10 Steps To Get Your Home Ready Before You Go On A Trip

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When you're planning your next holiday there is more to it than just booking a hotel.  You've also got to make sure you get everything ready at home before you can leave with peace of mind. These 10 steps to get your home ready before you go on a trip are important for your safety, security and a happy return.  From the potential of theft to simply making sure your pets are fed, this is what you need to do before you take a trip with your family this year. 

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Adjust your thermostat to save energy while you're away.

When you're not staying in your home you don't need it to be optimally heated, or cooled, within reason. You clearly don't want things to get extremely hot or cold, but a moderate temperature adjustment can save you cash by lowering your energy costs. In the winter you'd allow the temperature to get cooler in your home and in the summer you'd allow it to get warmer.  If you already have a programmable thermostat in your home, you'll want to set it to holiday mode and if not, you can adjust it manually.

Set lights on a timer.

To make the appearance of someone being home make sure to put things like a lamp or porch  lights on timers so they go on and off at appropriate times each day while you are away.  This helps deter potential theft, but in addition it makes it easier for you if you happen to arrive home at a later time of day. Then, you can see what you're doing more easily when carrying in all that luggage.

Arrange for a pet sitter or other pet care.

If you have pets that won't be going with you on your trip make sure you have a quality pet sitter or other pet care arranged to take care of your animals.  A trusted individual should be available to feed your animals, clean up after them, take them for a walk and play with them throughout your trip.  You may also look into boarding them at a local trusted vet or groomer. 
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Arrange for post to be picked up or held at the post office.

Stop by the post office to request your post be held until your return, or ask a trusted friend or family member to grab it and put it in your house each day if you prefer.  Leaving post in your letterbox or packages on your porch can alert a thief you are not home. Depending on how long you'll be gone, you may also need to make arrangements to  pay certain bills ahead of time so you don't get a nasty surprise when you return, such as late fees.

Check all windows and doors and confirm appliances turned off or unplugged.

Before you leave for a trip make sure to check that all windows are secure and locked, as well as all doors.  Double check locks and deadbolts to make sure they are staying locked properly and replace or repair as needed.  In addition, unplug unnecessary appliances. For example, in our house some of my younger kids still use a  nightlight, so I make sure I unplug these, not just have them turned off, before we leave. Also confirm for your own peace of mind that things like the oven or stove are not still on (although you don't necessarily need to unplug these types of items).

Update emergency contacts with your home monitoring or alarm system.

Make sure your home monitoring company, if you have a home alarm system, has not only your correct contact information but the knowledge that you will be out of town and away from home.  You will also want to give them a local person that can be trusted to check your home with them should an alarm go off in your absence.  

Tell trusted neighbours the days you will be gone.

If you live in a gated subdivision or an area with an HOA (Home Owner's Association), let them know the dates you will be gone.  Many times security will be happy to stop by and check your windows and doors while you are away.  In addition, or in the alternative, you can also alert trusted neighbours to watch for any suspicious activity.  
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Remove any food from your refrigerator or freezer that would go bad before your return.

To keep any unpleasant odours from developing make sure you remove any food from your refrigerator or freezer that will go bad before your return. If you plan well in advance, you can use items up before you leave, or give additional food to friends and family so nothing goes to waste. In addition, also get rid of any food in your pantry or fresh produce that is sitting out on counters that could spoil while you are away. 

Empty rubbish bins throughout your home.

Just like you don't want food to spoil and rot in your home while you're gone, you don't want rubbish to sit in your home either. So (after you've cleaned out the fridge) make sure to empty all the rubbish bins throughout your home before you leave.
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Finally, we all look forward to a good holiday or trip, but after a while we also look forward to getting back home. When returning from a long trip you're often exhausted from the traveling as well as the activities you did while you were gone. So before you leave think ahead and consider what would make you feel more comfortable when you return. For me, I know I appreciate climbing into my old familiar bed after sleeping in strange beds during a trip, so I really like putting fresh sheets on my bed before a trip. Then, when you get home and are busy trying to unpack, starting to do the washing and getting fresh food into your home, you don't have to worry about some of these things. Some people like to get their whole house clean before they leave. I'm normally too busy doing all my other preparations for the trip to do that, but ahhhh, the clean sheets are great. So you decide what will help you feel more comfortable when you return, but your comfort is worth preparing for too! 

What steps do you take to get your home ready before you go on a trip? Did I miss one you do? I'd love to hear so tell me your own tips and ideas below in the comments.          

In addition, don't miss even more tips and tricks I've shared by  following Household Management 101 here on eBay.            

Here are some of my additional guides below. (Check my profile for the full listing.)  
7 Steps To Get Your Home Ready For Spring
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7 Steps To Get Your Home Ready For Spring
10 Often Forgotten Places To Clean
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10 Often Forgotten Places To Clean
5 Tips For Preparing Your Home For Holiday Guests
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5 Tips For Preparing Your Home For Holiday Guests
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Written by:   householdmanagement101
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