Water your houseplants/garden plants. If you have a house sitter or neighbor coming to check on them, leave them clear  instructions.

 Inspect your yard. Is the garden shed locked? Is everything put away? You don’t want to extend an invitation to thieves by leaving a ladder or tools in plain view.

Clear the fridge. Eat or toss leftovers and perishables. If you’re going on a long trip, you may want to clean and unplug the fridge to save energy.

Check the pantry, too.Rotting potatoes smell unbelievably gross. If onions, potatoes, garlic or other items have been sitting around too long, toss or compost them before you leave.

  1. Take care of your pets. If your pets are staying in the house while you’re gone, make sure they have fresh food and water, as well as clean litterboxes or cages. Scan the house to make sure they can’t get into anything dangerous. Leave detailed instructions for your pet sitter.
  2. Contact your alarm company.If you have a security system, let them know the dates you’ll be gone, as well as the name and number of a house sitter or neighbor.
  3. Set a timer for your lights. Another burglar deterrent is a Fake TV, which is a little plug-in device that simulates the flicker of a television.
  4. Notify your credit card companies of your travel plans.Otherwise, they may mistakenly flag your card for fraud if they see it being used in another country.
  5. Wash, dry and fold laundry. Don’t forget that last peek into the washing machine.
  6. Share your travel plans and a house key with a trusted neighbor or friend. You never know what might happen while you’re gone, so it’s wise to give at least one person access to your house.
  7. Program your thermostat. Set the heat to at least 50 degrees (to prevent pipes from freezing) and the air conditioning to 85.i
  8. Turn off your water heater, or set it to the minimum temperature.If you’re a morning-shower person, you can wait to do this until just before you leave.
  9. Unplug appliances, such as your toaster and coffeemaker.
  10. Close the blinds or curtains. This makes your house more secure and helps regulate the inside temperature.