How to organise your home before you go on holidays
Are you and the family heading to the beach for the Christmas school holidays? Taking off to Europe? Or perhaps just heading out of town for a family get-together?
No matter what the holiday travel plan, here’s my checklist of things to think about before you lock your house up and hit the road.
But firstly, the best way to ensure you’ve covered everything that needs doing is to start two lists:
Things to do in advance of the trip
Things to do the morning that you leave
1. A regular check-up doesn’t hurt
If your holiday is going to have you away from the house for more than a week you should seriously consider enlisting a trusted friend or family member to have an occasional walk through your home during your absence. Checking that all is okay while the house is unattended means you can enjoy your holiday without worry. These 5 home security hacks to know should help you out.
2. Make a plan for your pets
What’s the plan for Rover or Fifi? If your pets are coming with you, what do you need to pack for them? If they’re going to a friend’s house or to a pet-sitter, be sure to make those arrangements as far in advance as possible. Those places fill up quickly during the summer and you want to be sure that you leave town without having to worry about your pet’s welfare.
3. Plants need loving, too
Hot weather means plants need more watering and more attention. Depending on how long you’re going to be away, do you need to have someone come in and give them a drink while you’re gone? Line up someone with a green thumb and you might come home to your greenery looking better than when you left!
4. Put a hold on mail and newspapers
Five minutes online can put a hold on your newspapers and mail delivery while you’re away enjoying the summer break. If you’d prefer not to stop these deliveries, ask a neighbour to collect these for you. Be sure to provide a bin or basket that they can easily throw the mail and papers into so that it’s as easy and convenient as possible for them.
5. Make some payments in advance
Holidays are supposed to be worry-free times so take a few minutes and pay any outstanding bills (and if possible any that might be coming up while you’re going to be away) so that there will be no surprise calls from the bank or creditors during your break.
6. Plan to empty the fridge before you leave
In the week before your holiday try to use up as many open containers of food and other perishable items in your fridge and pantry. A little advance planning will mean that you won’t be wasting the food that you have and on the day you leave it will be an easy task to empty and quick-clean the fridge.
7. Leave your contact information
A holiday is definitely a time for getting away from it all, but unexpected problems can sometimes arise at home. Be sure to tell trusted neighbours, friends, and family the dates that you’ll be away. Make sure they know how to contact you while you’re gone just in case there’s any reason to.
Things to do the day you’re leaving
Here are a few to-do’s the day you’re headed out. Spread the load by giving family members different tasks.
Turn off the water at the washing machine.
Give the plants a good drink of water.
Close the curtains.
Thermostat – adjust to a reasonable temperature.
Food – any last bits of open food that aren’t going with you should either be well sealed up or thrown in the rubbish. And, one quick tip, if you have an open container of baking soda, sprinkle some on top of the water in each of the toilets and down the drains of the sinks (it will help keep those areas smelling fresh).
Change the sheets on the beds and get clean towels out for your return – you’ll appreciate the smell and feel of fresh linen on your return.
Throw a bottle (or two) of your favourite beverage into the fridge before you leave. It’s nice to have something good to come home to after a great holiday!
Double check that all of the windows and doors are locked.
Rubbish – the last thing you should do before locking up is to take the rubbish out of the house.
These few holiday tips will help you leave the house confident that all is taken care of, and ensure that your home is safe and sound in your absence.