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How-To: Prepare Your House For Vacation

After you've done your shopping and packing, if you're leaving town for the holidays, there are a few things you should check off your list to keep your digs in tip-top shape. If you'll be gone for a couple weeks or more, I suggest following all of my steps. If it's a short trip, you may choose to omit some.

  • To start, you'll want to purge your refrigerator and pantry of any perishables. You'll likely have household staples (sugar, flour, etc.) that you won't want to toss; store those in tightly sealed containers, like Le Parfait Storage Jars.
  • If you're going to be gone for a few weeks, once you've emptied your refrigerator/freezer, unplug it and open the doors to defrost. Leave a box of Fridge-N-Freezer to absorb any odors that may be lingering.
  • Round up all of your trash bags and take them out to your garbage bin. Make sure you bring your garbage bin to the curb so the garbage crew can access your trash.
  • Scan your yard, patio, or deck for any outdoor items and furnishings you might have left there and bring them indoors.

To read the rest of my vacation preparation list,


  • Water your plants, or hire someone to come by and water them while you're gone. And don't forget to feed your pets and hire a caretaker for them if they're not coming with!
  • Ask a trustworthy neighbor or friend to check on your house while you're gone.
  • Suspend your mail service, or ask a trustworthy friend or neighbor to pick up your mail daily.
  • Turn the thermostat down to about 55 degrees.
  • Turn off the water.
  • Put a few lights in the front of the house on timers so that they go on at night, and turn the rest off.
  • Close your windows, blinds, and curtains to prevent sun damage and to keep your house private.
  • Dust, sweep, mop, vacuum, and wipe down your counters.
  • Wash and dry your bed sheets. Fold them, and put them in your linen closet. Make your bed when you return from vacation to prevent your linens from getting dusty while you're gone.
  • Make sure to do any other laundry.
  • Shovel snow and ice off of any walkways at your home, if there is any.
  • If you're leaving a car at home, remove valuables and bring them indoors. Lock your car doors, and leave it in the garage, if you have one.
  • Obviously, lock all of your doors (including the garage). But, leave your interior doors open to keep closets and small rooms from getting stuffy.
  • Do a run down to make sure you haven't forgotten anything (passport!) and take a walk through your house.
  • Set your alarm system. Bon voyage!


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Join The Conversation
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 8 years
I completely agree about cleaning before you leave. I've never thought about leaving the bed unmade. Great tip!
urban-chic-101 urban-chic-101 8 years
Cleaning your house before you leave for vacation is a must. That is one thing my mother taught me and it is such a relief to come home from a nice vacation to a clean house. I've unfortunately not done this a few times and it is just depressing...
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