Laurey W. Glenn / Styling Leigh Anne Montgomery
In the rush to pack bags for a road trip, don't forget to take care of things at home. If you don't have a house sitter, here is a handy checklist of things to leave on, turn off, turn on, clean out, and unplug.
Avoid Loads of Mail
A pile of newspapers by the front door and an overflowing mailbox send a clear message that the house is empty. If you don't have anyone to collect mail and newspapers while you are gone, suspend delivery of these items. Go online to www.usps.com to suspend mail delivery. They will hold mail for up to 30 days. (Online mail suspension is limited to certain zip codes so you may have to visit your local post office in person.)
Create a Clever Key Chain
Turn a luggage tag into a handy and informative key chain for a house sitter or neighbor. Print a list of essential emergency contacts, and slip it into the tag. Put cap covers on your keys before sliding them onto the luggage tag ring. Use different colors to identify keys for the front door, back door, or elsewhere. Include the color code on the emergency contact list.
Hire a House Sitter
If you will be gone more than a few days, consider hiring a house sitter. Ask friends or coworkers for references. What you pay will depend on where you live and how much you ask the sitter to do. Expect to pay $20 to $30 a day. You'll owe a bit more if you have pets.