Picture this: Sweet summer has arrived and you hear sandy beach waves and scenic roadtrips calling your name. You find the perfect vacation spot, pack everything you need, and hit the road. After traveling, you finally get to your stay and take a moment to stretch and breathe. You feel refreshed and rejuvenated already. You’re tired after your travels so you order some food service and drinks and start to doze off– but you jolt awake. Did you lock the back door? You look at your phone and see the handyman is coming by tomorrow for that appointment you forgot about. You have a missed call from the dog sitter, too. Suddenly, your getaway feels not so away and you’re not able to relax because you didn’t prepare ahead of time.
While there are lots of packing checklists out there, an away checklist for the stuff you’re leaving behind could help you avoid a situation like this one. Staying true to our name, we at Simplified put one together for you so you can spend more time at the beach and less time on the phone:
- Unplug unnecessary appliances.
- Close blinds.
- Turn off lights (consider leaving one on a timer to avoid the appearance of a vacant home.)
- Set thermostat.
- Make sure faucets are off.
- Check for iffy plumbing and pipes before leaving to avoid a burst.
- Give away perishables (avoid coming back to fruit flies or a smelly fridge.)
- Do laundry beforehand (you’ll want to hop right into your nice clean bed when you get back.)
- Lock front, back doors and windows.
- Lock garage and gates.
- Mow the lawn, trim bushes.
- Set or turn off sprinklers.
- Fill up on gas.
- Double check and activate alarm and/or security system.
- Arrange for someone to check on the house and/or take out trash.
- Make arrangements for mail collection (full mailboxes and packages on the porch signal that the home is vacant.)
- Put valuables in a safe box or scatter them in unconventional places if you don’t have one (in case of burglary, at least they won’t be all in one place.)
- Have someone you trust carry the spare key (most people know to look for a hidden one nowadays.
- Reschedule medical, service, or maintenance appointments to before or after your trip.
- Set your email and phone to vacation responder (with a way to reach you in emergencies for peace of mind.)
- Get as much work as you can done ahead of time to avoid coming back to a pile of it.
- Arrange for pet or child care and prep everything they’ll need.
- Be sure to open windows when you get back to circulate fresh air
- Check security system
- Have groceries delivered
- Have key returned
While most of this may be common sense, it’s easy to forget when you have a long list of to-dos. A Simplified member can help you do all this and more with a simple call, email, or text so you can enjoy your vacation time. And of course, you can refer to this away checklist anytime.