Embarking on a long voyage soon? Leaving your home unattended for an extended period can be nerve-wracking. What if an unexpected leak ruins your cherished family album or a break-in disturbs your peace of mind while you’re miles away relaxing in West Palm Beach or Tulsa? Let’s put those worries to rest. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the necessary steps for securing and maintaining your home before taking that well-deserved adventure. Keep the excitement for your trip – not for potential household mishaps. Trust us, preventing is better than solving!
To prepare your home for a long trip, there are several key steps you should take. These include tidying up your home to avoid coming back to a dirty house, cleaning out the fridge and discarding soon-to-expire foods, and taking out the trash to prevent rancid smells from accumulating. Additionally, you should unplug electronics that don’t need power, program your thermostat to an away mode, and put lights on timers or use smart bulbs to simulate someone being home. All of these steps will help keep your home secure and comfortable while you’re away.
“The primary concern during an extended absence is not just burglary, but also the mishaps that can occur in an unobserved property. Regularly scheduled home check-ins by a trusted individual, combined with advanced home security systems, ensures not only the deterrence of uninvited guests but also prompt attention to potential home maintenance issues. Better safe now than sorry later!”
Phillip Sandhurst, Home Security Consultant
“The trick is to create an illusion of presence and regular upkeep, incorporating advanced technological solutions with basic time-tested methods. Regular visits by a trusted individual, timed light switches, and a monitored security system are some of the effective ways to keep your home secure and well-maintained during your long-term absence.”
Vieno Jarvela, Security Consultant
Pre-Departure Cleaning and Organizing
Before embarking on a long trip, it’s essential to prepare your home by cleaning and organizing it properly. This not only ensures a welcoming environment upon your return but also helps maintain the security and functionality of your house during your absence. Let’s delve into some important aspects of pre-departure cleaning and organizing.
Imagine returning from a relaxing vacation only to find yourself greeted by a messy and chaotic home. Dirty dishes piled up in the sink, clothes scattered across the floor, and an overwhelming feeling of disarray. To avoid such a scenario, investing some time and effort into pre-departure cleaning is crucial.
Firstly, scrutinize every inch of your living space for any clutter or unnecessary items that can be tidied up or discarded. Ensure that all items are properly stored away in their designated places to maintain an organized environment.
Next, give your home a thorough cleaning, paying attention to areas that are often overlooked in day-to-day routines. Dusting surfaces, vacuuming carpets and rugs, mopping floors, and wiping down countertops are just a few tasks that should be completed before leaving.
Now that we’ve covered the importance of pre-departure cleaning and organizing, let’s shift our focus to comprehensive house cleaning.
Comprehensive House Cleaning
When preparing for a long trip away from home, it’s vital to go beyond standard cleaning practices and conduct a comprehensive house cleaning. This intensive process involves attending to both visible areas and hidden corners that may accumulate dust and dirt over time.
During this phase of cleaning, take the opportunity to clean out neglected spaces like the attic or basement. These areas tend to collect dust, cobwebs, and unwanted pests if left untouched for an extended period. Clearing away clutter and ensuring proper ventilation can help prevent mold growth or pest infestations while you’re away.
Pay special attention to cleaning appliances and utilities that may harbor bacteria or become sources of unpleasant odors if left unattended. Empty and clean the refrigerator, taking care to discard any soon-to-expire foods to avoid returning to a fridge full of rotten items. Make sure to scrub sinks and toilets thoroughly and remove any lingering odors by using suitable cleaning products.
Additionally, it’s recommended to launder all linens, including bedding, towels, and curtains, before departing. This ensures that you’ll return to fresh and clean surroundings instead of sour-smelling fabrics.
Lastly, consider the importance of maintaining a pest-free environment during your absence. Take out the trash before leaving to prevent rancid smells and pests from accumulating. If possible, arrange for someone reliable to check on your house periodically and tackle any unforeseen pest issues.
By conducting a comprehensive house cleaning before your trip, you’ll not only ensure a tidy and pleasant living space upon your return but also minimize potential problems like mold growth or pest infestations.
Food and Trash Management
When preparing your home for a long trip, it’s crucial to prioritize food and trash management to avoid returning to unpleasant odors or pests. First and foremost, make sure to tidy up your home before leaving. This includes scrubbing sinks and toilets, vacuuming, and removing any fruits or perishable items sitting out. Cleaning out the refrigerator is also essential; discard any soon-to-expire foods to prevent returning to a fridge full of rotten items that would greet you with a pungent smell upon your arrival.
To prevent rancid smells from accumulating, be sure to take out the trash before leaving. Dispose of any garbage in appropriate containers outside your home. This not only keeps the premises clean but also eliminates the possibility of attracting pests such as insects or rodents.
Consider asking a neighbor or friend to help gather your mail daily or put your mail on hold with the post office while you’re away. Piled-up mail signals that the house is vacant, which can attract unwanted attention. By keeping up with your mail delivery, it creates an illusion of occupancy.
Preparing for a long trip also means ensuring the cleanliness of your house upon return. Hire someone to clean the house a few days before you come back so that you can return to a fresh and inviting environment. This way, after an exhausting journey, you can relax without worrying about lingering dirt or dust accumulated during your absence.
Maintaining proper food and trash management is essential not only for cleanliness but also for overall security. By implementing these practices, you can minimize the risk of coming back to an uninviting atmosphere.
Home Utility Management for Extended Absence
Managing your home utilities effectively while you’re away is integral for both safety and saving energy during an extended absence. There are several steps you can take to ensure efficiency and prevent any potential hazards.
Firstly, it’s advisable to unplug electronics that don’t require power while you’re away. This includes items such as routers, televisions, computers, and unused chargers. Not only does this save energy, but it also lowers the risk of electrical fires caused by faulty wiring or power surges.
Program your thermostat to an “away” mode or adjust it manually to save on energy. This can be especially beneficial if you have a smart thermostat that allows you to control the temperature remotely. Consider disabling the “away” mode a few hours before your return so that your home is comfortable upon arrival.
In addition to unplugging electronics, it’s a good idea to put lights on timers or use smart bulbs to simulate someone being home and deter potential break-ins. Having other devices like TVs or radios on timers can add an extra layer of security.
Imagine coming back from a long trip and finding out that your house has been broken into. By implementing these precautionary measures, you enhance the security of your home and reduce the likelihood of such unfortunate incidents.
Lastly, double-check all windows and doors in your home before leaving to ensure they are locked and closed properly. This includes seldom-used entry points that might have been overlooked. Enhancing home security by ensuring all access points are secure will give you peace of mind during your absence.
- Effective management of home utilities during an extended absence is crucial for safety and saving energy. Unplug electronics that don’t require power, program your thermostat to “away” mode or adjust it manually, put lights on timers or use smart bulbs, and double-check all windows and doors before leaving to ensure they are locked and closed properly. These measures can enhance the security of your home and reduce the likelihood of break-ins.
Adjusting Thermostat and Unplugging Appliances
Before embarking on a long trip, it’s important to take steps to ensure the security and maintenance of your home. One of the essential tasks is adjusting the thermostat and unplugging appliances. By doing so, you can save energy, prevent potential damages, and reduce any hazards that may arise while you’re away.
Start by adjusting your thermostat to an appropriate temperature. Depending on the climate and season, you’ll want to find a balance between not wasting energy and ensuring your home remains protected from extreme temperatures. During winter, setting the temperature around 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit (12-15 degrees Celsius) will help prevent freezing pipes or other cold-related issues. In summer, setting the thermostat around 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit (26-29 degrees Celsius) can save energy without allowing temperatures to soar too high.
Unplugging appliances is another crucial step in preparing your home for an extended absence. While various electronics may seem harmless when turned off, they still consume power when plugged in, which not only wastes electricity but can also increase the risk of electrical fires or damage due to power surges. Unplug non-essential items such as televisions, computers, and kitchen appliances like toasters and coffee makers. However, remember not to unplug essential devices such as refrigerators or freezers that need to continue running.
Let’s say you’ve planned a three-week vacation during the summer months. Before leaving, adjust your thermostat to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius). This temperature allows some leeway for energy savings while preventing excessive heat buildup inside your home. Next, walk through each room and unplug unnecessary appliances like lamps, chargers, and entertainment systems. By taking these simple steps, you’ll conserve energy and minimize potential risks while enjoying your time away.
Now that we’ve covered adjusting thermostats and unplugging appliances, let’s turn our attention to another critical aspect of home preparation for long trips: home security measures.
Home Security Measures for Long Trips
When leaving your home for an extended period, it’s crucial to implement proper security measures to protect your property from potential intruders. Here are some important steps to consider:
- Secure Doors and Windows: Before leaving, ensure all doors and windows are properly locked. Consider reinforcing entry points with deadbolts and sturdy locks. For added security, install security film on windows or use window bars if appropriate.
- Install Timers: Use timers or smart plugs to control lighting throughout your home. Having lights turn on and off at different times can create the illusion that someone is present, deterring potential burglars.
- Notify Trusted Neighbors: Inform trustworthy neighbors or friends about your absence and ask them to keep an eye on your property. They can bring in mail or packages, pick up newspapers, and create the appearance of activity by occasionally parking a car in your driveway.
- Home Security Systems: Consider installing a comprehensive home security system with surveillance cameras, motion detectors, and alarms. Modern systems often offer smartphone integration, allowing you to monitor your property remotely and receive alerts regarding any suspicious activities.
Taking these proactive steps will provide peace of mind knowing that your home is secure while you’re away. By adjusting thermostats, unplugging appliances, securing doors and windows, and considering other security measures, you can enjoy your travels without undue stress about the state of your home.
- According to FBI crime data in 2018, burglaries increase by approximately 10% during the summer months when many people are away on vacation.
- The U.S Department of Energy states that lowering your thermostat by 7-10 degrees for 8 hours per day can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling. This also applies when leaving for extended periods.
- A report from the National Fire Protection Association indicates that overloading outlets and faulty electrical wiring are leading causes of house fires and unplugging devices while away can reduce this risk significantly.
Secure Doors, Windows and Install Timers
When it comes to securing your home before embarking on a long trip, one of the most crucial steps is to ensure the doors and windows are properly secured. Before leaving, take the time to thoroughly check all the doors and windows in your home to ensure they are locked and closed properly. This includes not only the main entrances but also any seldom-used ones such as basement windows or side doors.
Additionally, consider investing in smart door locks or deadbolts that can enhance the security of your home. These smart locks often have features like remote locking and unlocking, as well as notifications on your smartphone whenever someone enters or exits your home. Such systems provide an added layer of security and peace of mind while you’re away.
For example, let’s say you’re leaving for a month-long vacation and you’ve secured all the doors and windows in your home. To further enhance the appearance of someone being home, install light timers in several rooms. These timers can be programmed to turn lights on and off at specific times throughout the day, giving others the illusion that your house is occupied.
“I love using light timers when I’m away for an extended period. It really gives me peace of mind knowing that my home looks occupied even when I’m not there.”
In addition to securing doors and windows, installing timers for lights can help deter potential burglars who may be scouting for vacant homes to target.
Now that we have covered securing doors, windows, and installing timers, let’s move on to another important aspect of home preparation: mail and lawn maintenance plans.
Mail and Lawn Maintenance Plans
When you’re away from home for an extended period, it’s important to make arrangements for both mail collection and lawn maintenance to maintain the appearance that someone is still present at your property.
First, consider asking a trusted neighbor or friend to gather your mail daily. Piled-up mail is a clear signal that the house is vacant, making it an easy target for burglars. Alternatively, you can put your mail on hold with the post office. This service allows you to request a temporary suspension of mail delivery while you’re away, ensuring that your mailbox doesn’t overflow during your absence.
Imagine you’ve planned a three-week vacation and want to make sure your mail doesn’t pile up. You ask your neighbor, Lisa, if she could kindly collect your mail for you while you’re away. Lisa agrees and assures you that she’ll keep an eye on any important letters or packages that may arrive during your absence.
“Having a trustworthy neighbor like Lisa is such a relief. Knowing that she’s looking out for my mail while I’m away gives me peace of mind.”
Secondly, consider arranging for lawn maintenance while you’re gone. An overgrown lawn can indicate that no one is home, potentially attracting unwanted attention. If you have a lawn care service, inform them of your travel plans so they can adjust their schedule accordingly. Alternatively, hiring someone to mow the lawn periodically or even asking a neighbor to do it can help maintain the appearance of an occupied property.
With mail collection and lawn maintenance plans in place, you can further ensure the security and maintenance of your home while enjoying your time away.
Mail Collection and Lawn Care Arrangements
When preparing for a long trip away from home, it’s essential to make arrangements for mail collection and lawn care. Neglecting these aspects can lead to unwanted attention and potential problems while you’re away.
First, consider arranging for someone you trust, such as a neighbor or friend, to collect your mail regularly. A pile of mail accumulating in your mailbox is a clear signal that your house is vacant, making it an easy target for burglars. By having someone collect your mail, you can ensure that your home appears occupied and reduce the risk of burglary.
Let’s say you plan a month-long vacation to explore Europe. Before leaving, let your neighbor know about your travel plans and ask if they would be willing to gather your mail during your absence. It’s also a good idea to provide them with a key to your mailbox or arrange for them to have access in another way.
In addition to mail collection, don’t forget about lawn care. An overgrown lawn can give the impression that no one is home, raising concerns among neighbors and potentially attracting unwanted attention. To maintain the appearance of an occupied home, consider making arrangements for lawn care.
Suppose you typically mow your lawn every week during the summer months. If you’re going away for an extended period, it’s wise to hire a professional lawn care service or ask a neighbor to take care of this task. This not only keeps your yard looking tidy but also reinforces the illusion that someone is present at home.
Remember, maintaining the exterior appearance of your home is just as important in deterring potential break-ins as securing the interior. By ensuring that your yard is well-maintained and appeared attended to, you minimize any suspicions or risks while you’re away.
Now that we’ve addressed the importance of arranging for mail collection and lawn care during your absence, let’s move on to other crucial aspects of preparing your home for a long trip.