There’s nothing more exciting than going on an extended vacation. The time off work, the anticipation of hot sandy beaches, and the freedom to do whatever you like for a few weeks. Travel is liberating, and in the Western world, we are all lucky to be able to go wherever we wish. Holidays with family create lasting memories we carry with us throughout our life and open our minds up to new experiences and ways of thinking. It is a wonderful way to wind down from the stresses of work and personal commitments.
Yet even the perfect holiday can be ruined by unforeseen circumstances. Coming home to stolen possessions, a flooded house, or a smelly, messy environment will completely negate the stress-relieving effects of your vacation. By adequately preparing your home before you leave, you can ensure that everything will be in ideal condition when you return.
Before you leave for your next holiday, here is a complete checklist of everything you need to do to prepare your home.
Clean the house
No one wants to come home to a mess, with dishes piled up in the sink, dust coating every surface, and brimming garbage cans that you forgot to take out. Do a good deed for your future self and thoroughly clean your home before you leave, ensuring you return to a spotless, peaceful atmosphere. Clean the surfaces of any dust or spillages, hoover the carpets, and tidy up every room. It is important that you take out the rubbish and throw out any food that is likely to spoil while you’re away. This will prevent any unpleasant smells or infestations proliferating in your home.
Complete any unfinished household tasks
As soon as you get back, you will be faced with unpacking, doing laundry, and getting ready to return to work. You don’t want any jobs you neglected to complete before your vacation to add to that list. Start your holiday with a clean slate by ticking off any household chores that need doing.
Make your house look occupied
A house that looks empty is an easy target for burglars. Nothing screams unoccupied like dark shuttered windows, an empty driveway, and mail piling up on the porch. Before you leave, you should take steps to make your house look like someone is still living there. This will deter any opportunist criminals and prevent the likelihood of break-ins. Ask a neighbor or friend to come round and pick up any mail while keeping an eye on your home for any suspicious activities. Don’t close curtains or shut blinds as this will make it look like the occupants are away. If your home has the capability, you could program lights to turn on at certain times in the evening to ward off any potential burglars.
Hide your valuables
If there is a break-in, you want to minimize your loss. Keep any valuables such as expensive jewelry, artwork, or cash hidden in a secure place that is unlikely to be found. You could even have a small cache of decoy valuables hidden in a more visible location, so any thieves in a hurry may leave as soon as they find them.
The worst-case scenario when going away for a long time is that your house burns down. It is unlikely to occur, but it has been known to happen. Minimize the risk by unplugging any electrical appliances such as computers, televisions, kitchen appliances, and even unused chargers. This will also save you a great deal of the unnecessary costs on your next energy bill.
Check for leaks
It would be a good idea to go around your bathrooms and kitchen to see if there are any leaking taps or pipes. Even a small drip can accumulate over weeks and end up putting a dent in your water bill. Fix any issues you can, or consider calling a plumber to sort out any more substantial problems.
Check windows and doors
The last thing to do before you leave is to make a final run-through of your home and make sure it is 100% secure. Check all possible entry points such as windows and side doors and make sure they are securely fastened. A determined burglar will check all possible ways to get in.
Now that your home is secure, you can enjoy your holiday in peace. Ensure you leave contact details with a neighbor or local police so they can alert you in the event of a disaster. You could also consider installing an alarm or smart device in your home that will flag up any intruders and alert the authorities.