Best Organization Tips for People With Two Homes
Managing one house is challenging enough. When you have two homes in two different parts of the country, you really need to stay organized. Fortunately, a little planning can keep your properties—and your life—in order. Here are some of the best tips for people with two homes.
Home Organization Tips
Whether you leave your properties for just a few days or months at a time, you need to put a plan in place to keep them safe. To prevent robberies, make sure your house doesn’t look empty when you’re gone, notes Travelers. Stop mail and newspaper delivery; if they pile up in front of your door, this is a clear signal you aren’t home. Consider installing automatic lights that go on in the evening to make it seem like you’re still living in the house. You could also let your neighbors know you’re leaving and ask them to keep an eye on the place while you’re at your other property.
Before you leave each house, turn off its main water valve to prevent pipes from leaking or bursting. This is especially important if you’re leaving a property behind in a colder part of the country—if you spend the winter in Florida, for instance. You should also unplug all major appliances to lower your energy bill and prevent fires while you’re gone. Depending on how long you’re away, you may want to hire a cleaning service to tidy up your empty home every month or two to prevent dirt buildup.
When you leave a house empty for an extended period, you need to let your home insurance company know. An empty house is a bigger insurance risk, so the insurance company may need to adjust your price during that time. If you don’t notify the company and something happens, they might deny your claim because you withheld important information.
Your banks and other financial companies should have both home addresses on file and be informed when you move between so they know where to send important documents. You may want to set up automatic payments for your bills; this eliminates the worry of missing a bill sent to the wrong property. If you’ll be at your second home during tax season, bring all the documents you need to file so that you won’t be caught scrambling around April 15.
Try to plan your travel between houses as early as possible, especially if you have to fly. This will give you more time to find a better deal and save you from paying for a last-minute flight. Make a list of all the belongings you want to bring every time you travel, and don’t wait until the last day to pack. This can be stressful, and it increases the chance of forgetting something.
Finally, secure a medical provider in your second home and know where the closest hospital is located, even if you don’t spend much time there. You never know if you’ll run into a medical emergency.
Maintaining two properties is much easier when you have a clear routine. By following these organization tips, you’ll be well prepared and safe as you move between your two homes.