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Many Canadians save their vacation time to escape the cold weather. If you’re planning to leave town, here’s how you should prepare your property so it remains in shape and damage-free upon your return.

Arrange plant care. While you’re away, you’ll want to have a friend or hired help take care of and water your indoor plants. Coming home to dead leaves all over your floor is no way to return from a vacation. 

Throw away garbage and donate perishable items. It’s easy to forget to do this before you leave, but rotting garbage can leak and cause damage to your home that will not only smell bad, but could be costly to repair. Same goes for any perishable food items. Rather than let them rot away and make a mess of your fridge, donate them to someone who can use them. 

Unplug appliances. If you have time beforehand, cleaning out your refrigerator and completely unplugging it while you’re away is a great way to air it out. It’s a good idea to unplug other major appliances as well, as they’re using electricity even if they’re not running.

It’s also in your best interest to turn off the water supply to ensure you avoid any potential leaks that could create costly water damage upon your return.

Secure your home properly. If you don’t already have a security system in place, now’s the time to consider installing one. If you do, now’s the time to test it to ensure it’s still in working order and nothing is malfunctioning. Give your emergency key to a trusted family member or friend. Ensure all windows and doors are locked and secured.