I’m not sure about you but it seems that my Facebook and Instagram feeds are filled with pictures of my friends sipping margaritas, toes in sand with perfectly sun kissed skin. It’s just that time of year where we are becoming sick of the cold and darkness and temporarily escaping to sunny destinations. In fact, Laurel is enjoying the beautiful white sands of Dominican today! We would be lying if we said we weren’t a little jealous…
A lot of planning goes into finally taking that long awaited vacation– booking time off work, tying up loose ends on work projects before making your escape, arranging family to look after the kids, coordinating who will water the plants/pick up the mail/feed the fish…the list just goes on. We don’t want to add more to your already full plate, but here are some key home checklist items not to be missed before you head off!
Put package and mail delivery on hold or have a neighbour pick it up for you while you’re having fun in the sun. Package stealing has become a very real thing! I know I would be very disappointed if my Amazon packages were snatched.
2. Unplug your electronics and appliances
As a kid, before leaving the house for any extended period of time, my mom would always unplug the toaster and coffee maker. This is something I still do to this day. But it’s good practice to avoid unnecessary power usage and to protect your devices from power surges.
3. Let there be light!
There’s no harm in leaving a small lamp on at a window near the front of your home just to make your home look a little more lived-in. Lights on timers work great if you want a lamppost or outdoor light to come on once it gets dark. An even better idea is a motion-activated exterior light! Before living in a subdivision my home was on a large piece of property relatively spaced out from neighbours. When my family would leave for vacation it was pretty obvious that no one was around which can be a target for home burglaries.
4. Set the thermostat
We all love to save a little here and a little there but if you turn your thermostat down too low, you run the risk of frozen pipes. Consider setting the temperature for a little lower than what you would typically set it at, but don’t get carried away!
5. Plan for snow
If you don’t have a long driveaway or large laneway this won’t be quite as concerning. But, if you live on a country property with an accessway that typically requires plowing, hire someone beforehand to plow your driveaway in the event of a heavy snowfall while your vacationing. You wouldn’t be too happy if you came home late from the airport and couldn’t make it to your bed.
6. Tidy your house
After a relaxing vacation the last thing you want to come home to is a pile of dishes in the sink or a heap of laundry on the floor. Once you’ve zipped up your suitcase and your belongings are already to go, take the time to fold and hang up any clothing that got tossed on the floor during your packing process, empty and load the dishwasher, wipe down countertops and put away any clutter. Not only will you be happy you did this when you return but it’s a good opportunity to double check you haven’t left anything behind.
7. Clean out the fridge and take out the garbage
A few summers ago I travelled to Portugal for two weeks but forgot about the basket of peaches on my kitchen counter. You know the ending to that story… If you have a lot of produce that will go bad while you’re away make a plan to use it up before you leave. A crisper full of half used veggies? Simple, soup. Lots of fresh fruit on the counter? Put in freezer bags or make smoothies! And don’t forget to take out that bag of rubbish and to sort the recycles to keep your home smelling fresh while you’re gone.
Now, off you go, friends! Enjoy the sun, warmth, and memory making. You earned it!