South and Hickory Facade

Preparing Your Apartment for Vacation

Woman sitting on bed packing a suitcase. Image credit: Timur Weber.

May 2024


So, you’re about to take off on an adventure, leaving your apartment behind to fend for itself. But wait! Before you zip up that suitcase and dash out the door, let’s make sure you prep your apartment. Here are 10 things to do before you say “arrivederci.”

Tell the Right People

Let the leasing office and a trustworthy neighbor know you’re leaving town, where you’ll be, and how to get in touch with you. This way, someone can keep an eye on your place and knows how to reach you if needed.


Check your windows and doors to be sure they are closed and locked. You don’t want to a rainstorm, heavy wind, or burglars to visit while you’re away.

Social Media Silence

We get it, you’re excited about your trip! But broadcasting on social media that you’re out of town is like putting up a neon sign saying, “Come rob me, please!” Keep those vacation pics offline until you’re back to keep your apartment off the radar of any unwanted visitors.

Mail Mountain

Avoid an overflowing mailbox by putting your mail on hold or having a trusted neighbor collect it. Pausing your mail is easy to do at this USPS website. And if you do a lot of your shopping online, be careful about what you purchase leading up to your vacation and try to avoid having deliveries come while you’re gone.

Thermostat Check

If you’re not going to be at home, there’s no need to keep the temperature set where you normally do. There’s no need to completely shut it off – especially in winter – but just adjust the temperature up or down accordingly.

Garbage Out

Nothing says “welcome home” like the aroma of week-old trash. Take your garbage before you leave to avoid a smelly surprise or an impromptu pest party upon your return.

Disposal Run

Be sure to clear your sink of any food remnants and run the disposal one last time. You don’t want to come back to a science experiment in your sink.

Tidy Up

Give your apartment a quick cleaning. Dishes done, surfaces wiped, and laundry stashed. Chances are, you’ll be a bit tired when you get back and you’re future self will thank you for leaving things tidy.

Plant Care

If you’ve got houseplants, make sure they’re taken care of. Water them before you leave and either set up a simple self-watering system or have a friend stop by to water them. You don’t want to return to a home botanical bummer.

The Final Walkthrough

You’re probably forgetting something. Do one last sweep of your apartment before you leave. Check the locks, the stove, the taps, and the lights, etc. Then go have some fun!