Going on Vacation? The 9 Tasks You Must Do Before Leaving

things to do before leaving for vacationVacations are fun to embark upon, especially when you’re taking your friends, family or loved ones along for the ride. You’ll not only see beautiful scenery and experience new things, but you’ll also be given time to recharge away from work and the daily grind.

Sadly, you can’t just pack your bags and run. You must take care of some very important tasks before you drive off into the sunset, otherwise you might come back feeling more stressed out and strapped for cash than you did before you left! Check out our list below of the 9 essential tasks you NEED to do before leaving for vacation!

*Stop The Mail – Before you leave, make sure you tell the post office to temporarily stop your mail, that way it won’t be left in a huge pile in your mailbox! Piles and piles of mail can also attract thieves to your home. If nothing else, you can ask a close friend or relative to take care of your mail while you’re out.

*Tell the RIGHT People About Your Trip – Taking a vacation is a very exciting event, and while you might want to shout out to everyone, online or in the real world, where you’re going and when, it’s a good idea to refrain from doing so. You never know who could hear the news and take advantage of your absence. Be sure to simply tell trust friends and family where you’re going and when so they can contact you in case of emergencies. Also, be sure to keep your emergency contacts up to date in case there’s an emergency on YOUR end while you’re gone!

*Pay the Bills – “Why do I need to pay the bills? I have so many other things to do!” you ask. Oh, trust us – you’ll thank us when you come home! When you pay your bills, you’ll feel more relaxed on vacation, and you won’t have to come home to any outstanding bills … or having your water or power shut off.

*Check Out the Fridge – Before you go, make sure that you don’t have any perishables in your fridge that will spoil while you’re out. You might also wish to turn up the fridge’s temperature a few degrees so you can help save a bit more money on your energy bill.

*Take Care of Your Plants – Don’t just take care of your house – take care of the living things inside (and outside) your home, too! Be sure to water your plants with plenty of water before you take off, and move them in the appropriate amount of light if you can so they won’t wither while you’re on vacation.

*Crank Up the A/C! No one will be around to enjoy the cool air conditioning, so why not turn it up a few degrees? You can save money and energy when you do this, and you can also take out some of the extra moisture in your home so you’ll discourage the growth of mold!

*Put Your Lights on a Timer – You should make sure that all of your lights are off before you leave, of course. But consider putting only a few lights on a timer to switch on and off at various times while the other lights remain off. Timers can help steer any possible intruders and thieves away from your temporarily vacant home.

*Unplug Your Electronics – Doing so will not only save you some more money on your power bill, but it will also help in avoiding any potential damage that could occur in the event of a power surge occurring while you’re gone! Feel free to unplug small appliances, too.

*Get a Good Night’s Sleep – Last but not least, be sure to get enough shut-eye before you leave for vacation (yes, even if you’re extremely excited about the trip). After all, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driving while drowsy is a contributing factor in 100,000 accidents every year. So get everything done beforehand and get to bed earlier so you can get the sleep that you need!

Want more tips on how to protect your home while you’re out? No problem! Just give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298 or check us out online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see what we can do for you! Be safe and have a great vacation!

Do You Have Bad Neighbors? Or Are YOU a Bad Neighbor?

bad neighborsAh, neighbors. You either love ‘em or you hate ‘em. If you’re lucky enough, you are surrounded by good neighbors (or, if you yourself aren’t a people person, you’re surrounded by no neighbors at all!). But every now and then we are “blessed” with challenging neighbors. Slowly, we begin to find ourselves at the edge of tearing our own hair out or even packing up and moving away just to get away from them.

But what if it’s not YOUR neighbors who are bad, but rather it’s YOU? Then what do you do? How can you tell if YOU are the good neighbor or the bad neighbor?

That’s why we here at The Massey Team have compiled a list containing all the traits and actions an annoying or bad neighbor has or does. See if you’re a bad neighbor or a good one!

Lawn Woes – Does your yard look like a jungle? Do you feel like you need to invest in a machete to cut through the grass so you can find your way from the driveway to your front door? If your yard frequently looks untended or overgrown or if you simply hardly ever mow your lawn, then you may very well be considered a bad neighbor, especially if your surrounding neighbors keep well-manicured lawns complete with plants and mulch.

Party Animal – It’s not such a bad thing if you frequently have people over at your home for a casual get-together or even a mild party. But when your guests are parking in others’ driveways or all over the street so no one else can park, or if they are blocking your neighbors’ driveways, you could be receiving some animosity from your neighbors soon. Also, if you’re always blaring your music or being obnoxiously loud, you could be considered a nuisance. So tone it down and make sure your guests know where they need to park.

Bad Communication – Here’s a hint. If you plan on building a fence, be sure to talk to your neighbors first about property lines and potential issues the future fence could cause. For example, if your neighbor plants roses on the edge of her yard, you might want to ask her if she’d be okay with your fence being there, especially if it could possibly rob her roses of light and cause them to droop. Trust us – your neighbors will appreciate your consideration!

Noisy Pets – Nearly everyone loves dogs. They’re soft, cute, cuddly, fun to play with, and they make great companions. No one, however, likes a noisy dog that barks and howls, especially if said barking occurs in the wee morning hours and wakes the neighbors. If you have outside pets, consider training or figure out the cause of their barking behavior. If you let your inside pets out to do their business daily, be sure to not leave them outside for a long time unsupervised.

Nosey Neighbor – Nobody likes someone who sticks their nose in others’ business. Don’t be the person who sits inside the house all day long staring sneakily through the blinds, watching your neighbors. And don’t come out only to complain about your neighbors’ activities or to say, “Sooooo, what are YOU up to?” That will win you zero friends.

Enchanting Ghost – Charm and annoyance are part of being a neighbor. It comes with the turf – familiarity tends to breed contempt. Maybe one time you thought that your neighbors’ kids running through the sprinkler was cute but now you complain that your neighbors can’t control their kids.

But in all reality, the worst sort of neighbor isn’t the one who parties too hard or doesn’t care about the lawn at all or has zero interest in landscaping. The worst sort of neighbor is the type that keeps to him or herself a bit TOO much. This neighbor lives at the gym, work, maybe another’s home – anywhere but his or her own home.

A typical neighbor can be seen walking the dog, raking the yard, painting a door, or tending the flowers. They come out and offer comfort to other neighbors when another neighbor has been taken to the hospital or to the grave. They celebrate the birth of a new neighbor’s life with cake and balloons. The share gossip –both the bad and the good.

The bottom line – neighbors aren’t mysterious ghosts who occasionally haunt their own houses. They are real, live beings who take a part in the community and neighborhood.

So all in all, how should you be a better neighbor? Take pride in your home and lawn by caring for it frequently. Be friendly with your neighbors. Make your house a home. And don’t simply reside in your neighborhood – LIVE in your neighborhood.

If you’re happening to look for a home to call your own in a good neighborhood, don’t hesitate to call us right away here at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298. Visit us also at our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see available homes in a neighborhood you want to join!