It’s March in Ithaca, which means Spring Break right around the corner! Whether you’re a Cornell or IC student jetting away from prelims and group projects, or a full-time resident escaping the Ithaca winter, you’re probably counting down the days until you can leave your apartment and enjoy your vacation. Before you head out, make sure to follow these quick, easy steps so that your home is cozy and safe while you’re away!


Tip 1: Clean Up

No one wants to come home after a long vacation to a messy apartment. Before you take off, prep your apartment by wiping down your countertops, putting away any laundry, and making your bed. Nothing is more enjoyable than crawling into your neatly made bed after a long day of traveling. Do the work now and you’ll thank yourself when you get back!


Tip 2: Throw Away Old Food

Check your fridge before you leave for vacation. Make sure to take note of expiration dates and to get rid of any foods that are expired or will be over the duration of your trip. Your nose and taste buds will thank you. Oh, and don’t forget to take the trash out while you’re at it!


Tip 3: Phone a Friend…

Or your landlord or neighbor to let them know you’ll be away. It’s always a smart idea to let someone know that your apartment will be empty for a while so that they can periodically check on your apartment and make sure everything is alright. If you’re away for an extended period of time, you may even consider hiring a house sitter.


Tip 4: Unplug Electronics

Save energy (and your utility bill)! Since you won’t be using them, there’s no need for them to be plugged in. Unplugging conserves energy and reduces the risk of any electrical malfunctions while you’re not around to catch them.


Tip 5: Turn Off Your Lights

Again, let’s not forget about conserving energy! If you don’t want your house to be completely dark while you’re away, you can set up a timer so that your lights go on and off throughout the day – as if someone was still home.


Tip 6: Adjust Your Thermostat

There’s no need for your apartment to be 75 degrees while you’re away. Try lowering it to around 60 degrees – cool enough as to save energy and lower your utility bill, but warm enough that you don’t freeze any pipes.


Tip 7: Got Pets?

Heading off without your pet(s)? No problem! There are a lot of options for getting your furry friend taken care of while you’re away. If you don’t have a good friend or family member who is available to pet sit, Ithaca has full of professional pet boarders and sitters who would love to watch your pets for you. A lot of them will even send you photos to show you how much fun your pets are having without you 😉

Tip 8: Hold Your Mail

Sometimes, it’s the little things that make life easier. Imagine not having to come home to an overflowing mailbox, or a huge pile of old mail to sort through. All you have to do is ask the Ithaca post office to pause your mail deliveries until you get back. Submit a hold mail request online and you’ll be ready to go.


Tip 9: Lock up!

Lock up any valuables and lastly your windows and doors to ensure your home is safe and make sure you know where all your keys are!


Tip 10: Enjoy your time away from home!

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