Leaving Home for the Holidays? Tips to Keep Your Sanity and House Intact

Leaving Home for the Holidays? Tips to Keep Your Sanity and House Intact

Campbell Faulkner
Dec 17, 2010

We don't want our home or yours to end up in flames from either stress, worry or neglect. Check below the jump for holiday home suggestions while your are out of town.

Every year we get the rush of excitement and trepidation as we get our house and selves ready to head home for the holidays. Christmas is one of those magical and thoroughly evil times of the year even when you're not the one hosting the festivities. Below are some of our tips and trick learned to good decisions and bad as to how to prepare your house, and mind to brave the holidays far from your abode.

  1. Clean your house before you leave! This is one tip that we can sadly say we have not always abided by before our trips home. Truthfully, it was a serious mistake not to. Nothing is worse than coming home to a house with dust bunnies and clothing in the kitchen. Cleaning your house includes the fridge. We have personally been gifted by our former roommates to rotting food in January causing our whole fridge to turn into a bio-hazard. If you are slammed for time, try to break the cleaning up into a multi-day routine to fit it in. Treat your home as if it is a fine hotel, it should make you excited to be home and only require you put the dirty clothes in the wash and the few travel items away. Otherwise we found that we might not get our house clean before spring.

  2. Secure your valuables properly. Taryn's laptop horror story got me thinking about how to properly secure valuables while away. Unfortunately it is not just enough to be clever and hide your valuables while away. A seasoned thief will tear your home apart in search of valuables leaving no hiding spot untouched. If you can take your valuables with you, or secure them in a bolted down safe in your house (We like safe deposit boxes). That way no one can get to your documents or goodies (for the love of God secure firearms in a safe, guns are highly fungible).

  3. Make your home seem inhabited... This one is the most commonly recommended but worst followed through advice we know of. We used to have the luxury of having roommate who staying in our domicile while away but now that we are alone and gone for so long, using timers and other home automation is a must. We suggest just using simple timers on a few lamps to ensure that our lights come on and off. If you can put one on your TV to make it seem as if you are doing your usual evening routine.

  4. Lock your doors, windows, and anything else your can. We have heard horror stories t of students not locking up their houses or windows allowing criminals easy access and time to clean out their housed during the holidays. To often people forget to lock the upper story windows on their houses, make sure to do it else you are inviting a criminal dressed like a workman to gain access to your home.

  5. Turn your thermostat down, just not to much Too often people we have known (ourselves included) have turned our thermostats down to low resulting in frosty pipes and other issues in the cold north. Turn your thermostat down and unplug all non essential devices. Unfortunately we do not have any advice for if the power goes out while away.

  6. Prepare yourself and your stuff early before travel. All to often we have fallen victim to packing up late the night before, or even the morning before we leave. This has left us with no socks or underwear on certain occasions and only led to us being more stressed about leaving. Now we pack up way before we need to leave to help us not pack clutter, and keep us sane so when we are about to leave we just shower and pick up our bags.

The holidays are stressful enough without having to deal with a major catastrophe while away. Our tips are meant to inspire and aide your through your holiday travel.

(Top image: flickr member dvs,safe image flickr member sacco,thermostat photo midnightcomm licensed under Creative Commons)

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