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Winter Break Prep: Off-Campus Housing Checklist

Tips and a checklist to help students prepare their house for winter break.

As winter break approaches, students residing in off-campus housing have a checklist of tasks to ensure their apartments remain safe and well-maintained. This blog post serves as a guide, offering tips and a checklist to help students prepare their house for winter break.

1. Secure the House

Ensure all windows and doors are securely locked before leaving. Consider additional security measures such as door stoppers or window locks. If you have an alarm, be sure to set it before leaving. Also, consider using timers or motion sensors for lights to give the appearance of activity, deterring potential burglars.

2. Adjust Thermostat and Utilities

Set the thermostat to a lower temperature to conserve energy. Unplug non-essential electronics to prevent energy wastage. Turn off the water while you are away. For exact temperatures and instructions, contact your landlord.

3. Check for Leaks or Plumbing Issues

Inspect faucets, pipes and toilets for leaks. Turn off the main water supply if you'll be away for an extended period. This will help you avoid heavy utility fees and damage to the home while you’re away.

4. Dispose of Perishable Items

Clear the refrigerator of perishable items to prevent mold or odors during the break. Consider donating unopened non-perishable items or giving them away to friends.

5. Clean and Declutter

Do a thorough cleaning to avoid returning to a messy space. Dispose of trash and declutter to create a welcoming environment upon your return. Take an extra step by finishing a load of laundry and changing your sheets so you come home to a fresh space.

6. Inform the Landlord or Property Manager

Notify your landlord or property manager of your absence and provide emergency contact information if necessary. You should also share emergency contacts with trusted neighbors or friends and keep them informed of your absence.

7. Check Smoke Detectors and Fire Extinguishers

Ensure smoke detectors are functioning properly and replace batteries if needed. Keep a functional fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location.

8. Arrange Mail and Deliveries

Hold mail delivery or ask a neighbor to collect mail and packages to avoid piling up. This will avoid theft or the signaling of your absence. If you know you are leaving for an extended break, avoid ordering packages or send them to your temporary address.

Preparing your off-campus housing for the winter break ensures a smooth transition back after the holidays. By following this checklist and taking necessary precautions, students can leave their apartments secure. Take these steps to heart, and enjoy your winter break with the assurance that your off-campus home is in good order, ready to welcome you back for a refreshing start to the new semester.

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