As the winter months start to turn into spring, thousands of winter visitors are looking to pack up their winter homes and head back north for the summer.
Splitting the year between two homes can get complicated, though, especially when it comes to shutting one house down and moving on to another. It’s imperative that you get your home ready to sit vacant during the intense heat of an Arizona summer. In this article, we will walk you through an easy-to-follow process for shutting down your winter home and knowing what to take with you and what to store.
Shut Everything Down
If you’re a typical winter visitor, you’re most likely leaving your home vacant for about six months. That’s why it’s more cost-effective to suspend some services while you’re away. Before leaving town, suspend your cable and internet services to help eliminate unnecessary costs. While your gas and electricity should remain on, unplugging your appliances and turning your hot water heater off will help reduce their costs.
Before you leave, make sure to replace batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Right before leaving, turn off the main gas valve to your home and the main water valve. Leave the interior doors open in the home so that air can circulate while you’re gone.
Secure Your Home
Houses left vacant for months at a time are vulnerable to not only the natural elements of their location, but they are also vulnerable to vandals and burglars. One precaution you could take is investing in outdoor lighting with motion detectors. These lights will automatically come on if someone is trying to access your home.
Technology can also help you keep your house safe while you’re thousands of miles away. Doorbell cameras are a relatively cheap way to keep an eye on your home. If someone approaches your door, you can be automatically alerted on your phone and see who is there. If you see something suspicious, you can alert authorities in the area.
Finally, make sure your neighbors, who are full-time residents, are aware of your plans. Give them departure and return dates and let them know where they can reach you quickly in case of an emergency. If you’re still worried about security, you can also notify the local police department of your departure.
If you plan on leaving expensive jewelry or important documents behind, arrange for their storage in a safe deposit box at the bank.
Clean Out the Kitchen
When you walk into your winter home six months from now, don’t be blindsided by the smell of something that’s been in your refrigerator a very long time. Make sure to thoroughly clean out your refrigerator before leaving and get rid of any perishable food that you can’t take with you.
If you are keeping your refrigerator running while you’re away to store condiments, frozen items, or other things that will keep for long periods of time, also fill it with bottles of water or pantry items. A full refrigerator actually takes up less energy than an empty refrigerator!
Don’t Forget the Yard
Your outdoor paradise during the winter months should also be prepared for when you’re gone. Trim your trees and bushes prior to leaving. Also, consider hiring a landscaping company to do some maintenance around the home while you’re away. An unkempt lawn can often be the first sign to vandals that no one is currently living in the home.
If you have a pool or a hot tub, make sure to safeguard both of them so that they are not open for accidents to happen or sources of standing water for mosquitos.
Rent Safe Storage for Your Seasonal or Rental Property
Finding a storage unit for the extra things you won’t be taking with you can give you peace of mind and keep you from lugging all the extra belongings that you can’t store in your winter home up to your summer home. This could include seasonal clothing, items that might be sensitive to heat, extra golf clubs, golf carts, and outdoor patio furniture.
Callbox Storage in Phoenix can help take the hassle out of storing your things for you. With pick up and drop-off, you never have to worry about getting access to your storage unit. With options from closet size to the size of your entire home, Callbox Storage can ensure all of your most loved belongings are safe and secure while you’re away for the summer. When you're ready to return, just let us know what you want and when, and we'll deliver it back to you!
Contact one of our storage experts today to discuss how we can help you get your Arizona retreat ready for the summer with ease and convenience!