25 Checklist for Closing your Home for the Summer!

summer checklist




Homeowners who are leaving for an extended vacation or the entire summer need to take steps to protect their home.  Desert locals  share these 25 steps they take to protect their homes:

summer checklist

  1. Local homeowners differ on whether to turn the air conditioner off or leave it at a high setting, but all agree to make sure it doesn't run constantly.
  2. Clean food out of refrigerators, freezers and cupboards.
  3. Lock all doors and windows.
  4. Unplug all appliances, TVs, lamps, radios, washers, dryers and small electronics.
  5. Close all blinds and curtains.
  6. Set lights and sprinklers on timers.
  7. Enlist a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on the property or hire a property management company.
  8. If applicable, notify the homeowners association that the home will be vacant and provide them with emergency contact information.
  9. Arrange landscaping and pool care.Use earthquake safety straps and brackets to attach heavy furniture to walls.
  10. To help add moisture to furniture, place buckets of water throughout the home.summer checklist
  11. Close drains.
  12. Turn off inside water valves to the washer, under sinks and at toilets.
  13. Turn the water heater to the “vacation” setting.
  14. Turn off telephone ringers.
  15. Bring in outdoor furniture.
  16. Take out all trash.
  17. Strip beds to allow mattresses to air out.
  18. Vacuum carpets and floors to ensure that no sources of food remain for vermin.
  19. Take all small valuables with you.
  20. Arrange for mail forwarding, and stop the newspaper.
  21. Put candles and clothing items with elastic — bathing suits, undergarments, etc. — in the refrigerator to prevent the heat from destroying them.
  22. Lay lamps on the ground to prevent breakage in the event of an earthquake.
  23. Oil wooden furniture.
  24. Cover furniture with tarps to protect from dust and/or plastic in the event of a roof leak.



Kathy Schowe   760.333.8886  

California Lifestyle Realty  California Lifestyle Realty     SchoweProperties.com                                               



Comment balloon 18 commentsKathy Schowe • April 30 2012 01:38PM


Very well timed post!  Every time we leave on vacation there's a review of all the things we need to do.

Posted by Bryan Robertson about 7 years ago

I think every state has to tweak their check list of things to do before leaving for the summer.

Posted by Sussie Sutton, UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers. (UTR Texas Realtors) about 7 years ago

Sussie-- You are right!  This list is very Desertcentric!  Can you imagine leaving buckets of water around in your south Texas house?  :-)  K

Posted by Kathy Schowe, La Quinta, California 760-333-8886 (California Lifestyle Realty) about 7 years ago

Viva la difference!  As a South Carolinian, I had to read your list through a couple of times.  The buckets of water to keep wood furniture moist was hilarious, and I don't even want to know why you "close the drains!"

Posted by Teresa Cooper, SC Lowcountry - Charleston, Dorchester, Berkeley (Home Solution Real Estate Services) about 7 years ago

Teresa-- You better believe it is a whole different world here!  We close the drains to keep our ants, and other bugs.... or anything else that comes up!  :-)  K

Posted by Kathy Schowe, La Quinta, California 760-333-8886 (California Lifestyle Realty) about 7 years ago
It is good to have a list to also open and close a vacation house so nothing slips through the cracks!
Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) about 7 years ago

Our neighbors next door and across the street are from Arizona. They check in here during the summer when it's so hot over in Arizona. So their homes here are vacant for about six months a year. Same for their homes over in Arizona.

Posted by Jim Frimmer, Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist (HomeSmart Realty West) about 7 years ago

Hi Kathy...Great idea to make up a list of thing to do when leaving your home vacant during the hot Summer months...This would apply anywhere where it gets really Hot in the Summer.


Posted by Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation, Accredited Real Estate Consultant (RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate) about 7 years ago

Great post. Some very useful ideas that I would never have thought about.  Clearly you have lots of experience in this market.  Have a wonderful rest of the summer!

Posted by Laura Murray, Search Montgomery Co., MD for homes www.MDRealEstateOnline.com (Weichert) almost 7 years ago
Kathy-great info and it reminds me that blogging is the art of sharing good content and content of interest, which is something I need to concentrate on for my blogs so I thank umfor that inspiration!
Posted by Kevin Green, Residential & Equine Properties (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services) almost 7 years ago

Thanks for the post.... We just bought a property in Palm Springs & this list will come in very helpful.

Posted by Brian Becker almost 7 years ago

Nice post. We are on the East Coast in Ocean City, MD and our folks are the snowbirds that close up for the winter and head to Florida or Arizona, so our check lists are a little different as you said.  Checklists are especially good when you have guests staying in your vacation home as well.

Posted by Sharon Curtiss, Search for Ocean City Maryland Area Homes for Sale (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty) almost 7 years ago

We have a hard time convincing snowbirds to leave thier AC on and set at or just below 80 degrees. Some even turn off power when they leave even when they are trying to sell! I also recommend leaving plain charcoal briquets in closets to absorb moisture. 

Result of no AC in summer is mold. Very expensive to get rid of.

Great contact idea!


Posted by Martha Matthews Vasquez almost 7 years ago

Very comprehensive list. I never thought about placing some clothing in the refrigerator or leaving buckets of water for the furniture to get humidity.

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) almost 7 years ago

Good morning Kathy,

Boy is this a timely post with many leaving on vacations! I had never heard to put buckets of water around the house to add humidity..great tip!!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) almost 7 years ago

Great list!  I like to tell my clients to leave bowls of baking soda out to absorb odors.  Plus a few drop so vinegar in drains can keep the nasty, vacant smell away.  Great job!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) almost 7 years ago

Kathy what a great checklist, thanks for putting it together

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) over 5 years ago

Great List to work from - here in Massachusetts we close up vacation homes for the winter LOL.  I will put my list together too - thank you for the good food for thought post!

Posted by MaryBeth Mills Muldowney, Massachusetts Broker Owner (TradeWinds Realty Group LLC) over 3 years ago