How To Prepare Your Home For the Holidays
(This blog post was updated in November 2020)
Counting down the days until your holidays start? There is more to just packing your bags and hitting the road before the R 'n R commences. To ensure you come back from your break relaxed and staying that way, spend a little time pre-holidays to prepare your home.
Pets, security and the garden all need to be taken care of while you are away. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make sure your animals are well cared for, your home is secure and your garden survives. Here is an outline of how to prepare before you log off and take off.
Consider what to do with your furry friends
If you have found a holiday home that is happy to take pets, then the problem sorted. If not, you have to consider what to do with your furry friends.
For cats and dogs that aren't too anxious, then sending them to a boarding kennel is the easiest solution. Do a bit of research and get recommendations to ensure the kennel you choose is reputable. It might even be worth a trip out to look at the facilities before you confirm to give you peace of mind.
Pets that are happier to stay at home might need the services of a professional pet-sitter, if you can't call on a friend or relative to help. This person should visit your cat or dog twice a day and provide the food and exercise routines required. If they need any medication or have phobias, make sure the minder is aware of this and leave your vet's contact details.
Relaxed pets should be happy to stay with family or friends while you are away. Make sure it is someone you can trust and rely that your furry friend will be treated well while you are on holidays.
Ensure your home is secure
Before you shut the door behind you and head off to a blissful break, ensure your home is secure. Talk to your trusted neighbours and let them know how long you will be away for. Ask them to keep an eye out for anything unusual happening at your property. If you have a good relationship, you could also ask them to bring in your mail and rubbish bins.
Double-check everything is locked securely and put some lights on automatic switches for a few hours each evening. A small radio going in the kitchen also creates a bit of noise to deter intruders.
Cancel any regular deliveries so you don't have boxes or newspapers piling up at your doorstep. Finally, have a chat with the kids and tell them not to post any information about your holiday on social media channels. This is just an ad letting a huge number of people know your house is empty.
Make sure your garden stays green
After spending most of the year tending and nurturing your garden, you don't want to go away and come back to dead plants. So here is some invaluable advice on how to keep your garden green.
- Group potted plants together so that watering is easy if someone minds your garden. Place saucers underneath tender potted plants like hydrangeas, which dry out quickly in hot conditions. The saucer will catch excess water, and there should be enough remaining for the plants to draw on during hot days. Remove the saucers when you return.
- Move tender plants into a shaded position outdoors where they will benefit from any natural rainfall. Spray plants and seedlings with an application of Yates® Waterwise™ Droughtshield™. This helps reduce water loss from the leaves and increase the plants' chances of survival during stress conditions.
- Use a soil wetter around the root zone in garden beds will help get water down where needed, by breaking down the waxy water repellant layer that can develop on the soil surface. Plants can take advantage of any natural rainfall, as water will soak into the soil instead of running off the surface.
- Group indoor plants together in a well-lit bathroom. The bath or the laundry sink is a good spot. Water them well and put a wet towel under the base of the pots helps if you are away for longer than a week or so.
- Mow the lawn before you leave but don’t be tempted to mow it too low as longer lawns dry out less and stay greener in summer.
Hopefully, your garden will still be looking good when you return from a well-earned break.
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