Heading away for a while? Perhaps you’re taking a long holiday, visiting some family interstate, or even working abroad for a year. Either way, bidding goodbye to your stuff can be hard (especially the TV and the Wi-Fi modem).

The biggest thing you have to say fare thee well to is your home. Here are some things you can do to keep your place safe and travel with fewer worries.

 

Let a Neighbour Know

Neighbours Talking

Tell your neighbour about your plans to depart so they can keep an eye on things. Depending on how much you trust them, you could also give them a spare key to your house. Either way, make sure they know how to reach you in case of an emergency (like if their dog does a new acrobatic trick and they need to send you the video ASAP).

Note: We know not everyone is BFFs with their neighbours. Have you only ever spoken to your neighbour via an anonymous, passive-aggressive letter about their noisy showboating dog? Maybe try a friend or family member instead.

 

Install a Timer on Your Lights

You know what screams “I’m not home – come and steal my stuff”? A house that stays dark for a few nights – or weeks – in a row.

Thanks to technology, there are heaps of gadgets and doodads you can buy to automatically turn on your lights and keep your house looking lived-in while you’re away. What an age we live in.

 

Keep Your Lawn Tidy

Close-up of lawn mower keeping grass tidy

A lawn that hasn’t been mowed in a while is another tell-tale sign of an empty house. (Or maybe you just have other things on your mind and mowing the lawn isn’t a priority right now – we’re not judging.)

Ask that same neighbour, friend or family member to maintain your lawn while you’re away, and tell them there’s a hot meal in it for them. It’s up to you whether or not you actually deliver on the hot meal.

 

Hold Your Mail

The same goes for your letterbox. If it’s overflowing with mail, you’re pretty much announcing to the world that no one is around.

Get the post office to hold onto your mail while you’re away, and put a temporary stop to any newspaper deliveries or magazine subscriptions while you’re at it. Your next copy of Australian BirdKeeper will just have to wait.

 

Lock Up

Close-up of locked shed with padlock

This may seem like an obvious one, but we’re not just talking the front door. Make sure any side doors, back doors, and windows are locked too.

And don’t forget the garage and the garden shed. The last thing you need is someone taking off with your favourite pair of hedge trimmers.

 

Get a Security Alarm

For real peace of mind, install a security alarm. Let your security alarm company know the dates you’ll be away, and make sure the alarms are set and working when you leave.

Just don’t forget to give that neighbour, friend or family member the alarm code.

 

Store Your Valuables

Passive Aggressive Plant

Move all your *really* valuable things into a storage unit. Leave your passive-aggressive plants at home to teach them a lesson.

So you just can’t shake the image of your expensive TV or sentimental jewellery being nicked while you’re gone. Don’t fret. Get your valuable items out of your home and into a storage unit.

A self-storage unit makes the perfect temporary home for those large or valuable items you don’t want sitting around your home while you’re away.

 

If you’re heading overseas for a long-term adventure, be even more prepared for your travels with these tips.