8-Step Checklist to Prep Your House for Vacation

8-Step Checklist to Prep Your House for Vacation

Written By

Ellen Christian

Planning your vacation can be a whirlwind of fun and activity. There’s so much to do to get yourself, your family and your home ready for the trip. However, there are more things to consider than just what you’ll do while you’re away, or what you’ll wear once you get there. It’s also important to think about how to properly prep your house for vacation.

You don’t always think about how to get your house ready for vacation, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Check out these 10 simple steps that can prep your home so things run smoothly in your absence.

1. Stop your mail delivery.

Contact the post office to stop mail delivery while you’re gone because you don’t want mail to pile up during your absence. If you don’t want the post office to hang onto your mail, just ask a neighbor to clear your mailbox for you. You should also stop newspaper and package deliveries while you’re gone, too.

Prep your house for vacation

2. Make sure your home looks lived in.

See if a neighbor would be willing to park a car in your driveway while you’re gone. Place indoor and outdoor lights on a timer so they mimic your usual routine when you’re at home. Consider adding your television to the timer too so there are voices in your home at different points during the day. These can help make it less obvious you’re away on vacation, which is better for your home’s security. If you’ll be gone for an extended period on vacation, arrange to have your lawn mowed and any regular landscaping done while you’re gone. It’s important to keep your home running on its normal routine while you’re off enjoying your vacation.

Prep your house for vacation

3. Think about the weather.

Depending on the seasons and what part of the country you live in, it’s important to consider weather changes before you leave. If your area is forecast to get snow, you may want to ask someone to plow your driveway. Drops in temperature can affect your home too, as you may need to set the furnace so the pipes don’t freeze. Additionally, outdoor furniture should be secured so it doesn’t blow away in the wind and cause damage to the area.

Prep your house for vacation

4. Check your locks and alarms.

Take a final walk through your home and be sure that your windows and doors are all locked. Double-check that you’ve turned on your alarm system or outdoor security cameras. If you have a pet sitter stopping by while you’re gone, share the alarm code with them before heading out.

5. Check the curb.

Don’t leave your trash cans or empty television boxes by the curb while you’re gone. It would be a better idea to take boxes directly to the recycle center, the trash to the local landfill and keep the cans in their regular spot while you’re gone. Trash cans by the curb all week would make it more obvious that no one was home.

Prep your house for vacation

6. Clear your voicemail.

You’ll want to be sure that your voicemail has plenty of space to receive messages while you’re away. Be sure you don’t leave a greeting message telling people that you’re on vacation. If you can, check your messages and delete them while you’re away.

Prep your house for vacation

7. Check batteries and outlets.

Check the batteries on your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector to be sure they’re in working order. Consider unplugging computers and other sensitive items in case of a power surge. Make sure your appliances are turned off. Additionally, while your refrigerator will continue to run, remove all perishables so you don’t have a messy cleanup when you return.

8. Secure the outside.

While you’re away, disable the garage door opener and lock your garage manually. If you do choose to leave your garage door opener engaged, be sure you don’t leave the remote in plain site in your car. Hiding a spare key under a plastic rock or the porch mat isn’t a good idea. Instead, leave a spare key with a trusted neighbor while you’re gone. You can thank them by bringing back a gift from your travels.

By following these steps to prep your house for vacation, you’ll be able to focus on having fun and creating memories while you’re gone. After all, that’s what vacations are supposed to be all about.