One of the best things about summer is having the time to get away from home on vacation. Whether you’re a beach, cabin, lake, or destination-lover, you probably still have a trip or two in your plans.
But what happens to your apartment while you’re away?
Here’s a quick and easy checklist-timeline to help you prepare your apartment so you can enjoy a fun and worry-free vacation.
One Week ‘Till Vacation
– Get your laundry done. Include everything you need for your trip and get it done early in the week. Nothing is worse than waiting at the laundromat the night before a vacation.
– Make arrangements for your pets. This includes reserving a boarding service, securing a dog- or cat-sitter, or begging family/friends to watch your furry friend.
– Find a house-sitter. This one is very negotiable. Personally, I don’t use a house-sitter since I don’t want to spend the money. However, if you want to, use references from friends and family to find someone you trust. Have them over sometime during the week before to learn the ins-and-outs of your apartment. Write a quick manual of things to do (and not to do). Make a spare key.
Two Days ‘Till Vacation
– Check your mail & watch for packages. If you don’t have anyone watching your apartment, make sure that your mailbox won’t be overflowing with mail and that you won’t have packages sitting on your doorstep for days at a time. Not only could your mail/goods get stolen, but it’s a sign of an empty apartment and thus makes you more susceptible to break-ins.
– Clean house. It makes a load of difference to come home to a clean house! Take a few minutes to pick up your living space, vacuum and dust. I promise it’s worth it!
– Talk to a neighbor you trust. Let them know you’ll be out of town and ask them to watch out for any weird activity. You can also ask them to pick up any package that you know will arrive while you’re out of town.
– Clean out the fridge. I promise you, there is nothing worse than coming home to a stinky apartment, and then discovering the stench is from old, rotten food. Nasty. Do yourself a favor and throw out everything that is perishable.
Day Of Vacation!
– Water your plants.
– Unplug everything. This actually really does save electricity! Think about phone chargers, laptop cords, lamps, kitchen gadgets…every little bit can make a difference, especially when you won’t even be there. This will also protect your electronics if there is a severe thunderstorm that cuts off power.
– Change the thermostat. Especially in the summer, crank the thermostat WAY up, or turn it off altogether. Sure, it won’t be super pleasant to come home to a hot house, but it shouldn’t take long to cool off and there’s no point in wasting money cooling an empty apartment.
– Turn off all lights, check for candles, and don’t leave the washer/dishwasher running. For safety, make sure that everything is shut off when you leave. Lights waste energy but can also overheat, candles are an obvious hazard when left unattended, and you don’t want to run the risk of a machine malfunction when you’re not there to fix it.
– Take out the trash. To keep bugs and stinks away while you’re gone.
– Lock up. Then double check that you locked up.
Once everything is done, you can enjoy your vacation and know that you left your apartment safe and sound. Is there any other ritual you are sure to do before leaving town for a few days? Let us know!