Oftentimes, people get so excited for their vacation that they forget to prepare their home. Follow our checklist to prepare your home for vacation to help make your time away and your return stress-free.

Tidy Up

You will not be at your house for a while, so your first thought may not be to clean. In fact, when you are rushing around trying to make sure you have everything you are going to need for vacation, how your house looks may be the last thing on your mind. When you consider what you will be coming home to, it makes sense to give your home a thorough cleaning before you leave. Do you want to come home to a sink full of dishes and an empty pizza box? What do you think the garbage will smell like after sitting for a week or two? To prepare your home for vacation, make sure it is clean before you leave.

  • Clean out the refrigerator. Any perishable items are likely to go bad before you get back, so toss them before you leave.
  • Take out the trash. Anything that is in the trash will stink up your house by the time you get back. Not only will taking out the trash keep bad smells at bay, it will prevent you from attracting insects.
  • Clean. Do the dishes, wipe off the counters, vacuum, sweep, and change the linens. Prepare your home for vacation by making it clean and inviting so that your return home will be welcoming and pleasant.

Prepare Your Home for Vacation by Making It Look Lived In

Just as a full trash bin can attract pests, an empty house can attract burglars. In order to deter burglars, it is a good idea to make your house look lived in. Here are some things you should consider doing to prevent unwanted visitors while you are away.

  • Put your lights on a timer. Put a couple of lamps on timers and stagger them. This will make it look like there is activity going on in your home.
  • Have motion lights in the yard. The last thing a potential burglar wants as he approaches your house is a spotlight drawing attention to him.
  • Don’t let the mail pile up. You can do this one of two ways. Have the post office hold your mail until you come back or have a trusted friend or neighbor pick up your mail while you are away. Either way, an overflowing mailbox will be a signal to the world that nobody is home.
  • Leave your curtains open. You want your home to look as if it usually does when you are home. Having the curtains closed, especially in the middle of the day, not only lets people know you are gone, it gives burglars cover. As long as the curtains are going to be open, however, it makes sense to put anything valuable out of sight.
  • Park a car in the driveway. Leave a car parked in your driveway or ask a trusted neighbor or friend to park there while you’re away.

Make Sure It is Cared for While You Are Away

There are things that will likely need to be done around the house whether you are there or not. If neglected for too long, they can get out of control. Prepare your home for vacation by making sure you have these things taken care of while you are away:

  • Your lawn. If you will be gone for a week or less, you can probably just mow before you leave and not have to worry about it until you get back. If you will be gone longer, however, you may want to have someone mow it for you so that it doesn’t get unruly and become obvious that no one is home.
  • Your pets. If you have pets, you should make sure that they are cared for while you are away. A cat may be content to stay home alone as long as someone stops by regularly to feed them and clean the litter box. Dogs, on the other hand, are social creatures and need companionship. Choose a boarding facility or get a live-in petsitter for your dog.
  • Your plants. If you have plants, they will need to be watered. If you have someone coming to look in on a pet, you might ask that person to look after your plants, too.
  • Appliances. Unplug all appliances that will not be in use while you are away. This includes chargers for small electronics. Set the thermostat to a temperature that is close to outdoor temperatures to save on energy costs for heating or cooling an unoccupied home.

By taking these simple steps to prepare your home for vacation, you will find peace of mind that all is well at home. Use this checklist to get your home ready for departure.

AWP Home Inspections provides home inspection services including environmental inspections, mold inspections, septic inspections, and water screening in West Central and Central Indiana. Contact us to schedule an appointment.