A long vacation is a great way to de-stress but trying to prepare your home for any sort of extended travel can be stressful. Knowing that you will be gone for any period of time takes some advance planning, but if you do it right, it can be done smoothly and simply.

You Were Gone?

You Were Gone
A great way to keep your home safe while you’re gone is to make it look as though you never left. Ask a friend or neighbor to pick up the newspaper and the mail, or stop it altogether for the time you’ll be away. Have a trusted friend come by and move your car, or park it in the garage. Install a motion detector floodlight and interior light timers to deter any intruders. The idea is to make your home look, well, lived in, so that no passing would-be burglar gets any ideas.

Make Repairs Before You Leave

You may be ready to go, but now it’s time to check the house out. It’s a good idea to walk the fence line and fix issues before critters come along looking for a warm place to sleep.

Have your HVAC system serviced, and install draft protection if needed. No need to actively heat an empty house, so setting interior temps to something similar to the outside temperature is helpful. Look for leaks in the plumbing and the roof, and make necessary repairs before you leave, because coming home to a flood (or because of one) is no fun. For an extended trip, unplugging electronics and turning off the water is also a good idea.

Clean out the Fridge

Clean out the Fridge
Have you ever come home to that stale food smell in your kitchen? Cleaning out the fridge and pantry before you go and getting rid of food that has expired, or will while your away, is going to help you come home to a fresh smelling house. Make an effort to do the dishes and clean the disposal. If you want to leave a meal in the freezer for when you get home, make sure it’s something that will keep.

Think Ahead

Preparing for your return may seem a bit depressing, but it’s worth planning that far ahead to come home to a clean house. Take out the trash, and if you can, leave the garbage can out for pickup. Make sure to arrange for a neighbor take it back in after trash day. Changing the bedsheets before you go is a nice way to stay relaxed after your trip. No need to do a deep clean before you leave, but a vacuum and a sweep will do wonders in making you feel welcome when you come home after a long trip.

Traveling doesn’t have to be stressful. You can stay as relaxed and loose as you were on your trip. With a bit of forethought that vacation feeling can stick around a bit longer. Well, at least until you go back to work!