How to Prepare Your Home Before You Go on Vacation

The first couple years of my career were very investor focused. This meant showing enough abandoned vacant homes in the peak of Florida summer heat (while pregnant mind you) to last a lifetime. Among the many things I learned from those experiences was how to NOT leave your home when you go away- especially for vacation.

 


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As often as we travel, I’ve got my walking out the door home to-dos down to a science. Here are steps I take every time we leave our house for more than a day in an attempt to avoid any household calamities while we are gone.

 

Take out the trash

Nothing can ruin that “home at last” feeling quicker than opening the door to your safe haven and getting wafted in the face with a week’s worth of rotting trash. That smell can also take a while to get rid of, and is more often than not accompanied by flies. On the same page as foul smells…

 

 

Unload the dishwasher

 

Despite being full of dirty or clean dishes, the airtight seal in your dishwasher makes the air inside become stagnant. If there are food remnants on the dishes, bacteria grows and will cause mold. If there is moisture on even freshly cleaned dishes, bacteria grows and will cause mold. Do yourself a favor and just go ahead and empty it before you leave. Your nose will thank you.

Dishwasher leak ruined wood floors while owner was away

Also, if a leak decides to develop in the lines while you are away, you could come back to warped floors like this homeowner did. See the next precaution.

 

 

Turn off the water

 

Water heaters, air conditioners, washing machines, dishwashers…see where I’m going with this? These all for whatever reason seem to bite the dust when you are away and can do some pretty serious damage in a short amount of time. Not to mention the most horrific plumbing failure of all, the dreaded Slab leak. Luckily, I’ve got your guide on how to survive one of those right here. The best way to attempt to nip all of this in the bud is as easy as turning off your water valve prior to vacationing. This safeguard alone can potentially save you thousands of dollars.

 

Turn up/down AC

 

This is something the power company preaches that you do on the daily.  What is the point of cooling or heating your home when you aren’t there to comfortably enjoy it? I personally turn our unit completely off if we won’t be there. Doing so could also prevent potential leaks (see previous suggestion) and save you $$$.

 

 

Lock doors/windows

 

This one is a no-brainer but you’d honestly be surprised how many people do not lock their doors. If you aren’t going to be home, please check that your windows and doors are secure.

 

 

 

Set the Alarm

 

If you’re paying for one, get your money’s worth by actually turning it on.

 

 

Mail

 

An overflowing mailbox or multiple newspapers in the driveway is a clear sign that no one is home. This translates into bad news bears for security. Ask a trusted friend or family member to gather it for you while you’re away or ask that the post office hold it for you if you know your dates far enough in advance.

Multiple newspapers in the yard or an overflowing mailbox signify that no one is home.

 

 

Get a Ring

 

I love my Ring. The originally advertised, “I’m bathing the children” line is my go to for when my sister comes to the door. You can see anyone or anything that happens outside your home at any given time. I’ll be out running errands or working and see that a delivery has arrived or if something suspect may be going on.

It alerts you when there is motion, and if you do happen to see something sketchy while you are away, you can take the next steps and reach out to a neighbor or the police if needed.

Home Depot frequently seems to have savings on the entire Ring family of products, so definitely check them out if you are interested in one.

 

Your home is your castle, and you should do everything in your power to protect it. Is there anything else you do to prep your home before you go on vacation?

 

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