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Ultimate Guide for Preparing Your House Before Travel (Printable Checklist Included!)

Updated: Oct 29, 2019

Essential tasks to ensure your house stays secure + clean during your travels.

Pinterest photo for the ultimate guide for preparing your house before travel

It sometimes feels like our house waits for us to go out of town to spring a leak, allow a tree branch to fall through a patio roof, or admit an infestation of ants into the kitchen. Jerk. While it’s impossible to 100% safeguard your house before departure, we've crafted a list of numerous tasks you can check off to evade expensive disasters.

From discouraging burglars and preventing an overflowing mailbox, to making sure you don’t return to a foul smelling house and avoiding unnecessarily high electricity bills, we’ve got you covered. And because every house is different, consider the unique needs of your home and add customized to-dos to the list.



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* Click here for printable checklist.



· Put a few lights on a timer, or leave two lamps and a porch light on, minimizing the chance of a break in.


· Ensure all windows and doors are locked. Lock pet doors if they won’t be home.


· Close all blinds.

A kitchen with a small table and chairs, and the blinds closed because the family is on a trip

· Bring hidden keys inside.


· Put out ample food and water for animals who will be on their own.


· Turn off water if you don’t need it for an automatic sprinkler system.

Sprinkler in yard that is on an automatic timer while the homeowners are traveling

· Turn off gas.


· Turn thermostat to 85 during warmer months, and 55 in colder months.



· Make sure all burners and stove is off.

Coffee on a kitchen counter and a kettle on a stove that has been turned off in preparation for travel

· Run garbage disposal, and run and empty dishwasher.


· Take out trash and recycling. Put out bins if there will be a pick up while you’re gone.


· Unplug appliances that won’t need power while you’re away.

Electronics on a desk that are going to be unplugged before the owner leaves on a trip

· Clean out the fridge and throw out any pantry food that will get moldy in your absence. Make sure the fridge and freezer doors are sealed.


· Pour a cup of bleach in toilet bowls to prevent scum build up.



· Leave out cinnamon sticks, or other aromatic products, to ensure your home smells fresh when you return.

Dried cinnamon sticks, apples and pinecones that will make a home smell good while the owners are on a getaway

· Water plants.


· Make sure smoke detectors aren’t low on batteries.


· Wash sheets and soiled clothes.

Clean linens on a bed that have been washed in preparation for a vacation

· Ensure the washer and dryer are free of clothes.


· Put a hold on mail and newspapers if you’ll be gone more than a few days.


· Put a hold on services, such as cleaning and lawn, that you don’t want while you’re gone.

Bathroom and kitchen cleaner spray, and a scrub brush, that are being used to clean a house before the owners leave on a trip

· Pay all bills that will come due while you’re away.


· Lock valuables in fire proof safe.



· Don’t tell social media when you’ll be out of town.

Laptop and cell phone used to research travel plans

· If you have an alarm system, let the company know you’ll be out of town.


· If you have a pool, make sure the pump is running.

Pool and ladder that isn't being used because the owners are traveling

* Click here for printable checklist.


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