If you’re looking for a relaxed, stress-free trip, pre-planning itineraries and pro packing tips aren’t the only things you’ll need to think about; Knowing how to organize your home before you go on vacation is just as important.
Nothing brings you down from a happy vacation like coming back to a messy and disorganized home, let alone one that’s been broken into or damaged in any way. All of these things are perfectly preventable; just a few simple tasks will ensure that everything remains safe, secure and perfectly prepared, ready for when you return.
‘To make sure you get everything done, make a ‘pre-holiday planning list’ and keep it somewhere easy to access, like on your smartphone. It also pays to have a complete packing list: Knowing how to fold your clothes to pack them so they stay neat and wrinkle-free will save you a lot of stress and also free up space in your suitcase,” says professional organizer Lauren Saltman. , founder of Living. Simplified.
How to organize your house before going on vacation
Securing windows, locking doors, double-checking smoke detectors, and setting intrusion alarms are paramount, but there are a few less obvious things you can do around the house to prepare for a happy homecoming.
We spoke to the experts and compiled some useful tips to help make preparing for departure day (not to mention down time) as stress-free as possible.
For professional organizer Lauren Saltman of Living.Simplified., decluttering and organizing is the way she lives her daily life, whether she’s organizing her home, a friend’s office, or a client’s garage, her resourceful approach yields clients. happy who learn to incorporate techniques for a happier and more simplified lifestyle.
1. Help your home look ‘lived in’
Reduce the risk of attracting attention by making it look like your home is occupied while you’re gone. Closing blinds or curtains is a green flag for potential intruders, so it’s best to leave them open.
‘Setting light timers, on Amazon, can discourage would-be thieves. I’m a big fan of app-controlled ones. They may cost a little more, but the peace of mind when you’re miles away is priceless,” says travel guru Christen Thomas, founder of TravelWanderGrow.
It may be the last thing you want to do right before you leave, but it’s also worth mowing the front lawn and watering the plants. Overgrown or dry yards can be a sure sign that a home is empty, potentially leading to unwanted attention.
2. Clean the house
It may seem like a waste of time cleaning a house that’s about to vacate, but you’ll be so glad you did it when you get back. We’re not saying you need to deep clean your house (although it’s okay if you have the time), but removing at least a few things from your general cleaning checklist will make the experience much more pleasant when you return home.
You don’t want to have to deal with dirty dishes, unmade beds, or messy tables, especially if you get home late at night or early in the morning. You’d probably rather just throw yourself on the bed…pretty loud if there’s a bunch of messy clothes on top!’ says professional home organizer Brenda Scott, owner of Tidy My Space.
Brenda is passionate about home organization, order and creating a safe home. At Tidy My Space, she helps people keep their homes tidy when life gets busy. Brenda shares useful tips and provides practical help sorting out and editing her clients’ spaces, leading them to feel less stressed and giving them the luxury of spending time with family, friends, or alone.
4. Take out the trash
Technically, this is part of the cleanup, but it’s really a must-see, not if you don’t want pests and rodents coming in while you’re away, at least! Empty all household bins, including food waste and recycling bins. Clean out the garbage disposal, too, while you’re at it.
4. Empty the fridge
“No one wants to come home from a lazy vacation to rotten food, so be sure to empty the fruit bowl and organize a fridge by eating all perishables before you leave,” says Lauren Saltman.
If you have a lot of food to go by, consider making a few meals and freezing them, you’ll be glad when you get home! If you have regular food deliveries, please remember to pause them before you leave. Alternatively, reschedule for the day you return.
5. Check the weather
You may be headed for sunnier climes, but you’ll also need to take the weather back home into account in your pre-holiday preparation. Secure outdoor furniture against high winds, insulate pipes against cold snaps, and set a water timer, on Amazon, to water plants during the holidays and keep your lawn cool if it’s going to be really hot.
6. Adjust your thermostat
Resetting your heaters and thermostats while you’re away will save you energy, money, and possibly some nasty surprises when you return. For summer vacations, a slightly higher setting will do, but it’s important to know the ideal temperature to set your thermostat for winter vacations in particular. Exposing your home to extreme fluctuations can lead to all sorts of problems, from burst pipes to wilted houseplants.
7. Do laundry
Frantically doing laundry at the last minute is pretty standard pre-holiday procedure (at least for us), but always make sure you complete the chore, regardless of whether you take your laundry with you or not. Leaving damp clothes in the washing machine for days on end is not ideal, and neither is leaving them in the dryer – you’ll never get those wrinkles out!
If you come home with suitcases full of dirty clothes, you’ll love having some clean ones to change into. Make sure you put a quick load to wash, dry and put away before you leave, so you’ll have clothes that will last you a few days while you get back into the swing of doing laundry,” says professional organizer Laura Price, founder. of the Home Organization.
Laura Price’s goal is to help others experience the benefits of living an organized life after discovering that organized households brought her peace while raising three children in a busy household. Hence the birth of The Home Organisation, a dedicated team of professional organizers.
8. Change your sheets
‘One of the joys of going on holiday to a hotel is that every night you can sleep in a freshly made bed. Continue this luxury by putting clean sheets on your bed before you go on vacation so that when you return home your bed is a quiet, clean place ready to sleep,” says Lauren Saltman.
9. Recruit a ‘watchdog’
From feeding the pets and watering the plants to picking up the mail and turning on the lights, to having a friendly neighbor or family member, visiting once a day can really put your mind at ease. Not only will they keep things running while you’re away, but they’ll also be able to notify you of any issues should they arise.
‘If you’ve hired a pet sitter, arrange for them to take your animals the day before you leave and to stay for a day or two after you return. Having them out of the way during the stress of fixing things beforehand is less emotional for them, while having them stay a bit longer allows you to settle back in. Plus, you know they’re safe and taken care of if their flight is delayed,’ says Brenda Scott.
10. Leave yourself some useful reminders
From where you parked the car to what you need to buy at the grocery store when you get home, leaving a short list of reminders will mean you can really unplug from vacation, safe in the knowledge that you’ve already planned your return. Leave it in a visible place so you don’t forget it, but make sure it can’t be seen through doors and windows.
What should I do at home before going on vacation?
When it comes to preparing your home for the holidays, safety should always be the number one priority. In addition to locking doors and setting alarms, take a few steps to make your home look “lived in.” Operating light timers, tending to your yard, and enlisting a friendly neighbor to pick up the mail and open the shades are all excellent tactics, and should deter anyone from trying to break in while you’re gone.
It’s also worth thinking about what you want to be greeted with upon your return – certainly not rats, pests or unpleasant smells, that’s for sure! Giving your house a deep cleaning should prevent that from happening; don’t forget to empty the fridge and take out the bins too.
You probably did some laundry before you left; don’t leave anything in the washer/dryer and make sure you have some clean clothes ready for when you get home so you don’t have to run the washer when you get back. Finally, get ready for a good night’s sleep in your own bed by putting on fresh sheets.
Spending your vacation worrying about the state of your home is not conducive to a relaxing break, so it pays to prepare ahead of time for peace of mind – ‘future you’ will thank you!