When you walk in the door from your vacation, the last thing you want to encounter is a chore. Having to launch into cleaning or repairing mode can quickly unravel the peace of mind your vacation was meant to produce.
However, there are ways to ensure your home greets you as an extension of the oasis you just returned from. Follow these five tips on preparing your home for vacation:
A vacation is like a reset button for your mind. Cleaning your house before you leave not only saves you work when you arrive home, but it also helps maintain the peace of mind you’ve gained on your vacation. Coming home to a dirty house can equate to regressing to a less tranquil, more cluttered mental state — so give your future self a fresh start by making the house spotless.
You should take precautions to avoid things like bursting pipes or excessive humidity. If it’s the winter, set your heat to 55˚ — this will keep things from freezing while also saving you money on utilities. In the summer, set your air conditioning to 80˚ or 85˚. Doing so will cycle the air and remove humidity from your home while you’re away.
This not only saves you money but also reduces the risk of a house fire — the ultimate unhappy ending to a vacation. Unplug things like lamps, heaters, and chargers. Similarly, turn off water valves on appliances like washers, dishwashers, toilets, and sinks. In the event of a faulty valve, this will prevent water from leaking.
While you should park your car in the garage and turn off the lights, it’s still important to make your home look lived in. Otherwise, burglars will take notice. Put a light or two on a timer so that they will come on regularly. Stop your mail and newspaper deliveries. Tell the neighbor they can park in your driveway if needed. Turn on the motion-detected floodlights. Keep the lawn cut.
If you have plants, arrange for someone to water them while you’re gone. Go through your refrigerator and pantry and throw away all food that will go bad while you’re gone. Have a neighbor roll the trash can back to your house so that it doesn’t sit out front — another invitation to burglars.
Don’t worry about your house while you’re on vacation, and hit the ground running when you return home.