Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times of the year when it comes to the number of people traveling in America. With that in mind, Apartment Therapy has a great post up listing all of the things you should do in your house before you leave home for an extended period of time. While this is prescient for the upcoming holiday, this advice holds true for any vacation where you leave home for more than a few nights. Here are their suggestions for converting your living space to “vacation mode” so you can avoid any unpleasant surprises when you get back:
Clean your refrigerator – Toss anything that is nearing its expiration date before you leave. You’re probably not going to eat it when you get home.
Refrigerate fresh fruits and vegetables – Produce sitting on your countertop is bound to attract bugs after a while. Sticking them in the fridge will avoid that problem.
Take out the garbage – The longer garbage sits around, the worse it smells and it is also something that will attract bugs and mice.
Clean surfaces – Give any countertops and tabletops a good wipedown before you leave.
Take care of your plants – Give them some extra water before you head out and move them to a cool area of the house. In cooler weather plants drink up less water and the rate of soil evaporation is much lower. This will ensure your best shot at keeping them alive while you’re out.
Stock up on easy meals – When you get back home you’re rarely in a mood to cook. A few ready made meals will help you get settled back in.
Suspend your mail – An overflowing mailbox is a huge sign to everyone that you’re out of town. Suspending the mail or having a neighbor pick it up is a good way to take care of that.
Turn down (or up) your thermostat – There’s no need to pay to keep the house at your ideal temperature when no one is home. If you’re leaving in the winter turn the thermostat down to 55 which is just warm enough to avoid frozen pipes. If you’re out in the summer, shut off the AC. Your wallet will thank you.
Throw out fresh flowers – Even if they look nice now they’ll probably be dead when you get back home.
Have a plan for your pets – If you’re not taking them with you, you need to have a plan to ensure that they’re taken care of.
That’s how your kitchen should look when you’re on vacation.
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