8 tips for preparing your home for vacation

8 tips for preparing your home for vacation

Preparing for vacation this holiday season? Check out these tips from highly rated animal and house sitting service providers to make sure you return to a safe and secure home.


1. Don’t post vacation pictures on social media until you return home. According to Jessica Ann Smeak Olsen, owner of Chicago-based Olsen Concierge Services, letting people know you’re on vacation can make you more susceptible to theft.


2. Suspend your mail and newspaper delivery. A pile of newspapers on the front porch shows potential robbers that you’re away, says Nancy Paglia, president of Pets Need Nannies Too of Plano, Texas. If you hire a pet or house sitter, ask them to bring papers and mail inside.


3. Unplug electronics. Olsen suggests pulling the plug on computers, TVs and the like. You won’t be using them, and they’ll be protected in case of a power surge.


4. Set your thermostat before you leave. Adjusting the temperature according to season can reduce utility bills.


5. Set some lights on timers to make it appear as if someone is home. Paglia recommends using ceiling lighting and avoiding lamps if you have pets. “I once walked into a home where a cat had knocked the lamp over onto the furniture, and the furniture was very hot,” she says. “I walked in at a good time or it could have started a fire.”


6. Let a few faucets drip during extremely cold weather. Paglia says this prevents pipes from freezing and bursting.


7. If you’re friendly with your neighbors, let them know your travel plans. Olsen also suggests informing them if you have someone checking on your home. This way, your neighbor knows who to expect at your home and can contact you if anything seems amiss.


8. Consider hiring a pet or house sitter. Not only can house sitters take care of your mail and newspaper, but can be on alert for problems, such as a pipe bursting. Addressing a situation immediately, as opposed to it going unnoticed until you return, could prevent further damage. Olsen says to hire a house sitter as soon as possible, especially around the holidays, because good house sitters will be booked quickly.

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