Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Summer Vacations

Let me guess. Sometime in the next month you're going to San Diego for a couple of weeks. Or San Francisco. Or Seattle. Chicago. Minneapolis. Denver. Pinetop... Anywhere that's not Phoenix in August! Follow these tips before you leave, and your home will be in great shape when you return. All that's left to do is have a great vacation! (yes they're common sense ideas, but sometimes it's nice to have a reminder…)

Protect your Home - Everyone knows this is the time of year for vacations ~ even the burglars! Make sure all windows and doors are locked. Lock the garage door. Arm the alarm system. Put your lights on timers (with multiple on & off times), so your light can "move" from one room to the next during the evenings.

Have a "Home Checker" - A neighbor you trust makes the most sense. You'll want someone to have a key to your house and your emergency phone number, just in case. For a shorter vacation, you'll have your home checker help out quite a bit, so be prepared to return the favor! For longer trips you might want to enlist professional help as well.

Pets - Boarding, Pet Sitters, and Trading Pet Sitting with a friend are the most common answers. Each has benefits; whichever one works best for you will be the right one. For short vacations you can have your Home Checker feed some types of pets (your cat, fish, or turtle are some examples).

Plants - Another task for your Home Checker. Let them know how often to water your indoor plants for you. For longer trips, check with your nursery about plant sitting. Also, check your sprinklers thoroughly before you leave; a small fix now can help you avoid coming home to a brown lawn.

Mail & Newspaper delivery - For short vacations, this is another job for the Home Checker. For longer vacations you can call the post office and newspaper to have delivery suspended until you return.

Yard & Pool Maintenance - For short vacations not much is required - just clean your yard before you leave. For longer vacations you can have a yard service do your yard each week while you're away. I would do the same thing for Pool Maintenance as well.

Adapted from The Butterworth Group's monthly newsletter. You can sign up to receive an email of our monthly newsletter, or you can read the entire newsletter online.

- Chris Butterworth