Home Decor

Pre-vacation tips for your home

Before going on vacation do a walk-through of your home with this checklist to ensure your home is safe and ready for your return

Home safety

Vacation is a time of shutting everything off – your phone, your computer, and even your brain. So the last thing you want to be worrying about is whether or not you locked the garage door. Here are some tips from Chatelaine‘s home editor, Andrea Ford to guarantee your place stays safe, accident-free and ready to welcome you back.

General home
Turn off all the lights and set certain switches to a timer so it looks like people are home

Turn the ringer volume on your phone down so someone outside can’t hear that it’s going unanswered

Stow away all valuable items from view of a window

Take care of your plants. Covering your plants with plastic bags acts as a make-shift greenhouse and helps keep moisture in

In colder months: Set thermostat to a safe-for-pipes, but energy-responsible level. A new wi-fi thermostat by Eco-Bee allows you to adjust your thermostat remotely from a computer in case of freak weather fluctuations

In warmer months: Set air conditioning units to a higher thermostat temperature so they won’t cool your home unnecessarily

Empty garbage bins and recycling/green bins. If you won’t be home to deal with garbage collection, green bin waste can also be double-bagged and frozen in the freezer

Make sure dishes and laundry are clean before leaving – especially damp towels

Lock all doors and windows, especially the one between your home and the garage. For extra security, place a bar in the frame of patio doors

Lock the garage door, and as an added precaution stick a piece of wood into the tracks

Unplug any fixtures and appliances that will not be used and are not essential: computers, chargers, TVs, etc.

Be kind to your neighbour
Leave your neighbour with a copy of your house key and let them know what dates you will be gone specifically

Either cancel your mail service or have a neighbour pick up your mail for you

If you can’t leave your car at home, ask your neighbour to park in your driveway from time to time to give the illusion that someone is home

For fall travelling, remove hoses from outdoor spigots and leave taps open to drain properly before the frost. Then close the taps when water has left all piping

For gardens, a neighbour would be the best source to adjust to weather conditions rather than sprinklers on a timer. Unsupervised watering should be avoided where possible

Protect your pipes
Turn off the main water supply at main valves in the winter. In the warmer months leave water on to trickle through taps

Protect vulnerable pipes that do not receive heat, such as in garages or crawl spaces, with insulated pipe tubing or tape

Keep cabinets, such as kitchen cabinets hiding pipes, open to allow as much air, and heat circulation as possible

Worried about the environmental impact of your home while you’re away? Check out Gillian Deacon’s article on eco-proofing your home before going on vacation.