The end of March and early April is often when people return north for the summer months. Here’s a helpful checklist of items to remember when leaving home for an extended time.

In Advance:

  • Remove perishables from the refrigerator.
  • Freezer tip: if leaving items in the freezer – place a bowl with several ice cubes on a shelf. If ice cubes are intact when you return, it means the freezer didn’t lose power and then refreeze items.
  • Call cable, TV service and internet providers to see if it is possible to place your services on hold at a lower monthly fee.
  • For your hot water heater: follow the manufacturer’s recommended instructions for setting it to away mode or a lower temperature.
  • Place fresh batteries in smoke alarms.
  • Secure or cover all outdoor furniture, grills and lawn ornaments.
  • If you leave a car you may want to consider disconnecting the battery or connecting a battery trickle charger. Be sure to check your car’s maintenance instructions first.
  • If you have a wood burning fireplace, make sure the flue is closed.
  • Hold or forward mail and newspapers.
  • Call bank or credit card companies so charges don’t get held or declined.
  • Have you scheduled service for lawn/landscaping, pool cleaning, home watching or other vendor needs?
  • Pack medications and make arrangements for local medical records to be transferred.
  • Extra bonus tip: take photos or videos before leaving, especially documenting valuables. This can be helpful for insurance purposes.

Departure Day:

  • Close & lock all exterior windows and doors. Be sure to check those not used frequently.
  • Double check the dishwasher, washer and dryer so no loads left undone or behind.
  • Run your sink’s garbage disposal to ensure it is empty and/or use a manufacturer’s recommended cleaner to avoid odors on your return.
  • Unplug appliances and electronics that will not be in use while you are gone.
  • Set thermostat at an appropriate degree – especially important for humidity purposes in Florida.
  • Turn water off to the washer/dryer and sink and bathroom level to prevent leaks and damage. If you choose to turn the water off to your home entirely be sure to check with a professional regarding hot water heaters, ice makers, sprinkler systems, auto pool fillers, etc.
  • Empty garbage.

We wish all our seasonal residents a wonderful summer and safe travels north. Please let us know if you have other tips you’d recommend!