How to Prep Your Home Before You Go on Vacation

Your must-do vacation checklist for take-off

It might take a little extra work to get your home ready for vacation, but you’ll be able to relax more once you’re at your destination. Consider this your checklist for peace-of-mind while you’re getting away.

View of mountain lake from airplane

Don’t Leave Any Clues for Thieves

Vacation season is prime time for criminals to make a visit. Take a few precautions to make your home look lived-in while you’re away.

  • Park at least one car in the driveway, so it looks like someone’s at home
  • Hold all mail and packages or ask a neighbor to bring in your deliveries
  • Bring in your spare keys
  • Put your lights on a timer to mimic your family’s typical schedule
  • Mow your lawn and trim hedges
  • Set up smart locks for helpful neighbors and pet sitters
  • Play it safe and don’t mention your travel plans on social media

Pre-Clean Your House

Nobody wants to come home to a stinky situation. Keep your vacation vibe going by taking time to tidy up before you head out. That way you can come home and rest, instead of cleaning up a mess.

  • Clean out the refrigerator and freezer (before you take out the trash!)
  • Take out the trash — check every room
  • Vacuum, dust and wipe down counters and sinks
  • Make your bed, so you can sink right in when you get back

Set Everything to Energy-Saving Mode

If you’re gone for 3 days or more, take a vacation from your electric bill by dialing back your energy usage.

  • Set thermostats up to 85 degrees in the summer and as low as 55 degrees in the winter. If you have pets staying at home while you’re gone, choose a setting that will still keep them comfortable.
  • If you use smart home automation, turn your thermostat off completely so it won’t turn on every time your neighbor brings in the mail. Again, if you have pets staying in the house, keep the thermostat on and set at a comfortable temperature.
  • Unplug small electronics, especially chargers, which continually draw electricity and can increase your electric bill.
  • Close blinds and curtains to keep your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Then your air conditioner and heater won’t have to work too hard while you’re on vacation.
  • Put the water heater on vacation mode if it has that option, so it operates more efficiently and gets a well-deserved break (like you!)

Checked everything off? Then you’re all set. Enjoy your vacation and relax knowing you’ll come back to happy home and lower energy bill.