Traveling for the Holidays? The 5 Most Important Things to Do Before Leaving the House

If they’re watering plants, make sure they know how much and when to do it. Let them know if you’ll need the garbage cans brought in or to the curb. Make sure your neighbors have the info they need

If your neighbors are watching your home for you while you’re away, make sure they have keys to everything, phone numbers (and alternative numbers) to reach you if there’s ever a problem. Water plants

Give all your green lovelies a nice long drink before you go, and move them to the optimal spot in your home — where the best light is and a spot where they won’t get cold drafts (if that’s something they wouldn’t like). Security check

Doors, windows, garage door — are they all closed and locked? Empty them all out before you go, but also give them a quick swipe to clean them. 2. 4. Typing up a quick FAQ sheet to leave for them is often helpful. You can keep that sheet with you as you get on the road in case you get any of those “did I lock that?” feelings. 1. (Image credits: Jaime Kowal) Save energy and protect from damage

Unplug all your electronics. Make a quick sketch of your floor plan and all the things that need locking, and make check marks as you walk around the house. Make sure you don’t have any valuables in sight. As anyone knows, there are about a million and twelve things to do when the holidays hit, everything from finishing holiday gift shopping to trying to remember to pack everything you need. But before you go, make sure you cross each one of these tasks off your to-do list. Are you leaving a car at your place? Clean out stinky spots

The trash cans (not just the kitchen one — think about cans in your bathrooms, office or bedrooms), dishwasher, fridge and coffee maker can all be nightmares to come home to if they’ve been left full of stuff to rot and get stinky while you’re away. Make sure all your appliances are turned off like the stove, oven, coffee maker and others.

Updated: 08.12.2014 — 03:56