If the upcoming July 4th holiday means vacation, don’t overlook the importance of organizing things at home before you travel. Though it’s fun to focus on the things you’ll do while you’re away as you prepare for vacation, your return home will be more enjoyable if you organize before you go.
Secure your home
As you prepare for vacation, be sure that your home doesn’t advertise the fact that you’re away. Install timers on a few lamps throughout your home, and turn on a radio or television. Have your mail held at the post office and suspend newspaper delivery, or ask a neighbor to collect them for you.
Let a trusted neighbor know you’ll be away and leave contact information where they can reach you in case of an emergency. Invite them to park their cars in your driveway occasionally to make your home look lived-in.
Check to be sure that all windows and doors are locked before you leave and turn on your security system if you have one.
Include only your cell phone number on luggage tags – no need to advertise your home address to airport personnel.
Don’t leave garage door openers in your vehicle – at home or at the airport. Together with the address on your vehicle registration (which most drivers leave in a glove box), it can make your home an open target.
Keep it Efficient
Adjust your thermostat so that your air conditioning (or heater, in cold weather) runs on a very limited basis while you’re away.
Unplug appliances and electronics to save energy and protect them from damage in case of thunderstorms.
If possible, shut off water to your home. Even a very small leak can cause major damage over a few days.
Dispose of all perishable items in your refrigerator and empty all trash cans before you leave.
A Welcoming Return
Declutter counters, take care of laundry and put clean linens on beds – it will make your home much more pleasant to return to at the end of your vacation.
If you employ a housekeeping service, schedule a cleaning just before you leave so that your home is fresh and tidy when you return.