When you think about getting ready for vacation, the first thing that pops into your head is usually packing the perfect clothes, the sunscreen and remembering your phone charger and camera. Did you know though, it's not just your suitcase you have to get ready for your getaway, it's your house too!
Why do you have to get your house ready? Because it makes it so much nicer for when you get back! Here's a few tips for prepping your house before you leave!
Do the dishes
The night before we go somewhere, we usually use paper plates, but this last trip when everything was going wrong a few dishes got unwashed and left out on a table. Guess what we came back to? Lovely smelly mold in several of the kids cups, requiring lots and lots of scrubbing to clean. Not a great welcome home.
Make sure the washer is empty and any clothes in the dryer are dry
If you've ever been so busy that the load of clothes in your washer have taken a while to get to, you'll know the kind of smell it can leave, even after the clothes have been dried. Double check that all your clothes are dry, even the ones in the dryer so no funky smells or mildew form while you are gone.
Turn on some ceiling fans
By leaving on ceiling fans, not only will your AC not run as often while you are gone, when you get back there won't be a stale smell, or as much dust build up.
Set your AC/Heat
Don't forget to adjust your thermostat higher than you usually would in the summer, and lower in the winter. If you aren't going to be home, no need to keep paying for the heating and cooling at your usual comfort level!
Change your sheets
Isn't it nice to come back home and just fall into a bed made with clean sheets? You're already tired, so do something nice for yourself, and have your bed ready, and inviting and clean!
Put out fresh towels
The same goes for your bathroom towels! Toss them in with that last load of laundry and setout some fresh ones for your return.
Take out your trash
Don't forget to empty your kitchen trash, and set it out for collection, or take it yourself. That prevents the house getting smelly, or animals finding it outside and making a mess for you to clean up when you get back.
Let your neighbors know
Let the neighbors you are most friendly with know you are going to be gone, and see if they can keep an eye out that nothing strange happens.
Hold the mail
It takes about 2 minuites to get your mail held, you can request it online at USPS.com and select both the date you want it to be held, and the date you want to resume delivery. Don't take a chance on a bill going missing, or rain soaking your magazines! Let it all stay safe at the post office!
Feed fido and fluffy
Chances are, you've already made arrangements for your pets, but don't forget to follow through on those! There’s nothing worse than being distracted the morning of your trip, getting down the road and realizing you forgot to take the pets to their caretakers!
Mow your lawn
Depending on how long you are going to be gone, that grass is going to keep on growing! Give it a mow before you go, and that's not only going to make the neighborhood nosies happy, but also make it look like your home isn't vacant, to deter a theif.
Consider leaving on a radio or light
Some people leave on lights, others a radio, so that the house doesn't look empty. Whatever you choose, if you can do a timer so it looks more natural, great. Otherwise, I'm a firm beleiver something is better than nothing.
Unplug everything you don't need plugged in
this one is really important because if you get a strong electrical storm and it were to fry your modem, cable box or TV, that's going to really stink. We've had that happen, and it's not fun.
Make sure the kids turned off the water in sinks and hoses
My oldest went through a phase about a year or so ago where he thought he turned off the water every time he used the sink but it was still trickling. That was expensive, and very, very upsetting when we got back from a long summer trip and saw both the hose, and the bathroom sink running. Just double check, and save yourself the aggravation.
Locking all windows and doors
Really, this should go without saying, but you'd be surprised how many times people leave and don't double check their windows and doors, especially infrequently used ones, like a sliding door, or kitchen window. Many years ago, my mother in law called, saying they'd left for a trip and had forgotten to feed the cats. My husband and I drove over, and of course, he had forgotten the keys! He started looking though, and my mother in law, while the doors were locked, had left three windows unlocked! We made sure they were all locked after the cats were fed, the doors too.
It's so easy in a rush to forget to make sure your house is secure and won't be in bad shape when you get back, that's why if you start a day or two ahead of time and start prepping for what you need to do, you can spare yourself some worry when you get back.
Remember, your car needs some prechecking too! Click here to read some must do's, before you hit the road!
Did I miss some tips? What things do you do before you leave on a trip?