Home for the Holidays: Do These Things Before You Leave

The holidays are great if you are a college student, since you get to go home and take a small break from working on essays and exams. Before you leave your apartment and head home, there are a few things you should take care of. Try to do the following things before you leave for winter break to ensure everything will be in order when you return for the new semester.

What to Do Before You Leave Your Off-Campus Rental

Secure Your Apartment & Hide Valuables

Key in Door Lock

The first thing you should do is make sure that all the doors and windows in your apartment are securely locked before you leave. If you don’t properly lock up your apartment, someone could break in and steal your stuff. You don’t want to come back after winter break and find out that an important possession of yours was stolen.

Generally, it is not a good idea leave anything valuable inside your apartment while you are away. If you have to leave something important behind, make sure you keep it out of sight. Even if all the doors and windows to your apartment are locked, thieves may try to break in if they see something valuable inside. You should also close the curtains when you leave, as this will help keep expensive items out of sight.

Pile of Letters

Before you leave, you should let your local mailman know that you won’t be back for a while. You don’t want to let your mailbox overflow with letters while you are away, so try to get your local post office to hold your mail.

This tip actually goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip about securing your apartment. Since you might not come back to your apartment for a while, your mailbox could get stuffed up if you don’t tell the post office to hold your mail. An overflowing mailbox will make it pretty obvious that no one is home, and could make your apartment a prime target for thieves.

Turn Off Unnecessary Electronics, But Leave the Heat On

Wall Outlet

Before you leave, it would be a good idea to turn off unnecessary electronic devices. You don’t need to leave things like televisions, computers, microwaves and empty refrigerators plugged in while you are away, so make sure they are unplugged. If you leave these devices on while you are away, you could end up with a pretty hefty electric bill.

In addition, you should turn the heat down before heading out, and not turn it off completely. If you leave the heat off during winter break, the pipes in your apartment could be at risk of freezing or bursting. If this happens, your residence could be severely damaged, and you will have to pay a good amount of money to get everything fixed. This is a lot worse than having to pay a little extra money for your heating bill.

Ensure that You Have Renters Insurance

While all residents of Aspen Communities properties are required to have renters insurance, think about how your current coverage would protect you. Double-check your current policy to see if you’re protected from floods, emergencies, etc. This is especially important for times like the holidays, where you may be away from your apartment for a long time. You can visit effectivecoverage.com to find a policy that suits you.

Take Out All Your Garbage

Garbage Bins

You should make sure you throw away all the trash in your apartment before you leave. Throw out any old food you have in your refrigerator, dump all your garbage into bags and take it all out to a nearby dumpster. This may not seem like something you should worry about, but if you do not throw out your garbage before you leave your apartment, you may have some serious repercussions to deal with when you return.

Garbage does not have a pleasant smell, especially when it consists of things like rotten food. If you forget to take out the garbage before you leave, you could be greeted by an unbearable stench upon your return. Not only that, the smell of the garbage could attract insects and rodents, and it won’t be fun trying to get rid of them.

Pay Your Monthly Rent

Dollar Bills with Envelope

You may not be at your apartment during winter break, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about paying your monthly rent. You still have to pay the rent at the end of December, and it is easy to forget about making this payment when you are caught up in the rush of the holidays. The last thing you want to do is return to college only to find out you’ve accumulated an enormous late fee because you forgot about the rent over break.

You should try to send off your rental payment before you leave for winter break. That way, your accounts will be completely up-to-date, and you can have fun during the holidays without the need to worry about late fees.

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