You’ve hooked up the felt reindeer antlers to the car. You’ve packed your bags and perfectly fit them in the trunk. You contemplated whether you should take your laptop/tablet with you or if this is a good time for a digital detox. You even created a playlist just for this trip.
But, before you head out on your cross-state/country trek for the holidays, don’t forget to do these 7 things.
1. Empty The Trash
Go through the house and collect the trash bags from the bathroom, the office, the bedrooms. Then, empty the dishwasher, clean the coffee maker, and toss out expired or spoiled food items from the fridge. You don’t want to come back to rotten food and a stinking house.
2. Lock Doors & Windows
That feeling of “did I lock that door?” You know it all too well. So, before you leave, check all the doors and windows (even the garage door) to make sure they’re locked. Close all the blinds and curtains. If you’re leaving the car in the driveway, remove all valuables from sight.
To completely get rid of that feeling of an unlocked door, you can sketch your house’s layout and mark the doors and windows that have been locked. This way, you can reference it from hundreds of miles away. If you have a security system with remote services, you can check the app from anywhere and lock all the doors from your smartphone.
3. Turn Down The Heat
Save energy by turning down the heating system and water heater to low. With a home automation system such as Honeywell’s Total Connect, you could even adjust the temperature right from your relative’s comfy couch. To avoid leaks and accidents, you might also consider shutting off the water lines to the washing machine.
4. Unplug Electronics
Unplug the TV. Unplug the desktop computer. Unplug all the electronics in your house. And, while you’re at it, make sure appliances like the oven, the stove, and the coffee maker are turned off.
5. Water The Plants
You don’t want to come back to a house filled with dead plants. So, grab the watering can and give your greens a quenching drink. You might also want to move them to a spot in your house with the best light and away from cold drafts.
6. Enlist Your Neighbors
Did you ask your trusty neighbors to watch your house? Smart move. Make sure to give them keys to everything so that they can access all the rooms in case of a crisis.
If you haven’t enlisted them yet, go ahead and let them know that you’re leaving. This way, they’ll keep an eye on things and alarm you or the police if something fishy happens. Also, write down your phone numbers so they can reach you in an emergency. Tell them how often your plants need to be watered if they’re doing that. They could also bring your garbage cans to the curb on pickup day so that it doesn’t stink up the garage.
7. Arm The Security System
Now that you’ve unplugged, turned down, locked, and shut off, all that’s left to do is arm the security system. If your system comes with remote services, you can arm the system from your smartphone just as you’re pulling out of your driveway.
And, just like that, your house and all your belongings are secure while you’re traveling for the holidays!
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