I'm reposting a blog I did last summer ...
In order to insure that your time away on vacation is relaxing and refreshing, make sure to take care of a few things before you leave.
- Make arrangements for your mail and packages. One option is to stop your mail through the post office (you can do it online at www.usps.com). If you do this, you may want to ask a neighbor to watch for packages, as well. We have a weekly paper that is delivered whether we want it or not - it's a sure sign that we're not home if it's sitting on our front porch for days.
Another option is to get a neighbor or friend to pick up your mail and watch for packages. Sometimes we hire a neighbor kid to pick up the mail and walk around the house to look for packages. UPS sometimes delivers to our front porch and sometimes to our back porch!
- Put your lights on timers. We have some that are programmable to go on at different times each night. It makes it look like you are home and there is activity in different parts of the house. We actually leave them on all the time, so if we're out for the evening, it doesn't look like it.
- Stop your newspapers. Most newspapers give you the option to donate your unused days to schools, etc. It's still helpful to have someone watch, though, as we've had newspapers delivered even when we've requested a stop.
- Make arrangements for your pets - a kennel, someone to come over and feed and play with your cat, feed your fish or birds, etc. There are all sorts of pet-sitting services these days, too.
- Make arrangements for your plants - either have someone water them or use a long-term watering system.
- Make arrangements for your lawn. A shaggy yard with yellow newspapers sitting around is an invitation to thieves.
- Pay your bills that will be due while you are gone and soon after you arrive home. You don't want to have to face bills as soon as you come home!
- Remove perishable items from your fridge and pantry. You may want to make a list of items you'll need when you return while it's fresh on your mind, so you don't have to think about it when you come home. Both milk and bread are freezable - just remember to buy milk with the screw-on lids and empty a little so it doesn't explode all over your freezer!
- Adjust your thermostats to save energy while you're away. If you have a programmable thermostat, set it to reflect your absence.
- Give a neighbor your cell phone number or contact number - just in case they notice water pouring out of your house, or some other such emergency!
- Look back at your house as you leave. We almost left our front door open once. And you certainly don't want to be wondering if you left your garage door open!
- While you're away, you may want to pick up a souvenir or gift for anyone watching your house, pets, or plants.With all these details taken care of, you'll have peace of mind while you're away and can enjoy being refreshed and rejuvenated!
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