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SUMMER SERIES: Organizing to Travel – Post 2 of 3


The summer is the quintessential time to travel and get away from home. A lot of things need to happen before you set out to travel, though.  Preparing your home for your absence should be incorporated into your preparation plans for the trip to ensure a smooth departure.  The best way to accomplish this is to create a checklist to follow; having a checklist will make the preparations so much easier and keep you on track to completing all that needs to be done.  Here are some great tips to quickly and easily prepare your home for you to leave. Let the preparation begin!

  1. LET IT BREATHE: Make sure to ventilate your home while you are away.  If your space is centrally air conditioned, turn the thermostat to 78° F/29° C to save energy, keep the space at a comfortable temperature and avoid the ill effects of a hot, sticky home.  If you have window unit air conditioning or none at all, open a few windows on each level about 2” to let air circulate throughout the space; make sure to block the windows from the sill or close the locks to keep anyone from entering.
  2. KEEP IT SECURE: Stage the house to look like someone is still there if you are going away for more than a few days: arrange for the mail/newspaper to be held, picked up or temporarily stopped, the garbage cans to be brought in and hook up lights and tv to a timer set to randomly turn on and off.  Most importantly, make sure you store any valuables in a locked, safe place or move them to a secure location.
  3. GIVE OTHERS ACCESS: It’s always a good idea to give your house key, itinerary and emergency contact information to a trusted neighbor, friend or family member so they can access your home in case of emergency (flood, fire etc.).
  4. POOL SITTER: If you have a pool, it’s always a good idea to keep the filter running during your absence so that there aren’t any water problems when you return.  If you don’t have someone to come in and turn the filter on each day, attach the pump to a timer to ensure it runs regularly and doesn’t turn the water that icky color green!
  5. KEEP THAT GARDEN ALIVE: If you have a garden, it’s best to hire someone to keep it watered during your absence.  If you don’t have anyone to do this, try snaking a hose with holes throughout the beds and turn it on very low so the flowers can be kept moist.   Water-filled globes are also great to leave in your flower boxes or planters so they can stay watered too.
  6. CLEAN OUT THE FRIG: Try to eat most of the food in the refrigerator during the days before you depart.  Clear out the leftovers, wipe the frig clean and empty the indoor trash can so that food does not perish in your absence.
  7. DON’T LEAVE IT TO BURN: Remove potential fire hazards: unplug televisions, computers and small appliances if you don’t have them attached to a power surge strip.  Summer is notorious for flash storms and you wouldn’t to want to lose your electronics to a freak lightening strike.  Also, check to make sure the stove/oven knobs and your gas valves are turned off just before leaving your home.
  8. HANDLE THE MONEY: Make sure you check your bill schedule and plan to pay any bills due during your absence ahead of time by pre-scheduling online payments or leaving the mailing with someone you trust.  Most importantly, don’t leave any banking information easily accessible in your home. You’ll be able to enjoy your time away if your financial responsibilities are well taken care of during your absence.

Now that you’ve got a better idea of what needs to be done to leave your home and how quickly and easily you can accomplish the preparation, it’s time to go!  Pack your bag, complete your checklist and get ready for take-off.  You will soon be on your way to a relaxing and enjoyable time away once you have prepared yourself AND your home for your departure!

Make sure you drop us a line and let us know how your adventure went….happy traveling!