Pre-vacation Checklist for Your Home

You probably have a packing list to prepare yourself for vacation, but do you have a checklist to prepare your home, too? Departing for trips can be rushed and hectic, and you don’t want to forget some important steps. Here are some of the things to be sure to include on your pre-vacation checklist:



  • Make arrangements with your local post office to hold or forward your mail or ask a neighbor to gather your mail and packages each day. A full or overflowing mailbox or packages piling up by the door can signal that the home is unoccupied. Temporarily stop delivery of newspapers or periodicals, too.


  • Empty any trash or garbage inside the home before you leave. Take garbage to the dump or ask a neighbor or friend to take your receptacle to the curb on collection day and return it after.


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  • Set your thermostat to properly cool or heat your home, depending on the season. Consider installing a smart thermostat so you can adjust the temperature remotely, if needed.


  • Coordinate any lawn care, watering, or leaf and snow removal that may be needed while you are gone.


  • Set interior and exterior lights with security in mind, using timers as needed.


  • Remove any food from the refrigerator that will expire or spoil while you are gone. Make sure food items left in pantries and cabinets are properly stored in tightly sealed containers, or move items to the refrigerator if they might attract pests. Avoid leaving food on kitchen counters, and wipe up crumbs from counters, shelves, and sinks.


  • Close window treatments that allow unimpeded views to the interior of your home or where direct sunlight might fade furnishings and rugs.


  • Turn off and unplug electronics and unused appliances. Shut off water valves to laundry appliances and the dishwasher. During winter in cold climates, leave faucets dripping and open cabinet doors around pipes.


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  • Leave emergency contact information with trusted neighbors or ask friends or relatives to periodically check on your property in your absence.


  • Remove valuables and important documents from the home, if possible, or hide them so they aren’t in plain sight.


  • Set security systems and smart devices to monitor the home.


  • Right before you leave, perform one last check to be sure that appliances are turned off and that windows and doors are properly secured.


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