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Tips for Preparing Your Home for Vacation

Before leaving on vacation, whether it be for an extended absence or only for a few days, we recommend preparing your house so that when you return from your vacation you find your home in the same good condition as when you left it. Here are some practical tips you might consider for making sure that everything at home is all set for your absence so you can truly relax and enjoy your vacation.

First, store away such everyday items or household appliances like the coffee maker, blender, toaster, juicer or anything of the sort; or in the alternative, you should consider covering them.

Remove all perishable food items from the refrigerator so they do not spoil. Then, once everything has been properly put away, clean the refrigerator thoroughly – this will help minimize the amount of cleaning you will need to do when you return from vacation.

When cleaning, take the opportunity to check that there is nothing left that could cause foul odors. Check the washer and dryer to make sure there are no clothes inside; check the oven and microwave as well to make sure there is no food left inside.

Store the fruit in the refrigerator (depending on the number of days you intend to be away) and toss anything that is perishable, as it could spoil and cause foul odors or worse, lure rodents and insects.  Make sure there is nothing in the pantry that could lure these undesirable “visitors”.

Clean the sink and the drain pipe as well, eliminating any food scraps. Do not forget to empty the waste basket, removing the container bag and giving it a good rinse to avoid foul odors.

Empty the waste baskets in all the rooms, including the one(s) in the bathroom and bedrooms. After emptying them, rinse them out and leave them outside, or in a ventilated area.

If you have indoor plants, remember to water them well. You can set them down on dishes or containers with water in order to keep them moist during your absence.

Once the cleaning tasks are finished, arrange and allow for proper ventilation. Remove those items that produce aromas and fragrances – with everything being shut and locked up, these items could provoke an adverse reaction or generate hazardous vapors. Finally, turn off the stove and close the gas and water valves, and just before leaving, shut down the lighting overall, unless this affects the home’s security system.  If you need to leave it connected, disconnect all electrical appliances in order to avoid damage due to a storm or (high voltage) discharge.


10 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe While on Vacation

If you are leaving on vacation and your house is vacant, you should take into consideration the following tips for keeping it safe while you are away: 

1.- Make sure all the doors and windows are securely locked; use padlocks for the service doors or gates.

2.- Avoid making public comments about your vacation. If appropriate, notify neighbors and friends you trust that you will be away.

3.- Speak with a neighbor or friend to arrange to pick up mail and fliers delivered to your home while you are away. This way, from the outside, your home will appear occupied and someone came and picked up such fliers or letters.

4. - Leave valuables out of sight. Use a safe deposit box, if you have one; or leave your valuables for safekeeping with someone you trust.

5.- Consider installing motion sensor lights at the front door so that there is light whenever someone approaches.

6.- Invest in a timer to turn a few of your electrical appliances inside the house on and off automatically. You can also have a song play, or the lights, television or radio turn on and off according to a programmed schedule of your choice. The best time for the timers to operate is around mid-afternoon or during the night.

7.- If you have no choice other than to leave by taxi, avoid lengthy conversations.  The taxi driver can ask such typical questions like: Where are you going? How long will you be gone?  A conversation as normal as any other, but in this case you are giving too much information to a stranger. A good way to get out of this is to talk about a family member who has stayed at home.

8.- If someone will be coming to water the plants or feed a pet, ask them to try and follow an irregular schedule, that way no one can predict when someone will be present.

9.– Leave a car parked in the driveway or in front of the house.  If possible, ask a neighbor to park their car in your driveway or the front of your house so that they can be seen coming and going.

10.- Leave a set of house or car keys with someone you trust, as well as any telephone number(s) they can call to reach you.


Need anything? Contact us! We will be happy to assist you.