My roommates and I are going home for the holidays and I’m nervous about leaving my apartment unattended. What are some things I can do to make sure my apartment is OK while I’m gone?

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Enjoying family time over the holidays is just a little bit sweeter when you know your (quiet, parent-free) Gainesville apartment is waiting for you when you get back.

Leaving your apartment unattended for an extended period of time can be a bit nerve-wracking. While the odds of your home being damaged are unlikely, it is natural to feel some sort of fear or anxiousness. The best the way to keep your apartment safe and your mind at ease is by going through a checklist before you and your roommates leave.

Is everything locked?

This is something you should always check before leaving your apartment. While this step seems obvious, it is sometimes the most simple precautions that people forget the most. Check to see that all your bedroom windows are not only shut, but locked as well. Have your roommates do the same. Many apartments feature balconies and patios. Don't forget to check that these doors are all locked as well. Lastly, be sure to lock the front door behind you on your way out.
On a similar note: don't leave any spare keys out front. Unless you are an expert hider, it is best to bring any spare keys inside and avoid the risk of unwelcomed guests entirely.

Is everything turned off?

This step will keep you safe from electrical threats and crazy utilities bills. We've all had our moments of forgetting something in the over or coming home from work and realizing the TV has been on all day. Though, if you are leaving for an extended time period, these moments of forgetfullness can be costly! Before you leave, check the bedrooms and see that all fans, lights and televisions are turned off. Don't forget to give the kitchen a good once-over too! Accidentally leaving the oven or stove burner on can be dangerous for your apartment and your wallet!

Are the dishes/food put away?

Sometimes, the scariest intruders are the kinds that walk on four or six legs. That's right, we mean pests. Try not to leave dirt dishes in the sink or food out on the counter; bugs and other critters might think that you're inviting them over for a buffet. Instead, set some time aside to clean and put away your dishes. Store food in the refridgerator or freezer. Lastly, check the experiation dates! Nothing is worse than coming home to smelly milk or a bowl of moldy produce. 

Is the alarm set?

Not all apartments come with individual security systems. Though, if you do have your own system, definitely take advantage of the extra security. Whether if it is you or your roommate, whoever is the last out the door should make sure that the alarm is set behind them. That way, you can sleep safe and sound knowing your apartment is on 24/7 surveillance. 

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