It's been unseasonably warm for a Midwest winter lately. But even still, many of us have vacation on the mind (in warmer climates).
Whether you'll be out of out of town for two days or two weeks, consider the following steps to prepare your home for your absence.
Here are a few steps to prepare and protect your home for when you'll be traveling this winter.
1. Clean out your fridge: Throw away food that will spoil while you're away.
2. Do the laundry: No one wants to return home to a pile of laundry.
3. Prepare your plants: Ask someone to water them for you.
4. Consider leaving a light on: For shorter trips, you may just leave a light on in your house, but for longer trips, you may consider installing a timer.
5. Adjust your thermostat: Adjust the thermostat so the furnace won't waste energy heating an empty house.
6. Unplug appliances: Unplug unnecessary appliances so they won't use energy while you're away.
7. Hold your mail: Call your post office to hold your mail or ask a friend to pick it up while you're gone.
8. Tidy the house: To make your home more welcoming upon your return, consider sweeping or vacuuming floors, doing the dishes, wiping down hard surfaces, and even changing the sheets.
9. Secure doors and windows: Make sure your doors and windows are shut tight.
10. Make your home unattractive to pest: Dispose of fresh fruit and vegetables before you leave.
11. Close main water valve: For longer trips, consider closing your main water valve to prevent a more costly water bill (for those pesky leaky toilets).
12. Don't post to social media while you're gone: Wait until you get home to post all your images to social media. This will prevent uninvited visitors from showing up while you're away.