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Preparing your home for an extended trip

Preparing your home for an extended trip

Going on an extended trip is incredibly exciting. Some of us are lucky enough to be able to travel or live abroad for a few months at a time. Some people also travel regularly or spend weeks away on business. It’s great to see more of the world, to get some time away from your everyday worries and concerns and to give yourself a chance to take a real break. Or maybe you are not taking a break, but split your time between countries – very much like I do. What do you need to think of before leaving home? 

When we go away for a few days, or even weeks, we walk around checking that windows and doors are locked and making sure everything is switched off. You might ask a neighbour to keep an eye on things or water your plants. But that’s probably about it. As long as everything is off and locked, we assume that our homes will be safe on their own for a week or two. But, what about when you are away for longer? Can you still just leave your home without much preparation assuming that everything will be ok? You can, of course, but you shouldn’t. Doing this might mean that you come back to damage, huge bills and other unpleasant situations. Here’s a look at what you need to do to prepare your home before you take an extended trip.

Turn Things Off

Many of us are guilty of switching our appliances on to standby instead of turning them off. When we’re home a lot and regularly switching them on and off, this might not seem like a big deal. But, when you don’t need them for an extended period, it’s just a waste of power.

Secure Your Home

Securing your home is a top priority. You obviously want to lock the doors and windows, but don’t forget the garage and remember to bring any keys that you might hide outside in. Other security measures worth putting in place include telling your neighbours, fitting timers to your lights, installing webcams and adding motion sensor controlled flood lights to your homes exterior.

Open Your Blinds

Some people like to close their blinds or curtains so that people can’t peer in. But, it won’t take long for anyone watching your home to notice they are always closed. Leave them open so that things appear normal.

Stop Deliveries

If you usually get a lot of mail, consider cancelling some of it, or redirecting while you are gone. Excess post blocking up your letterbox is another clear sign of an empty house.

Get Offline

We’re all very keen to share the better parts of our lives on social media. But, when it comes to holidays and extended trips, this is just another way to advertise your absence. Stay off social media until you get back, or at least restrain yourself from sharing holiday pics until you get back.

Seal Leaks

Leaks pose a considerable risk while you are away. Leaky taps and pipes can cause damage. Holes in your window seals can mean you waste energy and come back to a cold home, as well as giving intruders and easy in. Use Bryson Products to seal any leaks, fill any gaps and generally ensure your home is safe and warm.

Empty the Fridge

The last thing that you want is to come back to a smelly house. So, make sure you empty and clean your fridge, and look at the use by dates on any products in your cupboards before you go.

Photo by Luke Stackpoole 

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Christine Buske is a former academic who left science at the bench, and now considers herself a woman in tech. She is a frequently invited speaker, and enjoys talking about career transformation (particularly leaving academia for the business world), tech, issues around women in tech, product management, agile, and outreach. She is a proud Canadian resident, and qualifies as a "serial expat".

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