Are you a snowbird? Are you flocking to warmer weather before the cold bitter winters of New England starts? If you have done this before you know what kind of tedious chores and checklist you need to do before you lock up your home for a couple of months. Though if this is your first time doing it we have come up with a great list of things you need to take care of to make sure you come home to your house just like you left it!
Forward your mail
Its so important to contact your local post office and have your mail forwarded to your new home for the winter months. Nothing says no one is living here to a thief than mail pilling up outside your home. There are 2 options to do this; you can go to your towns post office and fill out a form that they have there or online. You simply choose a start date and then the mail will be forwarded up to 1 year.
If you have family that is near by have them drive by once a week to pick up any flyers that get put on your front steps, placed on your door, or in your mailbox.
Do not turn off the heat
So many people think that since they are not there, there is no reason to heat an empty home. Well yes there is no reason to leave your home at 70 degrees for 5 months but turning it off is also a horrible idea. Turning off your heat completely could have make your pipes freeze causing a huge mess for when you return. Best option is to leave your heat around 58-60 degrees.
Shut your water off
Shutting your water off will minimize your chances of having a flood. Go around your house and turn the valves off as well as shut off any automatic irrigation systems you have outside. To avoid any type of water leaks, it’s always an option to have your pipes drained by a professional.
Prep your appliances
Depending how long you will be gone, consider unplugging your fridge. If you choose to keep your fridge plugged in make sure to clean it out completely. You don’t want to leave anything in there that could cause mold or mildew. You can also lower your electricity bills by unplugging your oven, microwave, and washer and dryer.
Prep the outside of your home
If you live in an area that is expected to get a lot of snow make sure you set up someone or a company to come and plow every storm. Taking care of the sidewalks depending on your town or city could be mandatory.
Have your gutters cleaned from leaves and debris to make sure water is flowing threw your gutters the entire time your gone. And make sure you take in any outside furniture as well as planters incase of any strong wind storms.
Turning on the lights
Now we don’t mean keeping the lights on the entire time you are gone. Consider buying a light timer. Add them to a few a rooms. Set them to go on around 4 pm and have them turn off around 11 pm. This makes intruders think that someone is in the home.
Tell your neighbors
Its never a bad idea to let your neighbors know that you are leaving. If you have anyone coming to check on the house while your gone, let them know that too. It gives everyone a heads up so they know if anything fishy is going on in the home.
Give yourself enough time (try to start a month before you leave) to get everything done. Nothing worse than rushing around before you leave and forgetting something important on your list. And really is there any better feeling than being the warm sun while the snow is piling up back home?