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5 Things to Do Before You Go Out of Town

Why Do This?

Your house doesn’t need as much attention as a pet or a child, but it does need some consideration before it’s left alone for an extended period of time. By crossing off a few quick tasks, you can make sure your house is protected against damage, burglary and bad smells while you’re out of town.

Time: 30 minutes

What You'll Need

  • baking soda

How To:

  1. 1

    Protect your pipes. While you’re gone, don’t set your thermostat lower than 55 degrees. Any lower, and you run the risk of coming home to a bunch of burst pipes. For more pipe protection tips, read: Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing.

  2. 2

    Stop your mail and paper deliveries. Call the post office and ask to them to hold your mail during the dates that you’re away. You’ll be able to pick it up when you’re back in town. If you subscribe to any newspapers, have them halted while you’re gone. The last thing you want is a tell-tale stack of papers on your front porch!

  3. 3

    Clean out your fridge. The last thing you want when you return home is to open the fridge and smell curdled milk. Before you leave, toss anything that might spoil while you’re away.

  4. 4

    Sprinkle baking soda in the toilet. To avoid being greeted by the nasty stench of stagnant water when you return home, sprinkle some baking soda in the toilet bowl! It will absorb any nasty smells that accumulate while you’re gone. This also works with sink drains.

  5. 5

    Remove your spare key. Leaving an extra key under the doormat or in a fake rock isn’t a great idea while you’re on vacation. If you have a spare key, give it to a neighbor you trust while you’re gone or hide it in one of these five genius places.

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