Give Your Home a Summer Vacation


I have an awesome electric company!

That statement does not have much to do with this blog post. Except if you lived through the electrical outages in the DC area recently, when it was pushing 100 degrees. We never lost power and that’s why I love them.

But, today’s ideas come from an article that I read in my recent Cooperative Living magazine, which is published by my electric company, NOVEC.

When you leave for vacation, whether it is a long weekend or a month-long trip, you should give your house a vacation too. It will help your wallet and your homes security while you are away.

Before you leave:

  • Inside, turn off most lights, except for two or three on timers. Use a light sensor on your outdoor lamp-post, so they will go on automatically at dusk and stay on all night.
  • Reset you air conditioner thermostat to 85-90 degrees. You’ll save on your electric bill.
  • Adjust the refrigerator temperature from 42 to 40 degrees. The food will stay cold, since no one is home to open the  door.
  • Adjust your water heater’s temperature as well.
  • Unplug appliances and other devices, like the microwave, computers, printers, TVs and DVD players.
  • Close window blinds and shades to block the suns rays.
When you leave for vacation, whether it is a long weekend or a month-long trip, you should give your house a vacation too. Click To Tweet

Extra home security measures:

  • Plug a radio into a timer, so it plays at times throughout the day. The sound of regular activity inside your home may deter an intruder.
  • Have the post office hold your mail and suspend your newspaper delivery or ask a trusted neighbor to collect them for you.
  • Hire someone to mow and water your lawn.
  • Give a friend a house key and your contact information, in case of emergency and ask them to check on your house periodically.
  • Don’t post your vacation plans or photos on social media sites while you are away from home. Wait til you get back from your vacation.
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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Janet Barclay on July 1, 2019 at 6:52 am

    I wonder what is the advantage of turning up the temperature on the AC instead of just turning it off.

    • Janet Schiesl on July 1, 2019 at 12:56 pm

      I guess it depends on where you live. The humidity is so bad where I live that I would never turn the A/C off.

  2. Linda Samuels on July 1, 2019 at 9:11 am

    I love this premise of giving your house a vacation too. Some of the things you suggested we do, but I never thought about adjusting the refrigerator temperature or unplugging the microwave, computers, or printers. I shut down my computer and printer but don’t unplug them. All good things to consider.

    • Janet Schiesl on July 1, 2019 at 12:58 pm

      Thanks Linda. It always seems that I am super busy getting ready for a vacation, but some of the things I am doing are for the house to prep for my return.

  3. Seana Turner on July 1, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    Very smart to think this through! My husband always installs extra security cameras around and inside the house when we are going to be away. He can watch them from his computer. Seems to make him happy:) Here is one I learned from Garde Robe: Open your closet doors so air keeps circulating. When we are living in the space, we are opening the doors as part of normal operations. But good to leave them open when we are away to keep the clothing “healthy.”

  4. Janet Schiesl on July 1, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    Thanks Seana. I never heard that tips before, but it makes sense.

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