There you are on a sandy beach, basking in the sun, your cell phone and laptop far away, when suddenly it hits you: Rent is due in two days! And you can’t remember if you paid your utility bills! And… oh God… did you leave the stove on? Did you even remember to lock your apartment door?! If this scenario sounds like something you might experience while on vacation, don’t fear. Before you depart from your apartment for summer vacation, be sure to do these 7 things.
1. Plan ahead to pay rent and utilities.
Avoid the mid-vacation panic of remembering overdue bills by planning ahead a little. Before you leave, set up autopay online for both or pay them ahead of time.
2. Take care of your mail.
If you are expecting deliveries while you are away, ask your neighbors to receive them or bring them in for you until you get back. If the mail item will be delivered to the leasing office, you should also notify your apartment’s management so they will know to hold it for you until you return.
3. Set your thermostat, and close your blinds and curtains.
There’s no reason you should pay to keep your apartment frigid while you’re away… but you don’t want it to be so hot that your refrigerator magnets melt. Strike a happy compromise so you can save on your utility bill: rather than turn your A/C off completely, set your thermostat to a barely-tolerable temperature, close your blinds, and draw your curtains. You’ll keep the sunshine out and the cool air in. If you have a programmable thermostat, make sure you adjust all of the settings accordingly.
4. Take out the trash and recycling.
Speaking of hot air, you don’t want smelly trash in your apartment while you’re away, especially if your apartment’s going to be hotter than usual. Empty all trash bins and take out the recycling before you depart.
5. Let management know you will be gone.
Stop by the office, tell your landlord, or leave a voicemail before you leave letting management know how long you will be gone and how to reach you in case of an emergency. That way if something comes up, like if a maintenance disaster should happen or a package comes for you, your landlord will know what to do.
6. Prep your car.
If you’ll be leaving your car behind while you travel, make sure it’s parked in a safe place, the doors are locked, and any valuables are either covered or removed from the car completely.
7. Lock all doors and windows.
Last, but not least, check that all your doors and windows are properly locked. Nothing will kill your post-vacation bliss faster than coming home to discover you’ve had a break-in.