Preparing your home before you go on vacation will ensure you can have a stress-free trip and will make your return much smoother. With HGTV.com's tips, you won't forget anything and can relax with a clear mind!
Make sure that your pets are properly cared for, whether by a pet sitter or boarding facility. Make detailed instructions for your pet and give Fido's caregiver lots of your pet's favorite food, treats, toys, medicines and other necessaries that will last until your return.
Go through your refrigerator and throw away anything that would go bad while you are gone. Before you leave, be sure to throw out the trash so you aren't greeted with the overwhelming smell of rotting food when you walk back in the door!
Take care of laundry before your departure so you can return to clean clothes. Also, change the sheets on your beds so you can spend your first night back home on freshly laundered bedding.
Make sure you don't return to wilted plants by getting a friend or neighbor to water them while you are away. Be sure to provide them with a list of your plants, where they are located, and any special instructions. If you can't get someone to water, purchase and install a few self-watering plant stakes.
If you'll be gone for a short period of time, leave a few lights on throughout the house so it looks like someone is home. If you'll be gone longer than a couple of days, get some automatic timers that turn lights on and off at random times to thwart thieves. You should also let a neighbor you trust know you're going so they can watch out for suspicious behavior as well.
Unplug appliances that won't be running and set your air conditioner or heater so it won't come on a lot while you're gone. No reason to pay electricity bills for an empty house!
Put your mail and newspapers on hold with the post office and Subcription desk at your newspaper so they don't pile up in your front yard while you're out of town. Or ask a neighbor to pick them up for you.
Make sure you've arranged for breakfast the morning after your return. Cereal and shelf-stable milk is a good bet, or something frozen that can be reheated. Don't forget the coffee! Also, give the house a quick once-over so you can return home to a nice, clean house. Safe travels!