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How to Prep Your House Before Traveling

Preparing for a trip can be stressful. How do you plan to get to your destination? What will you bring along with you? Is there a boarding kennel nearby for your pets to stay at while you’re gone? With so many questions that need answers before you leave, it’s easy to forget that prepping your house for your time away is equally as important. What, then, should you do to prepare your home for while you’re away?

Maintenance

There’s no need to pay more on your bills than necessary when you’re not home. Unless someone is housesitting for you, your home will be fine sitting without luxuries. To save on your bills, check to make sure your air conditioning is either off or set to high, as there won’t be a need for a cool home while you’re away. Your dishwasher, sinks, and washing machine don’t need water either, so turn your plumbing off at the main valve to help prevent leaks. Along those same lines, turning your water heater to vacation mode will save on your heating bill, and making sure to unplug all unnecessary electronics will save on your electric bill. Double-check your smoke detectors to be sure that they’re in working order, check on your pool pump to keep it running if you have a pool, and leave a list of emergency contacts with a friend or neighbour in case something comes up that needs your attention.

Kitchen and Bathroom

Before you leave for your trip, toss any perishables from your refrigerator to prevent food from rotting while you’re away. If you are gone for a while, unplugging your fridge and leaving the doors open will help negate the growth of mould and mildew. Do the same with your pantry if you have any open food to prevent bugs, and wash your sink out to keep mould from growing on old food that may be in it. To avoid any smells, take out the trash before you leave, and pour chlorine into your toilet bowls to clean them and stop bacteria from moving in.

Anti-burglary

Not every home has the anti-burglary system that Kevin from Home Alone built, but you can still do your part in making sure your empty house doesn’t tempt burglars. A motion sensor light on your porch or a timed light can make it seem like you’re home to any outsiders, and keeping your curtains and blinds as you would when home won’t draw as much attention to the opposite being the case. Lock all doors, move any outside spare keys elsewhere while you’re gone to make it harder to get inside, and if you have a security system, be sure to notify the company before you leave. Avoiding announcing your trip on social media until after you’ve returned home will help prevent attention being drawn to your absence as well. Park your car in your garage if you have one, or have a friend drive it periodically if you don’t so it seems like you’re home. Investing in a sprinkler system or hiring someone to care for your yard will help with both anti-burglary and general maintenance, and having all mail either halted, kept at the post office, or forwarded elsewhere will take away another tip-off that you’re away.

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