Think Before You Leave

Anyone who has come back from holiday to a ‘biological experiment’ living in their fridge will know it pays to organise the house before leaving. So here are a few things to check off before you take off on your next break…

  1. Arrange to have your mail held or redirected by the post office or organise for someone to empty your mailbox on a regular basis.
  2. Turn off and unplug all electrical equipment before leaving. This includes the computer, stereo, modem, microwave oven, washing machine and television.  One light could be left on, connected to a timer switch to deter would-be burglars. 
  3. Turn down or turn off your hot water heater, especially if it has an automatic heating function, so you save money by not heating water unnecessarily whilst you’re away.
  4. Empty the fridge of all perishable foods or foods that will reach their use-by date while you’re away.
  5. Empty and wash out garbage bins to avoid being greeted by a rank surprise when you get back.
  6. Close the blinds or curtains in most rooms so your place won’t be obviously unoccupied at night. If you have a two-storey house it can be a good idea to leave curtains on the second floor open slightly to give the impression that someone is home.
  7. Arrange for a friend or neighbour to water plants and the garden on a regular basis.
  8. Leave a full travel itinerary with a friend or family member and be sure to include phone numbers of where you can be reached in the event of an emergency.
  9. Cancel any regular deliveries to your home such as newspapers and/or milk.
  10. Leave a set of spare keys to your home with a family member, friend or neighbour.
  11. If you have pets, arrange for them to be cared for by a friend or family member or put them into a “pet resort”.
  12. Check to see if there are any bills due whilst you are away and organise to pay them in advance if necessary. Then you won’t return to find your phone’s been cut off!
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