Guest Author - Christine Wilcox
Summertime vacations are a tradition, whether it's family or solo. I love the flexibility that summer provides to go camping, visit friends for a weekend, or just take off by myself for a mini-spa retreat. Options abound in the summer. But when you leave home, don't forget to prepare your home for being gone.
Phone a Friend
Ask someone to come by your house to pick up your mail or paper. They can check on the house, and just provide a daily presence. You can also have your paper held for the days that you're gone.
Save Energy and Program your Lights
Go through your house and unplug everything that you don't need to have plugged in while you're gone. Lamps, TVs, DVD players, alarm clocks, printers, computers – if you're not using them and they don't need a constant power supply, don't pay for them to run while you're not there. Have two lamps on timers that will turn on and off at different times, but have the first one turn on at sunset and the last one turn off at your normal bed time. Lights going on and off can make someone think the house is occupied.
Leave your porch light on for when you return , and install a good motion detector security light. I like this one, personally, and it's a good idea to have them on any part of your house where lights are scarce. Solar Powered Motion Activated Security Light , Super Bright LED.
Adjust Your Thermostat
When you go to adjust and recenter yourself, don't forget to adjust your thermostat, for short vacations or long. If you're not going to be there to enjoy the climate control, then reset your thermostat to a higher temperature in the summer. I have a Programmable Thermostat that allows me to hold the temperature at a specific temperature, and when I leave during the summer, I set it at 80 degrees. If you prefer to program it so that it drops to a comfortable temperature upon your return, you certainly can. I usually plan my returns for the evenings, so when I get home, I open a few windows to let the fresh evening air in and enjoy my home again.
Protect Your Lawn and Plants
Summer vacations are fantastic for a break from the weekly maintenance, but you don't want to come back to burned lawn and fried plants and flowers. Try to plan for your breaks by preparing your lawn. If you let your lawn grow out just a little bit, it can protect it if it gets extremely hot and you're not there to water it. Don't forget about your houseplants, either! Even if you have someone coming by to check on your home, just setting up a few Vacation Plant Waterers can save you from coming back to a disaster.
With a little planning, when you come back from your vacation, you'll be entering your blissful home haven!