With Memorial Day Weekend on the horizon, some of us are putting the final touches on our summer vacation plans.

We’re making packing lists and “to do” lists so as not to forget the essentials for a successful trip.  Preparing for a vacation doesn’t only include finalizing reservations and effectively packing as few suitcases as possible.  We must also prep our home for our time away before we leave.

Here we share the 5 household things you must do before you leave for vacation:

♦  Turn off the water supply to your dishwasher and washing machine.  If a hose to either of these appliances happens to crack or come loose while you are away, you could come back to a flood.  The washing machine should have a valve switch in the back and the lever handle for the dishwasher is usually located under the sink.  Sprinkle a little baking soda in toilets and down the sink drains to avoid coming home to the stench of stagnant water.

♦  Unplug small appliances and electronics that aren’t plugged into a surge protector.  Your toaster, coffee maker, computer, etc. could cause a fire if there is a power surge. Disconnect Internet access to computers.

♦  Keep your air conditioner on but set it to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  You may be tempted to turn the air off since you won’t be home and you’d like to save cost, but if it’s too hot inside the home, it can cause mold and mildew to grow in just a few days.  Setting the temp to 80 degrees will prevent that from happening and your home won’t be too steamy when you return.

♦  Check sump pump alarms and temperature alarms.  Make sure they are in working order and set to send alarms to the proper telephone numbers.  If you have a friend, family member or neighbor keeping an eye on your house, it’s a good idea to give the alarm companies their number too.

♦  Turn off all lights except for one or two and set those on a timer.  Set them to random patterns to discourage potential prowlers. Photo sensors or motion detectors are good ideas for outdoor lights.

One last bonus tip –  Arrange for someone to keep up with your lawn mowing and watering and stop newspaper/mail delivery while gone to avoid calling attention to an unattended house.

Do you have any great household tips we’ve missed?  Let us know so we can share!

– S.O.