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Closing Up Your Desert Home for the Summer

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Prepare to Leave for the Summer - One to Two Weeks Before

In April and May our winter visitors retreat to their northern U.S. and Canadian homes where the summers are not as harsh. If you close up any home for several months there is some preparation involved. Because of the severe heat and monsoon storms in the Arizona desert, there are some extra precautions that are warranted.

Here is a checklist of things to consider before leaving your Phoenix home for the summer months. Some people will do all of these and some people won't. Some people will do everything right and still return to storm damage or water damage, and some people barely think about the consequences of leaving a home in extreme heat and come back to find everything in great shape. I know that when I leave my house, even for short vacations, I am always somewhat relieved when I turn the corner and see it for the first time!

Prepare to Leave for the Summer - One to Two Weeks Before

Some items on your checklist take a bit longer than others. A week or two weeks before your departure date you should consider any of these items that need your attention.
  1. Arrange for your mail and regular deliveries to be stopped or forwarded. I'd do this at least ten days before the effective date.
  2. Notify your telephone, Internet service provider or satellite TV provider to put your service on hold.
  3. Notify any newspapers when you will stop delivery and when to resume.
  4. If you live in an area with an HOA, notify them of your departure date and when you'll be back.
  5. See if there are any local vacation watch programs offered by either your HOA, your local community or your local police department.
  6. Arrange for storage of valuables that you won't be taking with you for the summer. For instance, store jewelry or important documents in a safe deposit box.
  7. Coordinate emptying of refrigerator with trash and recycling pickup. Start eating up the leftovers and cleaning out the refrigerator.
  8. Speaking of trash, start trimming trees and bushes in the yard so you can have that trash picked up before you leave.
  9. Do not drain your hot tub. The heat will damage it. Turn off the heating system for the water, but leave the filtering system on.
  10. Remove any standing water (kiddie pools, buckets, bird baths, etc.) from the yard. If you have a fountain, either empty it and turn it off or leave the water circulating to avoid mosquito problems.

Page 1: Closing Up Your Winter Home During the Summer - Two Weeks Before Departure
Page 2: Closing Up Your Winter Home During the Summer - Two Days Before Departure
Page 3: Closing Up Your Winter Home During the Summer - Before You Lock the Door

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