Things you need to do to prepare your house before going on holiday

Lifestyle

Suitcases in hotel room

Packing for a vacation especially over the Christmas break can be a testing time for any family. Whether you are going out of town for a couple of days, or several weeks, it can feel as though there are a million and one tasks to complete before departing for some well-deserved relaxation.

It can be easy to overlook small responsibilities that will make a big difference, whether it’s preparing your pets, unplugging electrical items, removing a spare key, or adding a doorbell camera to your security system, there is plenty to consider.

There are various things you can do in advance to ensure your vacation remains worry free and your return home goes smoothly.

Ask a specialist to care for your pets, plants and property

Whether you are simply looking for a pet-sitter, a plant-minder or somebody to stay in the house for free in return for accommodation, there are plenty of professional services to choose from. A legitimate house-sitting service will check the identity of their users before promoting their services.

A house-sitter can water the plants, keep the house clean and tidy, feed and walk your pets and keep the property safe.

Various online websites only provide an introductory service, and it is always recommended to read the reviews, the terms and conditions and the recruitment process before using any house-sitting company.

If you are looking for somebody to take care of your greenery over the festive season, you can read more about caring for your plants remotely here.

Prepare the property for departure

After a nice, long vacation the last thing any property owner wants is to return to an untidy house. Allow some time to tidy and clean before departing, including emptying the refrigerator to avoid any spoiling of food and taking out any rubbish.

Turn off all switches for any electronics that won’t be in action as an extra safety precaution.

Mowing the lawns is a great and simple way to keep the property looking lived in over the Christmas break.

Keep information about your holiday private

Try to avoid sharing details about the duration and the dates of the holiday unless necessary. Be cautious about posting on social media if its pertaining to your home being vacant for an extended period.

Most burglaries take place when the property is vacant. It is inevitable that the mailbox will fill up and the curtains may be left drawn day and night, while the homeowners are away, but there are a few things you can do to make your home look lived in.

Ask a friend or a trusted neighbour to check the mailbox and carry out spot checks at the property if you leave them with a key. Perhaps they could put the rubbish bin out on collection day. It is not uncommon to use an automatic light timer to switch on the lights during the evening for a few hours.

New Zealand Post allows homeowners to put their mail on hold, so it does not pile up over the holidays, a great alternative if there is nobody present to collect it.

Finally, there are many affordable security cameras on the market today that will alert the homeowner to movement around the property on their mobile phone. Homeowners can speak through the camera at any time, which is another strong and smart deterrent.

Travelling does not need to be worrying with forward planning, helpful friends or family, professional sitting services and implementing some of the cost-effective security equipment that is readily available online and in stores, your property will be in excellent condition when you return.

For further updates over the Christmas break from NEWTON + CO, make sure you follow our social media pages on Instagram and Facebook.

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