4 Ways to Love Your Home While on Vacation
Going on vacation? Good for you! It’s nice to get away every once in a while to unwind and put things in perspective. Before you leave, you’ll probably make sure that your pets will be cared for, your plants will be watered, your mail will be collected, and your bills would be paid. (just make sure you don’t get them confused :P) But what about your house?
“What ABOUT my house?”
Your house. You know… the thing you’re coming home to once vacation is over… …the thing you’ll have to take care of once the real world kicks back in?
Oh yeah, that house.
Unlike our pets and plants (but unfortunately not our bills), our homes are not autonomous. Prepping your house for vacation isn’t as simple as leaving out a bowl of food and a clean kennel. Your home has personality, yes, but without you, a house is just a house. Here are a few things you can do to keep it a home during vacation, and maybe it won’t miss you as much while your gone.
1) Don’t Tweet It
Social media makes it easier than ever to share things with your circle of friends in the blink of an eye, and it’s so tempting to brag to all of your friends about the wonderful time you’re having in Hawaii and imagine them turning green with envy. However, this is also sending a message to potential burglars, “Hey! I’m not home! Come steal my stuff! Oh, and help yourself to the fridge while you’re at it!” Oops. Rule-of-thumb, stay low-key and post your vacation pics when you get back. Your property coverage premium will thank you.
2) Unplug It
While I could write a whole BOOK about detaching ourselves from technology during vacation, the type of “unplugging” I’m referring to is for your major home appliances. Your computer, television, air conditioner; anything large, eletronic and expensive should be turned off and/or unplugged when feasable. During a lightning storm or power surge, you won’t be there to keep everything under control. You don’t want to come home to a fried HVAC system, right? Energy savings may be minimal, but potential damage savings could be huge.
3) Keep It Clean
Making sure trash, dishes, dirty laundry, etc. is taken care of does far more than saving you some extra steps for when you return. No one wants to open the door of their beloved home and be hit with the foul odor of dishwater that’s been left in the sink for a week or two. Same goes for leftovers in the kitchen and fridge. No need to attract pests OR smells. Go ahead and throw it out. That or have a pre-vacation feast. You can use the extra energy, right?
Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? Well, here’s something that may not be.
Try putting baking soda anywhere in your house that holds standing water. This will keep things like your toilet or showers from becoming stagnant, stale and… …well… …gross. In fact, a box of baking soda here and there around the house probably wouldn’t hurt anything either. You’ll be coming back refreshed, so make sure your home smells fresh, too!
4) Lock It Down
Finally, lock your doors and windows, close your blinds and drapes, keep your external lighting on a timer, ANYTHING to make sure your home is securely locked down. If your house-sitter lives within walking distance, it might not hurt to have a car parked at your house while you’re gone. This, on top of other precautions, keeps up appearances and doesn’t scream “My house is unguarded! I’m an easy target!” At this point, make sure your alarm systems are armed and your deadbolts are secured. This is what they were made for, so use them! Even the best of security systems fail because of user error and neglegence.
Going on vacation is great, but coming home can be just as relaxing and wonderful. Just follow a few simple precautions and you’ll be able to come back to the real world without a hitch…
…until you see that pile of paperwork on your desk at the office. Sorry. There’s not a whole lot we can do about that.
First Baldwin Insurance