Have you ever forgotten anything after leaving home? Have you ever came home to a tragic experience? Plumbing leak? Foul odor? Open garage door? Have you ever felt a sense of doubt and of second guessing yourself in preparing your home before leaving for your trip?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you probably should be aware that most homeowners don’t understand that what you do to prepare your home for vacation is more important than what you do to prepare for your trip.

Hold your anxiety people. We’ve compiled a list of everything you should do for your home before you take that needed trip away.

1. Hold all your mail and newspapers — unless you want everybody (including burglars) to know you are not home.
2. Consider having someone keep an eye on your house when you are gone. What are friends for right? By having a trusted someone periodically check the condition of your home, it clears up your anxiety so you can get back to rest and relaxation.  
3. If you have a lawn and are planning to be away for a long time, arrange to have somebody cut it. An unattended house are like gold mine for robbers.
4. If you’ve got a spare key hidden somewhere outside your house, you want to remove it. Burglars often look for spare keys under welcome mats, inside of fake rocks/lawn ornaments, and under/in flowerpots places near the front door.
5. If you have windows where people can see into your house, close the curtain.
6. If you live in an area where burglary is a real concern, the best thing to do is invest into timers, so a lamp or two turns on at night and off during the day. This is to fool any burglars into thinking you’re at home.
7. Consider unplugging all electronics while you are away.  This will save energy and save you money.
8. Consider turning off all the water, especially the water supply to your washing machines, dishwashers, ice-makers and toilets. Would you want to come home to a flooded house? Didn’t think so.
9. Unplug garage doors toasters, computers etc. If you don’t want it to turn on when you’re gone, unplug it.
10. Pay all bills that will be due while you’re away.
11. Trash any food that might spoil while you are away. Or else, your home can turn into a breeding ground for bacteria! Not to mention the smell!
12. Make sure you have not left any wet clothes in your washing machine or drier. Mold stinks! Figuratively and literally. Wet clothes that are left can grow mold, which can damage the material
13. Ditto for dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
14. Water your plants. Consider arranging for a friend to come water them periodically if you plan to be away for awhile.
15. Take out the garbage. This one should be self explanatory. Unless you want to return to a home that smells like a landfill.
16. Your furry friends will miss you enough as it is, arrange for pets to be taken care of while you’re gone.

By following this simple checklist, you’re allowing yourself the rest and relaxation you deserve. And protecting your home while you’re at it! So go ahead! Kick back. Relax. As the precautionary homeowner you are, you deserve it!