Secure the Fort
Vacation By Owner
It’s been stated that vacations are what we labor for. We put in time at our workplace, whether as a WAHM or a cubicle dweller, then eagerly look forward to the time we get away so we can travel to shoot the breeze with friends, kinfolk, and occasionally even venture to an exotic location. And what with the preparation of the journey and attempting to get all aspects of the imminent holiday planned out, we don’t give much thought to the minor particulars required in exiting our humble abode for any length of time – like making sure you have a housesitter.
We still have a few trips left to take this summer, or at least I do. My husband usually stays home and minds the pets. (See 101 Random Things About Me for further explanation.)
Home Safety Tips
If you have yet to take your vacation with what’s left of the summer, or perhaps you’ll be going away over Labor Day weekend or like to go away in fall or winter, here’s some home safety tips on leaving your house while away on vacation – so your house will be in one piece when you get back:
- Assign somebody to be a house sitter for your home while you’re away. Ideally, this should be a neighbor, preferably someone who lives next door to you or across the street and can check your house from their window. Their job can be to merely keep an eye on matters, but it could be more involved. Many retirees would be happy to pick up a few house sitting jobs. Check in with them beforehand to be sure they’ll be home during that time. Make sure to extend an offer to return the favor when they leave on a trip. Give them particulars as to where you’ll be, your cell phone and discuss what they should do or who to contact in the event of an emergency.
- Ask your neighbor to give the house a “lived-in” look by turning on and off lights, and opening and closing curtains or blinds. Make a point to have a spare key made for the house sitter, and double check that it works before giving it to them. You can also set your lights up on a timer so they’ll turn on at nightfall and off at bedtime.
- The housesitter can also gather your mail several times during the week, and collect any newspapers, door flyers, or deliveries so your home doesn’t emit that “Hello Five Finger Discount, we’re on vacation” look. If you’d rather, you can arrange for your mail and newspapers to be held by the Post Office while you’re away.
- In the summertime, make arrangements to pay an enterprising neighborhood kid to mow your lawn while you’re gone. They can stand the exercise. In the wintertime, he or she can shovel your driveway and sidewalk.
- It’s also important not to let the entire universe know when you’ll be gone. Specifically, don’t blare out your information to all your Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIN buddies. Keep your plans, or at any rate your dates, close to the chest.
- Before you leave, make sure all the windows and doors are secured. Also, check that the toilets have been flushed. Tykes occasionally draw a blank to do this and it’s not a pleasant sight or scent to come back to. Take the kitchen trash out to the trash can, and disconnect the Plasma TVs, Keurig coffee makers, and anything additional that draws electricity.
If you’re taking a vacation, remember these hints on leaving your house unattended. That way you’ll have peace of mind while you’re away. And remember to bring home the salt water taffy thank you gift as a token of your appreciation for Gladys Kravits who’s keeping an eye on the manse.
© Moomettes Magnificents