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What do you do when you leave town?
Old 04-22-2022, 02:47 PM
  #1

When my parents leave town for more than 3-4 days they cancel the mail, call the police to tell them they’ll be gone and tell at least one neighbor so they can keep an eye on the house. They also turn off or down the air/heat.

When I leave town I pack and leave. My mom is appalled. Sometimes I do the dishes and take out the trash.

So, when you leave town, what if anything, do you do?


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Generational?
Old 04-22-2022, 02:48 PM
  #2

Do you think it's generational? I'm the same as you, but my parents are the same as your parents.
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Old 04-22-2022, 02:50 PM
  #3

I am on the same plan as you. Do the dishes, take out the trash, pull the shades, and out the door I go!
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Old 04-22-2022, 02:52 PM
  #4

They call the police? That's intense!

I try to have a cleanish house just because I like coming home to it. I take out the garbage and turn the air/heat off. That's about it! My mail goes into a locked mailbox and I only check it about once a week anyways. I don't get a lot of mail that isn't junk mail.

My parents are more like yours. My dad likes to turn the water off, cancel the mail, etc. They will also tell the neighbors. The neighbors "walk the property" daily. (The property is a typical suburban house w/a smallish backyard.)
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Leaving
Old 04-22-2022, 02:53 PM
  #5

I put my fine jewelry in the safe, turn off the water, board the dog, and triple check everything is turned off!


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Old 04-22-2022, 03:01 PM
  #6

I do turn the air/heat down, but that's it. Ideally I like to clean so that I come home to a clean house, but that usually doesn't happen.
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Old 04-22-2022, 03:04 PM
  #7

I have an in home pet sitter that comes once a day for the cats, so there is someone in the house for a brief time daily while I'm gone. Before I had pets, I used to be one of those people that cleaned the house before I left town so that I could come home to a clean house. Complete waste now, as the pets are the ones making most of the mess (shedding, tracking litter, etc.) . I clean up enough that I'm not totally embarrassed to have someone come over, but I don't waste time vacuuming and dusting beforehand.

I only pick up my mail about once a week as it is so there is definitely no need to stop mail . My mom finds that appalling! I pay bills online so it's basically all junk.

When I was little our house flooded while we were on vacation. Some tiny part on the toilet broke. I tried to do research on turning off the water and read that really there are risks either way, so I end up keeping it on.

I set the thermostat on "vacation mode" and keep the temp higher/lower than I would normally (depending on the season) to save money while I'm gone. I don't go too crazy because I don't want the pet sitter to be miserable while she's here, plus the cats themselves! Usually maybe 64 in the winter and 82 in the summer.

Last time I was out, the pet sitter told me she skipped my house because she "saw I was home" (I wasn't ). I panicked and contacted my nosy neighbor. Everything was fine, obviously. Neighbor mentioned I should let her know when I'm out of town next time so she can just keep an eye on things. Not sure if I'll take her up on that, honestly.
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Leaving home?
Old 04-22-2022, 03:20 PM
  #8

It depends upon how long I'll be gone. I used to drive from Georgia and spend the entire summer in Maine.
Set the light timers.
Turn on the radio in my bedroom.
Redirect the mail.
Let the police and the two neighbors know.
Empty the fridge.
Put a huge dog bowl and a chain on the side porch (I don't have a dog.)
Give predated checks to the lawn care person.
Get the car tuned and the oil changed.

It's an ordeal. Thank goodness I live here now.

The next trip we're planning is to Boston. We'll be leaving for a few days. I won't have to do a thing since my sister lives here also and she sure as tootin' not going with me. Afterall, the whole point is to get away from her psycho self for awhile.
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Old 04-22-2022, 03:24 PM
  #9

I tell my neighbor and she collects my mail. I turn the heat down or the AC up. I try to leave the house clean so if someone has to come in they won't think the place has been ransacked. I don't call the police.
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Old 04-22-2022, 03:35 PM
  #10

I usually hire someone to stay in my home for the entire time in order to watch the pets ,turn on lights and collect the mail. I would never announce to the neighborhood or anyone else that our family is not home.


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Old 04-22-2022, 03:43 PM
  #11

For 3-4 days? I wash up dishes, take out trash and adjust the thermostat. That's about it. I used to arrange for someone to check on the cats every day and I'll arrange to have someone water outdoor plants if it's hot and dry.

I'll stop mail service and notify my one of my neighbors (the one I've known for 29 years) if I'm going to be gone for a week or more. Sometimes, for longer trips, I've had to arrange for lawn mowing or snow removal. I've never notified police.
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Old 04-22-2022, 04:06 PM
  #12

We winter in Arizona for 3 months- Jan,Feb,Mar. Its a long time to leave our home vacant so we prepare. When put a hold on a low heater temp. Hubs turns the hot water tank way down and turns the water off to the house. He also suspends our garbage service. I let my neighbors know and also forward mail, although we dont get much anymore. The last thing I do is to turn on our security system. Then its off to warmer weather.
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Old 04-22-2022, 04:20 PM
  #13

For 4 days I put a hold on my mail and my neighbor feeds my cats so someone knows the house is empty. That's about it. When I take the cats, I just go. Might hold the mail, but that's it.
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Leaving town
Old 04-22-2022, 04:57 PM
  #14

If it’s less than 4 days, we might ask a neighbor to collect our mail.

More than that, we have a house sitter.
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This almost happened to us...this week!
Old 04-22-2022, 05:00 PM
  #15

Quote:
When I was little our house flooded while we were on vacation. Some tiny part on the toilet broke.
We went away on Saturday. We both really hated the house we were staying in (it was a filthy vrbo) and talked about how much we wanted to go home on Sunday night. So, we drove home on Monday....and the kitchen ceiling was leaking! The upstairs toilet has a problem with the little pipe that goes from the wall to the toilet.

We were originally planning on coming home TOMORROW. I hate to think about what would have happened if it were left leaking all those days!

So, I think I will be following a more strict protocol when we leave for vacation. I did stop the mail. We also told our next door neighbors.

Last edited by elsa4409; 04-22-2022 at 05:01 PM.. Reason: forgot to add...
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Old 04-22-2022, 05:10 PM
  #16

I've never heard of calling the police! Do they make rounds and check on their house? Is that a thing?

We don't cancel anything. We have one of our kids take the mail/packages inside and that's it. If they lived too far away, I'd just ask a neighbor. Before our kitty passed in Feb., the kids would come over and take care of her, too.

I do clean the house before I leave. I love coming home to a clean house. Our air/heat is adjustable with our phone, so we can adjust it as needed from anywhere.

Something my parents always taught me was to make sure the toilet finishes running (from a flush) before leaving - so I do that.
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Old 04-22-2022, 05:29 PM
  #17

I also only check my mail once a week so the mail carrier is used to that.

I don’t know why my parents call the police. I guess they do that so if there’s suspicious activity around the house they know no one’s home.
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Old 04-22-2022, 05:45 PM
  #18

We adjust the thermostat, take out trash, put on more locks than if we’re in town and put the alarm on.

If we’re gone more than the weekend we put a hold on the mail.

I usually need it alert a neighbor we’re gone because there’s always some delivery coming.

Quote:
I don’t know why my parents call the police. I guess they do that so if there’s suspicious activity around the house they know no one’s home.
If you let the police know you’re out of town they’ll do a few extra patrols through your area.
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Old 04-22-2022, 05:51 PM
  #19

Depends on how long I'm gone. If it's more than just 2 or 3 days:

Lights on timers
Hold mail
Tell police (they do courtesy checks)
Tell a neighbor
Empty all trash
Adjust thermostats
Leave water dripping (if it's winter months)
Turn off water to washer (we've had a hose burst)

Now I'm going to worry about the toilets!

If it matters, I'm 50.

Funny story, my son and I (he was 10 or 11ish at the time) were flying overseas. A flight got canceled due to weather. We got rescheduled to fly out in the morning. It was bitter, bitter cold. I dreaded taking the shuttle back to longterm parking and didn't have any more cash to tip the driver. Also, I didn't want to deal with resetting the lights, thermostat, and dripping faucets. Didn't seem worth it for a few hours at home in the middle of the night. So we spent the night in the airport instead of driving 30 minutes home.
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Old 04-22-2022, 06:50 PM
  #20

Make sure somebody is feeding the cats (or that they're boarded), lock the doors and go. We have no mail delivery anyway, and the post office holds things for a minimum of two weeks (if we were going longer than that we'd let Darren know to hold it until we got back). I live in a very small, safe community.
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Old 04-22-2022, 07:06 PM
  #21

I am giggling thinking about the officer politely taking that call and then having a good natured laugh about it with a buddy. But idk maybe lots of people do that.

My dad once left a day by day itenerary with contact information for our whole family. He gave it to the neighbors he had barely even met.

If we're gone for a week we adjust the thermostat and DH turns off the water to the washer. Idk why. If something happens there it's already in the basement right beside a drain and a sump pump, but whatever.

We also have the neighbor grab the mail--if she isn't on the trip with us. She's DD best friend and basically a second daughter and we leave her a key. One time she was video chatting with DD and we realized she was hanging out at our house to get away from her siblings
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Oot
Old 04-22-2022, 08:53 PM
  #22

My SIL loves it when we go OOT. She has to visit our dog and hand feed her or she won’t eat until we return. She camps out on our couch and catches up on shows she doesn’t want to pay for at her house. Win-win.

Other than securing SIL for the dog, we don’t alert anyone. I have a “thing” about wanting to return to a clean house and clean sheets, so I’m usually exhausted before my trip even begins.
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Old 04-22-2022, 10:37 PM
  #23

IcrazyTeach, checking on vacant houses is a service our local police department offers. You fill out an online form letting them know the dates you'll be gone, if anyone is expected to be stopping by (such as to feed a pet), what kind of car they drive, if you've left lights on timers, etc. You're also supposed to leave them contact info for someone local who has a key.

They pass by regularly and see if anything looks suspicious.
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Old 04-23-2022, 04:03 AM
  #24

We always tell our neighbor. He keeps an eye on the place. My son lives a half hour away. My grandson likes to play in our yard so they all stop by once a week to pick up the mail and water the plants.

We travel a lot. When we are going to be gone for several months we forward our mail to my son’s house, give the house a good cleaning, and clean out the frig.
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Old 04-23-2022, 04:06 AM
  #25

We mention it to the good neighbors. We tried to keep it from the drug neighbors.

I’ll hold the mail if it is more than a week I’ll be gone, but now that we have a pet sitter I don’t even think that is necessary.
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leaving town
Old 04-23-2022, 04:27 AM
  #26

Leaving town more than 3 days :
hold our mail
tell the neighbor
turn down heat
tidy/clean up the house
turn on timers on light
set indoor Ring system
make sure everything's (doors, windows, sheds, garage) locked up

Less than three days:
everything except hold mail
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Old 04-23-2022, 04:38 AM
  #27

I always cancel the mail. I tell my neighbor to grab any packages that might have been delivered while we are gone. I also turn off the water to the washing machine.
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Old 04-23-2022, 05:04 AM
  #28

For a night or two, other than making triple sure the iron is disconnected, close the door and go.

For more than that:
Have mail held
Stop newspaper (DH is addicted to holing the paper in his hands.)
Turn off washer water.
Adjust heat or turn off air.
Empty dishwasher.
Change sheets day before.
Laundry —
Triple check iron is disconnected.

If we are gone a week or more, one of my sons will come and check the house. In the winter, if it snows they will make sure we can park in the drive and can get into the house.
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Old 04-23-2022, 10:12 AM
  #29

I find someone to take care of my animals. Last few times I went somewhere I was able to get someone to house sit with the animals. That makes life easy.

I always let the next door neighbors know. They are retired and a little weird about watching our street. They would definitely call the cops if they saw a strange person staying at our house. They would also probably call the cops if we all suddenly were gone.

I’ve only had mail delivery for 4 years now, still getting used to it- so never thought to cancel. We don’t have air or heat- we just lock the doors. We might tell Alexa we are leaving (so she goes into her alert or whatever mode).
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Old 04-24-2022, 12:46 PM
  #30

You don't have air conditioning or heat in your house?
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Flooded house
Old 04-24-2022, 03:59 PM
  #31

Quote:
When I was little our house flooded while we were on vacation. Some tiny part on the toilet broke.
Y’all remember years ago when I talked about our campus housing house flooding while we were at the beach? Yeah….the supply line to the toilet broke in the main bathroom. Two inches of water throughout the entire house. We had to move out for a month while they fixed it. Night. Mare.

After that, the school instituted the “h0kie Rule” where anyone going out of town was to turn off the water.

So we add that to our list now. Luckily, in this house it’s really easy. We also hold the mail, empty the trash and fridge, and board the puppers. We used to tell the backyard neighbor but since he passed, we just keep it to ourselves.
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I guess we’re like your parents.
Old 04-24-2022, 05:59 PM
  #32

I have to clean the entire house, you know, in case something happens to us, and other people have to come into our house. 🤭 We stop the mail, tell a neighbor, throw out old food in fridge, and turn the heat/air down. I start making a list of things we need to take ahead of time so we don’t forget anything.
Embarrassing now that I think about it.
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Old 04-24-2022, 06:34 PM
  #33

So, I totally thought that the "calling the police" part was joking/hyperbole! I can't believe they actually do that part! Nor can I imagine a place where the police have extra time to just drive by someone's house because they're on vacation? This must be an extremely small town with no crime!
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Old 04-24-2022, 08:20 PM
  #34

I'm one of the people who asks the police to keep an eye on the house. We don't live in a town but more of a rural/suburban area (just outside the suburb of a largeish city). It's the township police that offer that service.

It's a "community policing" kind of place where the police chief makes funny Facebook posts and officers stop and give free ice cream coupons to kids when they see them wearing bicycle helmets.

Our closest, most trusted neighbors moved away. I don't actually know or trust our newest neighbors. That's when I started taking advantage of the offer and fill out the online form.
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