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Holiday travel season is upon us, and between weather concerns, flight delays and getting your stuff from point A to point B, it’s worth doing all you can to take any of your worries off of your plate. By hiring a house sitter, you can rest assured that everything is safe and sound back home. Be sure to take the following measures to ensure that your house sitter is fully prepared.

Store Valuables & Firearms

While packing for your trip may be your main priority, take some time to also pack up your valuables and store them in a safe place. This includes any cash, jewelry, family heirlooms or any items you can’t part with; lock them all away in a hidden safe or another inconspicuous hiding spot.

If you have any firearms in your home, be sure to keep them locked in a gun safe. Keep any ammunition locked in the safe as well.

 

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Provide a Passcode List

Create a list of all of the passcodes that your house sitter may need while you are away. This should include your Wi-Fi password, the garage code, any gate codes and the code to disarm and arm your home security system.

Avoid giving your personal security code to your house sitter and instead create a personalized code that he or she can use. That way, if you ever suspect that someone has had unauthorized access in your home, you can review the code entry records and more easily identify who was in your house.

If you don’t already have a home security system, now is the time to get one. Opt for a comprehensive system that includes security cameras that you can access online and view from anywhere in realtime so that you can check in on things at home periodically.

Disable Smart Speakers and Accounts Linked on Your TV

If you have an Amazon Echo or a Google Home smart speaker, disable it before your departure. Without doing so, you are giving your house sitter unfettered access to your Amazon or Google accounts, and he or she could easily rack up purchases without your permission. Same goes for your entertainment apps on your Apple TV or Amazon Firestick.

Alert Everyone

Alert your neighbors, local family members and friends that you will have a house sitter minding your home while you are away. Have them keep an eye on things as well to be sure that you house sitter is following the basic rules you have established, like not having guests over or when to take out the trash and recycling bins.

Maintain transparency with your house sitter on this matter so that he or she is clear on the expectations. Provide your house sitter with a list of emergency contact numbers as well, so that he or she knows who to get in touch with locally in the event of various emergency scenarios.

Adjusting Energy Usage

Program your thermostat before leaving so that it remains at a comfortable, yet energy-efficient temperature while you are away. Turn down the water heater slightly to avoid energy waste. Adjust the timers on your lighting, both indoors and outdoors, and on your lawn sprinkler system to ensure that your property looks occupied and well-maintained at all times. While you could entrust your house sitter to do all of these things, it’s best to automate them in advance to take one less responsibility off of his or her place.

With a little planning and preparation, you can set your house sitter up for success. And their success is your success, as it will mean you get to enjoy your time away without having to worry about what is going on at home.