teddy bear on a sheetless matress

Closing up your Florida home: bedrooms and beyond

This is the fourth post in our six-part series on how to prepare your Florida home if you’ll be away for an extended time.

We’ve talked previously about what procedures to follow for the kitchen and bath areas. In this post, we’ll look at what steps you should take to prepare your bedrooms, garage, lanai, and other common areas before you leave.

Bedrooms
  • Remove bedding and bath linens; clean, dry and store.
  • Vacuum mattress thoroughly and cover lightly with a clean sheet.
  • Leave only clean clothes in closets and allow space between garments to permit air circulation.
  • Do not leave clothes in plastic cleaner bags and metal hangers, even when covered with paper, can rust and stain clothing. Try using plastic hangers. Leave closet doors open to permit air circulation.
  • Leather items such as belts, shoes, handbags should be cleaned with a leather cleaner.
Garage/lanai/common areas
  • Unplug the garage door opener. If locking the garage door, post a reminder to unlock it before using the opener when you return. Operating the locked door with the opener can destroy the garage door opener motor.
  • Store lanai furniture and any outside decorative items in garage or inside the home on an old sheet to protect flooring.
  • Thoroughly vacuum upholstered furniture even crevice areas where food particles can gather. If there are spots and stains, remove or clean before closing your home.
  • Turn off ceiling fans.
  • Unplug any appliances or electronics that are not in use. Many newer products continue to draw a small amount of energy even when not turned on. They may also be damaged from a power surges during storms.
  • Turn off the water at the exterior meter unless it is used for lawn irrigation. This will prevent flooding if a pipe bursts.
  • Replace backup batteries in fire alarms, automatic water systems etc.
  • Leave house plants with a neighbor.

For more helpful tips, visit sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/sarasota or the EDIS publication website.

In our next post, we will discuss air conditioning systems, windows, doors and other entry points.

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