Your Ultimate Home Checklist Before Going On Vacation

The days leading up to a big vacation is an exciting — and also slightly chaotic — time. There are a number of things to get out of the way before you can jet off to your destination: Packing your bags, sorting out your visa application, and setting up your out of office message, to name a few. With so many things on your plate and the mad dash to get out of town, it's easy to forget that your household needs some pre-holiday prepping too.

We're not only talking about ways to secure your empty pad and avoid a Home Alone situation, but also the quick household chores to make sure you're coming back to a hospitable nest. With the help from a team of experts at Wink, a smart home platform, we've created an essential checklist of all the necessary steps to take before you head out the door to keep your apartment sanitary and secure in your absence.

Illustrated by Abbie Winters
Locking up your place may seem like a no-brainer, but a surprising number of people forget to do it when they leave town. The same goes for switching the lights off.

According to a recent Smart Home Index survey from Wink, 57% of Americans have forgotten to do a routine household task, like locking the door, after leaving their home in the last six months. That’s over 141 million people who've committed the faux pas.

Stick a post-it note by your door so you won't forget these essential tasks when you're in a hurry.
Illustrated by Abbie Winters
Home Sitter, a new free service in the Wink app, turns your smart lights on and off in a natural, human cadence — so it always looks like somebody's home. It's a genius tech interpretation of that classic Home Alone party scene, sans the cardboard Michael Jordan cutout.
Illustrated by Abbie Winters
Coming home to moldy clothes that have been mistakenly forgotten in the washing machine is not the nicest feeling in the world. If you don’t have time to toss your washing in the dryer, spread them out around the house — so they can air dry when you’re away.
Illustrated by Abbie Winters
Keep tabs on what’s happening at home when you’re away with smart cameras like Canary or Arlo. These handy apps will keep you in the loop of what’s happening back home with a series of notifications sent to your phone.
Illustrated by Abbie Winters
Some appliances — such as the fridge, oven, or dishwasher — are a hassle to unplug, but you should try your best to unplug the smaller kitchen devices. Having your toaster, coffee maker, and microwave disconnected can save you a surprising amount of electricity.
Illustrated by Abbie Winters
Your electricity bill can be high during the summer, so make sure your thermostat is set to a money-saving temperature before leaving the house. Smart thermostats like Nest or Honeywell let you adjust the cooling from your smartphone, so you can still control your home temperature while you're away.
Illustrated by Abbie Winters
This one's a doozy, but a surprisingly easy one to forget. No one wants to come home to the potent smell combination of days-old takeout. Be sure to take out the trash before you leave, and toss any perishable goods in your fridge and kitchen cabinets while you're at it.
Illustrated by Abbie Winters
After a long day of traveling, all you'd want to do when you get home is to bury yourself in a cozy, nicely-made bed. Even if you're not a regular bed maker, taking five minutes to prep before taking off is totally worth it — you'll thank us when you're back from a late flight and have to be at work the next day.