Getting excited makes me forget things like home security

It’s that time of the year again and with Christmas right around the corner we are all looking forward to getting away for a week or 4. This year my family will not be going away over Christmas as we are getting married on the 27th and our family from all over the country will be here to visit. So instead we will go away in Jan once everyone has gone home.

For those of you who have been following me for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I love making lists. I have a list for everything you can imagine, it drives Hannes crazy but I know that he knows our lives run better this way. Which gets to me to the lists I make when we are going away: Clothing, Toiletries, Cleaning supplies, Food, Beach and the most important list is usually things to do before I leave.

In the excitement of getting away from everyday life we tend to forget about things we need to do, or arrange for our empty home before we leave, so here is my list:

10 Things To Check Before You Go On Holiday

  1. Don’t make it look like you’re not at home – Let your neighbours know you’re not home and arrange with a friend to pick up your mail often so that your full post box does not invite unwanted guests to rob you.
  2. Take care of your furry friends and plants – Arrange for someone to come and feed your animals daily, if you have dog ask a friend to walk them every other day, they will get lonely without you. Alternatively find an animal shelter put them in, they will be going on vacation as well. Ask the same friend who is keeping an eye on your house and pets (if they are not in a kennel) to water your plants as well.
  3. Make sure everything is locked – Check every window and door after you have loaded everything, including the children, in the cars. If someone breaks in while you are on holiday and you did not lock up correctly your insurance could be deemed invalid – so taking the time to do this is very important. In addition, should you realise that one of your master set of keys has disappeared it might be worth the effort to consider getting your locks changed. 1st For Women’s Home Assist Benefits could help you get this sorted out. Also make sure you double check your insurance requirements before leaving on vacation. Make sure your spare keys are packed away in a cupboard or drawer; if they are hanging out in the open and someone does manage to break in they will have access to everything.
  4. Turn everything off at the socket – Unplug every appliance that you own except your fridge and chest freezer of course. If you have a geyser or a heating system that runs on a timer, turn it off, no one will be home so there will be no need to have it going on once a day. This will also save electricity.
  5. Clean up and clear up – Clean out your cupboards and fridges for any food that might spoil while you are away, give it to a charity or even a close friend. Make sure you haven’t left any wet clothing in the washing machine or dryer and make sure your dishes are washed. Sprinkle some baking soda in the toilets and down the drain to avoid your home from smelling like stagnant water on your return.
  6. Additional security – Let your security company know that you will be out of town and the dates that you will be gone, that way when your alarm does go off they will know that it is an emergency and they must hurry the hell up to catch that criminal.
  7. Curtains and lights – Wanting to close your curtains while you are away does sound like a great plan, while this stops people looking in from the outside, it also prevents your neighbours from seeing any criminals that may be trespassing. The same goes for your lights, you want to leave them on so it will look like you’re at home, but this will increase your electricity bill and make it easy for criminals to notice that you are not home.
  8. Don’t project your moves – as a blogger like myself; this tends to be a bit difficult as we love to share the big things and going on vacation for a month is a big thing. But advising on my blog that I won’t be home for a month might just invite unwanted attention to my empty house. Just be discreet.
  9. Regular deliveries – Make sure you cancel your regular deliveries like milk, the paper and other strange things you have delivered at your home. Firstly no one will be home to sign for packages and secondly if it is of the nature it might just go bad before you are back and no one wants rotting food waiting for them on their doorstep when they return from holiday.
  10. Pay your bills – No one likes thinking of the bills that need to be paid while we are away on vacation. Pay all your bills either before you go on vacation or set up a stop order on your internet banking to ensure that you accounts are paid on time without you having to log off Instagram.

I make Hannes tick off the items on the list as he completes them and then, because I am paranoid I double check everything after he has told me he is done.

How do you protect your home while you are away? Is there anything that I missed?

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