is once you are back. How can you best prepare it for your absence, though? Well, we are here to answer this question with the ultimate guide to preparing your home for an extended vacation!
Now, cleaning might be something you do every day. However, pre-vacation cleaning is a bit more thorough than even spring cleaning might be! After all, spring cleaning still entails you actually staying at home, while during an extended vacation, you will not be there to keep an eye on things.
First, you should start with the regular – vacuum, wash the dishes, wash and put away your clothes and linens. After that, you can start with more serious cleaning. For example, clean your kitchen cabinets. There are often crumbs that can accumulate in them, and you should also take the chance to use or dispose of all the food stored in them. Then, you want to start in on your fridge!
Similarly, you want to empty and clean your fridge and freezer. Even if you might think it’s okay to leave food in a refrigerator, you never know when a power outage could occur, which would leave you with a smelly mess to deal with when you’re back! Finally, you want to inspect your roof and clean the gutters, in case the weather has a turn for the worse while you’re away!
Of course, when talking about security measures, the first thing that comes to mind is a defense against burglars. However, the things you need to protect yourself actually fall into two different categories, both of which are important: defense against robbery and defense against accidents!
You simply don’t want to risk leaving anything turned on while you are away. A simple, slightly damaged cable might start sparking, which could cause your entire home to go up in flames! Of course, fire alarms are there to help prevent the worst of the damage, but why would you take such a risk in the first place? Not only does doing this prevent chances of fire, but it also reduces the costs of your bills while you are away! You should not underestimate this aspect since appliances like large freezers can be surprisingly power-hungry, even if we do not usually notice them since we need to run them all the time.
Another critical step in preparing your home for a vacation is turning off your water lines. Now, it might seem excessive, but it comes with its own set of benefits! The first is also the most obvious: shutting off both the water main and the valves in your home significantly, if not entirely, prevents flooding. There are few things as expensive to fix as flood damage! You want to renovate your bathroom on your own terms, not be forced to do it. In addition, if you are vacationing during the winter months, this will also stop your pipes from freezing!
If, while preparing your home for an extended vacation, you had done everything you could to give an illusion of still being there, you do not want it all to be ruined by a pile of mail, newspapers, and magazines left on your doorstep! So, make sure to contact the post and arrange to either have your mail held or redirected to a family member. Similarly, you want to cancel your physical subscriptions while you are away (you will still have your online ones). This is not only good for maintaining the illusion of your being home, but it will also save you some extra money to spend on your vacation shopping!
You might own instruments, paintings, books, or similar items which cannot handle extreme shifts in temperature and humidity well. While you are home, you would obviously keep an eye on them, but your best bet would be renting storage for them while you are away! Now, renting a self-storage unit just for the purpose of a vacation might seem excessive. Many people have wrong ideas about this type of service, which is not surprising as there are many misconceptions about renting storage. However, a climate-controlled storage unit is your best bet for making sure your items are undamaged by the time you are back from your vacation.
While preparing your home for an extended vacation, make sure to ask at least one member of your family or neighbor to periodically check in on your home. It is not a bad idea to ask for police officers to occasionally make the rounds as well, and they will gladly do so if you look for help in your local police station! In addition, you would probably be leaving your car behind.
In this case, you might want to leave your keys with the person you would have checked in on your home and ask them to start up your car and take at least a short ride every once in a while to keep it in good condition. Your friend could also take care of your plants since there is no better way to ensure they survive. They can water them and make sure they are getting enough fertilizer. Incidentally, this would also complete the illusion of your being home even better!
You might think you have the perfect hiding spot and that no one will think of checking it. However, be it a hanging flower pot, a heavy vase, or something similar, burglars are very likely to be thorough in their checks when looking for a way into your home! In addition, in case of a storm, your key would likely be knocked from its hiding place and left in plain sight. This would be the absolute worst-case scenario since someone could use the key to waltz right into your home, ignoring the security measures and the expensive alarm system you were counting on to keep your home safe.
We know that securing your home properly and taking everything that can go wrong into account is stressful and challenging. However, we are also sure that you can do it with the help of the ultimate guide to preparing your home for an extended vacation!