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family going on vacation

Going on vacation is an exciting time! Here are 10 things to do in your home before you leave so you can relax and enjoy it even more.

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Like most people I’m sure you have been on vacation and had fleeting thoughts of “Oh no, I hope the basement door is secure.” Or “Ugh we forgot to deal with the newspapers” Here’s a handy pre-vacation checklist so you won’t forget anything.

1. Get quality locks

Make sure ALL your windows and doors have good quality locks and are secure but especially concentrate on those that are a little more hidden from view as these are the ones generally targeted by thieves.

2. Consider an alarm

Not everyone needs an alarm for their home it’s just one more step for peace of mind. If you live in an area with a higher crime rate or don’t know your neighbors this is a consideration. Also if you are away from your home often it may not be a bad idea to have an alarm company swing by every so often to check up on things.

3. Have a plan for your mail and newspapers

Seeing mail and newspapers pile up on a doorstep is a sure sign the occupants are away so ask a friend or neighbor to pick them up for you. If no one is close by to do this contact your local postal outlet and newspaper office to get them put on hold for the duration of your vacation.

4. Get some motion lights – inside AND outside

A home looks lived in if the lights go on and off at regular intervals so these are pretty much a must have. They aren’t too expensive and won’t take long to install. Most people don’t think of the outside of their home but keeping this area lit up will greatly help as well.

5. Talk to your friends and neighbors

If you have trusted neighbors give them a heads up that you will be away so they can keep an eye on your home and maybe even give them a key so they can come in occasionally and make things look lived in. If you don’t know your neighbors well enough ask a friend who lives nearby to come by every few days to check up on things. Don’t forget to bring them back a treat as a thank you!

6. Tend to the outdoors

An overgrown lawn and wilting flowers in your otherwise thriving garden may clue people in on the fact that you’re gone. Have your friend or neighbor water your outdoor flowers and mow the lawn for you. If this is too much for them hire a service to keep it up while you’re gone.

7. Have your garbage dealt with

Even if it’s outside garbage will attract critters as it rots. Ask your neighbors to take your cans out to the curb on garbage day then bring them back in, or make a trip to the dump before you leave.

8. Unplug your appliances

While the draw on power isn’t huge it could make a difference in your bill if these are unplugged. Plus if there are any power outages or storms in your area your appliances will be safe.

9. Sprinkle baking powder in your toilet

Even though your toilet isn’t being used the standing water can put off a smell after only a few days. The baking soda will not harm it and will help it stay fresher longer.

10. Clean out your fridge

Imagine you come home from a long trip and you’re starving so you pop open your fridge to get a snack. Phhhew – you’re overwhelmed by the stench of the leftovers that have been in there for weeks! Yuck! You’ll want to take a minute to remove all foods that will spoil during your voyage before you leave.

Taking a few minutes to check these things off your list before you go will help keep your home stay safe and ensure you can enjoy your time away.

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Erika Palmer

Erika Palmer is a Mom and freelance writer located in Beautiful British Columbia. She is currently working hard to create a home for her new family and is stumbling hilariously down the road to becoming a domestic goddess. In addition to her love of family, and reading and writing, she enjoys exploring new interests with friends, shopping for just about anything, and cuddling up with a great cup of tea and some sort of chocolate treat.