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How to Prepare the House Before Vacation: Before You Leave

Knowing how to prepare the house before vacation will make your vacation more relaxing and your experience coming home much better. Before you leave, clean out your fridge, do all of your dishes, finish the laundry, take out the trash, and attend to anything else that may cause odors if left unchecked for too long. No one wants to come home to a smelly house with stale air.

In the Kitchen

Remove any old food and food that will spoil before you return and make sure to freeze whatever can be frozen. Don’t do a lot of grocery shopping before you go on vacation unless it’s for non-perishable items that will keep while you’re away. Wipe down the fridge, your stove, and the microwave. Clean out your kitchen sink drain so food scraps don’t rot while you are away. If you have a disposal, cleaning it out with vinegar ice cubes is a handy trick. Freeze vinegar in an ice tray, and then dump the ice down the disposal and turn it on. This will clean out all of the gunk in there. Then turn on the hot water to rinse it down the pipes.

Throughout the House

Pick up all the dirty laundry throughout the house and wash it all before you go. This might take some searching if you have kids or teenagers. Wash and change your sheets before you leave so you’ll come home to clean bedding. Once all the loads are finished, leave your washer’s lid open so that it can dry out while you’re away. Take out all of the trash in the home and clean out your trash cans to prevent coming home to any bad odors.


Make arrangements for pet care with a kennel, neighbor, or a friend before you leave. Be sure to leave plenty of food for your pets and any accessories such as their leash, bed, and toys.

How to Prepare the House Before Vacation: While You’re Away

It’s not enough to know how to prepare the house for vacation, you should also make plans to take care of it while you’re away. One of the best deterrents for thieves is making it look like someone is home. You can have a lawn care service mow the lawn, and ask neighbors to water plants and park their car in the driveway periodically.

Smart Technology

You can monitor your house with a tablet or phone, access lights, the thermostat, and more if your home is set up to do so. Turning on and off lights intermittently makes it look like someone is home. Thieves are less likely to break into your home if they think someone is there. If you don’t want to make the investment in a smart home security system, setting up light timers is a good start. Don’t turn on your TV before you go. Hearing constant noise from a radio or TV is an indicator that no one is home.

Learning how to prepare your house before vacation may seem like a lot of work, but you’ll be glad that you did it once you return from your time away!

Highland Home Inspections provides home inspection services to home buyers, sellers, and homeowners in Eastern Massachusetts. Contact us to schedule your appointment today!