Closing Up The House For The Holidays: A Checklist

Are you planning a trip for your Christmas vacation? Then you have probably made a checklist of things you should pack and bring with you. If you are going to be absent for a longer period of time, you should make one more checklist – a list of measures you should take to protect your house against accidents and intruders while you are gone. Check off the list before you leave and you will be enjoying your vacation without asking yourself ‘Did I turn the stove off?’ or ‘Who locked the door?’. Here is the list:

1. Clean out the fridge. Any products that are going to expire before you come back should be thrown away. At the same time, move all the fresh produce from your counter to the fridge. But if fruits and vegetables have been sitting there for an extended period of time, they will probably rot soon even in the fridge. Toss them to avoid coming back to a kitchen full of fruit flies, or a fridge full of liquefied unrecognizable stuff. Freeze anything that can be frozen and used later.

2. Water all plants and move them to cool, shady areas. Better yet – setup a self-watering system. Coming home to dead plants will ruin your excitement about the vacation. Toss out any fresh flowers. Even if they look nice now, they will wither and die before you are back, and the smell of stale water will be unbearable.

3. Take out the garbage. Empty all garbage cans. There is nothing worse than coming back to a house full of smell of stale garbage.

4. Wipe down surfaces. Clean the countertops, floors and other flat surfaces to remove any crumbs that could attract bugs.

5. Make the bed(s). Wash and change bed sheets before you leave. You will rejoice over doing this once you get back exhausted from your adventurous vacation and throw yourself on the clean and made bed, and sleep.

6. Leaking pipes can make a serious damage to your home, so make sure you check them for any cracks before you leave. Expert plumbers from Inner West advise that you replace any suspicious pieces, to prevent any accidents and to enjoy your holiday carefree.

Closing Up The House For The Holidays: A Checklist

7. Stock up on ready-made meals. Make sure your supplies are sufficient to get you through at least first couple of days after returning, until you get back to your normal routine. Do not forget to stock up on coffee, too.

8. Set a timer on your radio or TV to turn on and off at certain times of day, when you would usually be at home. Any noise coming from your house will make it look like it is occupied.

9. Stop your newspaper and mail deliveries, or ask a neighbour to empty your mailbox daily. Nothing attracts burglars like overstuffed mailbox.

10. Be sure to take care of your valuables properly, if you hide them in your home make sure to place them in the least obvious places such is, for an instance, a coffee can painted black and attached to the floor joists overhead in the basement. In case you have a big stash of cash or an expensive jewelry collection it is even better to store it at a bank safety deposit box.

11. Same goes for lights. Set the timer to turn on the lights in your living room in the evening, when you usually come back from work, and turn them off a couple of hours later. Then a bedroom light can go on for about half an hour before you usually go to bed.

12. Before you lock the front door, take one more look at your list and tour the house to check if all the windows are locked and if the alarm system is correctly set up. Inform your security monitoring company that you will be absent for some time, so they could occasionally check up on your house.

What else would you add to the list?

Author’s Bio: Lana Hawkins is a crafty girl and a student of architecture from Sydney, Australia. She enjoys writing about home décor and architecture. Majority of her free time Lana loves spending outdoors and cooking for friends.

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