April 4, 2019

What is that funky smell? 


It’s finally time to get ready for that amazing vacation you booked months ago.  On top of all the packing, you also need to make sure you prepare your home for your departure.  Here are some things I do to help ensure a smooth homecoming on my return:

  • Take out the trash – Nothing is worse than arriving home to realize you forgot to take out the garbage! Not exactly the atmosphere you want to experience when you walk in the door – the smell and the little critters (bugs, mice, etc.) that love being in the trash when no one is around to chase them away!

  • Clean out the Fridge – Throw out any leftovers and maybe offer any perishables that won’t last to your family or neighbors. If you have something that will keep in the freezer, throw it in there while you’re gone (such as shredded cheese). This is another one of those horrible things to come home to – moldy food in the refrig!  Make sure to clean out the refrig before you take the trash out!!


  • Lock all your windows – It’s easy to remember to lock the doors but be sure all windows are also shut tightly and locked. You don’t want to come home to puddles of rainwater in your living room or find that you had an unexpected intruder that came through the window while you were gone!

  • Be sure someone has a key – find a trusted family member or neighbor and ensure that they have a way in to your home in case of an emergency. We have radiators and constantly worry about the electricity going off while we are traveling in the winter, leaving us to return to frozen pipes.  Having someone that can check things out for you when needed definitely gives you peace of mind. 

  • Find a way to have electronic copies of your credit cards, government issued ID, insurance cards and travel documents with you while you travel - just in case they are lost or stolen.  Also make sure you have included a copy of your car insurance if you plan to rent a car.  Having these items available electronically will enable you to easily access all this information as soon as you can get online. There are lots of ways to do this – take a picture of them on your phone, put a copy somewhere in the cloud (such as in Dropbox, Evernote, etc.)  If you decide to take pictures of your docs on your phone and leave them there, make sure you have a security code set up to access your phone.  If you don’t and then lose it, whoever finds your phone will have all your information right at their fingertips.  

  • Adjust the thermostat – Be sure the air conditioning or heat is set at an appropriate level to save on energy costs while you are away.

  • Invest in a timer – An inexpensive timer unit from any hardware store allows you to program your lights for security purposes (and energy conservation). Those nasty home stalkers will see the lights going on and off and have no idea you aren’t at home.

  • Unplug! – Disconnect as many appliances as possible while you are gone (think toaster, coffee maker and office printer). They can be a fire hazard, as well as using electricity even while you are thousands of miles away on the beach. 

  • Make sure you didn’t throw something in the washer at the last minute and forgot about it.  Another bad thing to come home to…. sour clothes in the washer.

  • Make sure the toilets aren’t running!  We even turn the water off to the toilets when we leave just to make sure. 

By following these suggestions, you can help assure that your next amazing vacation isn't ruined by a nasty surprise lurking inside your door when you return.  It’s hard enough to deal with the fact that the amazing vacation you planned for months is over, but it will be even harder if you return to reality having to face issues at home.  Trust me...I’ve been there and done that!

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Darla Logsdon

PH: (309) 824-6834 CT

Mon - Fri  9am - 5pm

Stanford, Illinois


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