Things To Do Before Leaving For The Holidays

120908-leaving.jpgAre you staying around for the holidays? Many of us are leaving town -- visiting family, going skiing or to someplace tropical -- and taking advantage of the week long stretch before the New Year when many businesses shut down. But before you get up and go, think about taking care of a few of these things so your coming home is as restful as your time away...

  • Stop your mail or ask a trusted friend or neighbor to take it in for you. Stopping it can be taken care of with a few clicks of your mouse by going to USPS and filling in the form. You can even opt to have your held mail delivered to you on the next business day after you come back.
  • Bring your bills up to date. You don't want to worry about your credit card being rejected while you're on vacation.
  • Empty your refrigerator and toss out all the perishables. The week before we leave on a vacation usually finds us getting creative in the kitchen, using up all the foods we have left.
  • Empty all your trash cans and take our your garbage.
  • Change your bed linens and catch up on your laundry. We love coming home to a freshly made bed and knowing that all we have to do to prepare for jumping back into our "real life" is a quick small load of laundry
  • Do a quick clean up of the house. Ditto the above, it's great to come into a clean home that all we have to do is flop down after fighting the crowds at the airport or a tough slog through traffic. Make sure you clean your toilets. We leave a little extra toilet cleaner in ours so that the bathroom smells great when we get home (especially since one of the first things we do on returning is take a bath!)
  • Unplug your electronics.
  • Turn off the air conditioner and/or the heat.
  • Lock all your doors and close all your windows.
  • Water your plants and cover them with plastic bags for a mini greenhouse. Or, check out some of the great self-watering products we've blogged.
  • Put your lights on a timer so that your home doesn't look completely deserted. Some people also like to do this with a radio.

What do you like to take care of before you leave on vacation so that your home welcomes you with open arms when you come back?

[Image: Living etc.]