Before You Jet Off, Check These Off

There are a hundred and one reasons why people may leave their home unattended for the holiday season. Maybe you're an expat that wants to go home for Christmas. Maybe it is a tradition that you all go to your in-laws for that ten-day period, and you’ll be taking your new baby with you for the first time this year. Maybe you and your significant other just loathe the winter weather and make a pact in your first year together to chase the sun.

Whatever your excuse (sorry, we meant reason), leaving your home unoccupied requires you to do a little bit of preparation before you pack the bags and lock the door.

So, without further ado, here are some of the top tips sent our way by holiday home flee-ers:


1. Set The Alarm & Tell Them

We don’t mean leave a note for any potential burglars that you have set the alarm (that should hopefully be quite apparent). What we mean is, tell your alarm company that you are going away for the holidays. If your alarm company knows that no one is home then it tends to prompt a much faster response rate whereby the police are dispatched almost immediately, which is much better than them calling your home twice first to check everything is okay before pressing the big red button. It’s also a good idea to leave them the contact details of someone local in case they need information or even access to your home.

2. Double Up On The Security
Belt and braces, belt and braces. What we mean is, installing a home security system that will really give you peace of mind, the kind of thing where you can log into your home on a tablet or phone and thus let you make sure everything's A-ok. Oh, don’t worry, this is simpler than you may think; just head here for details and you can get your home ultra protected. Not only will this kind of system let you see if a burglar is robbing your Target jewelry collection, you’ll also be able to check to see if any squatters have made themselves at home and if your cat is still okay and not bringing in a bunch of mice to play with. The benefits are endless, and we haven’t even mentioned how good a night’s sleep you will get while away.

3. Turning Your Heating Off Is Bad
If you are like most people, then you are going to do that money saving thing where you turn your heating off, which is all good and well, except it isn’t all good and well. On the lighter side of the issue is your closets. By keeping them closed and there not being any air circulating about the place you will find you come home to a rather musty smell and the need to wash all your clothes. Chore. Of course, this can be counteracted by just opening your closet doors, which is why we are going to head to the more severe end of the spectrum; burst pipes. When water freezes, it expands, which could see your pipes burst. To counter this, keep your heating on low, like 12.5 degrees Celsius or 55 degrees Fahrenheit, or up, other wise you may find yourself helplessly watching your home flood on that smart new security system of yours.

4. Unplug The Little Things
No good can come from unplugging your fridge freezer while you are away. It is just best left on, which is because it is doing something even though you aren’t there. However, the little things, such as your television, coffee pot, microwave, phone, alarm clock and all of that stuff is going to play no useful role while you are away. That is why we recommend you turn them off and save yourself a few pennies. That and you won’t start panicking about whether or not the microwave has decided to go rogue and explode for no known reason leaving a rather large hole in your kitchen wall. You cannot put a price on peace of mind.

5. Alert The Post Office
Burglars tend to look for little clues that will tell them whether or not anyone is home and a pretty big indicator on that front will be a letterbox that’s overflowing, a plethora of takeaway menus stuffed under your door and a pile of papers on your stoop. That is why you should ask your local post office if they can hold all letters until you get back and ask your neighbor if they would be so kind to remove all this litter from your porch. Also, cancel all subscriptions you may have on the go. Trust us on this one.

6. No Standing Water Allowed
Yeah, we’re looking at your toilet water. The easiest way to address the issue of smelly stagnant water that will completely ruin your reentering into the home is to pop half a cup of baking soda or chlorine into the toilet bowl and just letting it hang out there until you get back. Not only will this prevent that ring of brown from emerging during your absence, it will also nullify that smell we just spoke of, both of which are well-worth being addressed.

7. Lights On A Timer
As fun as it may be to go all out and do the Home Alone thing of making cutout cardboard people and putting them on pulleys and trains, it is probably quite unlikely to work. It is also much simpler to just buy a few timer plugs and then plug your lamps into these. Just make sure they go off in different rooms at different times and that you have drawn the curtains and you will be good to go. The lights are on but no one is home.

8. Deal With The Garbage
We’re talking about the garbage bin in the kitchen as well as the garbage disposal in your sink. Both of these are way too easy to forget as you are rushing out of the door, but they will more than make themselves known by the time you get back because the smell will be unbearable. Not just that, but all those eggshells and orange peels will probably attract ants and flies and whatever else. So, on your way out, take the garbage with you.

Will you be traveling soon?

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