Covering All the Bases Before Vacation

We’re always a little nervous after we leave our home for a long vacation. Are we going to come home to a stinky house because we forgot to take out the trash? Will it have gotten broken into while we're gone? If you ever have any worries, let us help to allay them with this handy checklist of things to do before you leave the house.

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Compiled from our own experience and excellent past posts, this list can help you remember everything that is easy to forget in the excitement of preparing for a trip of any length of time. Follow this list and we promise you won’t come home to a stinky house (and hopefully everything will be there, too).

1) Temporarily stop mail and newspaper delivery (or arrange for a neighbor to take care of it)
2) Prepay bills that will come due while you are away
3) Finish up (or toss) perishable food in your refrigerator
4) Take out the trash and recycling
5) Do the dishes
6) Run your garbage disposal
7) Leave a meal waiting in the freezer
8) Unplug the coffee pot, computer and other appliances and electronics
9) Make sure any electronics left plugged in have surge protection
10) Put the TV or radio on a timer
11) Time your lights
12) Turn down the AC and heat (unless of course a pet sitter and pets will be there)
13) Put on clean sheets (it's just nice to come home to)
14) Water plants (or arrange for someone to water them)
15) Close and lock windows and lower shades
16) Let a trusted neighbor know you'll be gone and leave a number for emergencies

Ever didn't do one of these items and come home after vacation to disastrous results? Ever forget one of these and it wasn't a big deal? Let us know what items are on your "have to do" list before you leave on a vacation!

MORE LEAVING FOR VACATION ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
Checklist: 10 Things to Do Around the House Before a Trip
5 Things to Do in the Kitchen Before You Leave For Vacation
Binge Cleaning Before a Trip
10 Things to Eat When You Return From Vacation
10 Tech Tips To Tackle Before Leaving For Vacation

Images: Top - Flickr member *Ann Gordon licensed for use under Creative Commons, bottom: Adrienne Breaux

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