Leaving your home unattended for a longer period of time can be very stressful. Whether you are traveling for leisure or work, if your home is going to be empty, you need to take a lot of steps before you leave, to make sure that when you come back, everything is the way you left it. But since your head is probably full of all the different things you need to do for the actual trip, here is a checklist of the things you need to do in your home before you leave:
Keep your home safe
Empty houses are always the most vulnerable and prone to break-ins. However, there are ways you can make your home appear occupied, and lessen the risk: Firstly, you don’t want to announce you’re leaving, so pack up your car just as you are about to leave and resist posting about it on public social media. The next thing you want to do is make the home look occupied: leave a small, safe light on somewhere in the house so that it looks like someone is always home. Also, you should make sure your mail arrives at the post office because piled-up envelopes are a definite tell that nobody’s home. Lastly, you will want to give potential burglars as little privacy as possible. Leave all the blinds and curtains open, and ask a neighbor to keep an eye out for suspicious activity, as well as to visit the home every once in a while. Make sure you don’t have any spare keys lying around; rather give those to a trusty neighbor.
Take care of responsibilities
The last thing you want in the middle of your beach day far away from home is an urgent email from work. At the office, make sure everyone knows you are on vacation and not to disturb you unless it’s an absolute emergency, and try not to read any work-related emails or messages while you’re away. Similarly, you don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night thinking whether or not you left the oven on, so make sure that you do a thorough check-up before leaving, making sure all of the appliances (except for the fridge and freezer) are off, that you have turned off your water heater and any other things that could be dangerous if they malfunction. Pay all of your bills before you leave, or ask for them to arrive at your email address so that you can pay them no matter where you are.
Pets and plants
If you’re not taking your pets with you, you have to make sure that they are well taken care of. You have several options: you can take them to a trusted friend or a family member to take care of them while you’re away, or you can ask them to visit every day to feed them, take them for walks and generally spend time with them. If you can afford it, you can also take them to a pet daycare, or you can look through pet sitting jobs to find someone who will take care of your pet and play with them while you’re away. The exact same goes for plants, or if you are feeling industrious, you can create a self-watering system for all of your plants and just have someone check up on them every few days.
Checking off all the things on this list will mean that you will have your peace of mind while you’re away. Make sure that you have a friend who has a key to your home and can always access it in case of emergency, and then simply relax and enjoy your time away.