With spring already here, and summer fast approaching, you might have your sights set on far-away travel—Bali? Italy? Anywhere with a beach? Whether you’re going miles and miles from home, or just taking a quick trip down the coast, you’ve probably already put together your checklist: sunscreen, water bottle, towel, a good book. Yet what about your apartment—is it ready for your vacation, too?
Here are the five things to remember to add to your vacation prep list before you leave your apartment in DC for the sunny horizon.
Prep the Kitchen
Even if you’ll only be gone a few days, you’ll want to do a thorough kitchen clean-up and clean-out before you go on vacation. This means checking the fridge for things that will spoil while you’re away: leftovers, opened dairy and meats, and most vegetables. Be sure to wipe down your kitchen counters and take out the trash, too. The last thing you want your nice apartment smelling like when you get back is rotten food!
No matter how long you are planning to be gone, it’s always a good idea to have your mail held for you while you’re away. For one, you don’t want your mailbox overflowing when you get back; and, two, you certainly don’t want any important papers or packages going missing while you’re out. This also applies to newspapers you might subscribe to—if they pile up, it will signal to thieves that the house is vacant, so be sure to put it all on hold.
Pick Up the Piles
This is going to sound so uninviting, pre-vacation, but one of the best gifts you can give yourself is the gift of coming home to clean clothes, so add this to the packing checklist. Yes, those dirty socks and undies need to be washed, folded, and put away before you go. You’ll have a suitcase full of laundry to do when you come back, so you’ll be thankful that your apartment is organized and you have clean clothes to wear.
Don’t run up your electricity bill! Go room by room and unplug appliances and electronics to help save on electricity costs while you’re away and to prevent any surge damage should the power go out, as well.
Tell a Friend
Recruit a friend to take care of your home while you’re away! They can pick up any packages or deliveries that slipped through your mail hold and water your plants. Just be sure you’re both on the same page about what the key is for and when you’ll be back. Remember to bring them a little vacation treat for their trouble!