Snowbirds: 11 Tips for Maintaining Your Seasonal Home

Every winter season, as soon as the temps drop, a magnificent migration occurs. A multitude of “Snowbirds” of every variety leave their northerly nests for the gentler climes of the south. You may be familiar with this species or may even be lucky enough to be a Snowbird yourself. Snowbirds have adapted to this transient lifestyle over the years with some practical habits for maintaining the nest left behind. It’s important to have a logical checklist of items to think about when leaving your home for extending periods of time, making your migration as smooth as possible:

Essential Tips for the Nest Left Behind:

  1. Unplug all electrical appliances, except the fridge.
  2. Turn down thermostats, but not completely off. A good temperature is about 55-60 degrees depending upon where you live.
  3. Secure all water sources: turn off all faucets, make sure drains are clear and turn off the supply valve to toilets and washing machine. Adjust automatic sprinklers if you have them.
  4. Clean out gutters and downspouts.
  5. Share your itinerary with at least one other person in case of emergency.
  6. Don’t make your absence obvious – i.e. stop newspaper and mail delivery, use lamp timers and don’t announce it on Facebook.
  7. Forward bills and notify credit card companies so that charges don’t appear suspicious.
  8. Take care of doctor appointments and prescriptions before you go.
  9. Make sure your smoke alarms work and have fresh batteries.
  10. Ask a trusted friend or family member check on your place periodically.
  11. Make sure your driver’s license and/or passport won’t expire while you’re gone.