When you’re getting ready to leave your home, it’s important you take a few precautions to ensure things run smoothly. Here’s a checklist to help you prepare so you can enjoy your time away, worry-free.

Take Photos

Instead of copying all your important items, use your phone to capture the information in photos. Quick shots of your passport, credit cards, digital plane tickets, and prescriptions stored in the cloud can save you from dealing with hours of problems if you lose your wallet or cellphone or someone steals your things.

Hold Your Mail & Newspaper Delivery

Letting mail and newspapers pile up in your mailbox is like leaving an invitation for thieves. Either get someone to pick up items daily, or stop delivery.

Don’t forget to attend to your email too. An autoresponder cuts down on the number of emails you need to answer and most people won’t expect a quick response when they read your message.

Ask Someone to Check Your Home

It’s always a good idea to have someone check your home regularly. Water pipes can burst, someone could break in, or a freak storm could cause unexpected damage. If you can, ask them to attend to your lawn and walkway too.

Don’t leave a key outside your home. Burglars routinely search common places such as under planters, the door mat, or over a door.

Move Valuables Out of Sight

Don’t draw the curtains and blinds so your home looks abandoned. Instead, leave them open and move valuables away from windows, including windows on and beside doors.

If criminals can easily spot items they can sell for cash quickly, it increases the chances of a break in. Put a radio on a timer too, but ensure no one can see it. Sound is a great deterrent.

Shut Off Main Water Valve

Even a small drip can lead to major water damage when left unattended. Locate the main water valve of your home and turn it off. Drain the taps to prevent frozen pipes and to minimize the chances of leaks.

Unplug Small Appliances & Electrical Devices

Unplug small appliance such as the coffee maker, toaster, blender, etc. Also unplug your television and computer, because they pose a potential fire risk.

Clean Out Fridge & Empty Garbage

Nothing’s worse than coming home to food you’ve forgotten about. Give away any perishable food and compost or trash waste. Ensure your outdoor garbage can has a tight lid, to avoid animals tearing apart bags and making a mess while you’re away.

Tidy Up

The last few hours before a trip can be rushed, but don’t leave your place in a big mess. A tidy home is a welcome sight when you return, plus you can immediately notice if something’s amiss.

Put the dishes away, straighten up papers, and hang clothes. Don’t forget to check the washer and dryer for any forgotten laundry.

Add Emergency Contact Numbers to Phone

Add the numbers for your insurance agent, electrician, plumber, and local emergency services to your telephone. You don’t want to scramble for information if there’s trouble at home.

Always tell someone where you are so they can reach you if need be.

Register for Online Banking

If you don’t have online banking, set it up before you go. If you forget to pay a bill, you can do so remotely instead of ruining your credit rating.

Contact Your Insurance Agent

If you haven’t done an insurance review for some time, it’s a good idea to talk to your agent. It only takes a few minutes to align your coverage with your current needs and effective coverage. It ensures you’re protected while away so if something unfortunate occurs, you won’t feel the financial impact.