During this time of year, many Ohio University students may opt to leave Athens for an extended period for winter break. If you choose to vacate your University Commons apartment during either of these times, you might find yourself planning out in your head what you need to do before you go.

Let us help you juggle your planning, packing, studying for finals, and schoolwork with our checklist of recommended things to do in your apartment before you leave for a weekend, full week, or longer period of time.

Feel free to print out this guide and refer to it as you’re packing your suitcases and doing a final run-through and finishing up your to-do lists:

1. Clean Out Your Refrigerator

One thing that students can do before they leave their Athens, Ohio apartment is to toss out any perishable items from their refrigerators. Leaving items such as cold cuts, dairy, or produce in the refrigerator for too long can lead to a smelly apartment, which is something nobody would want to return home to.

If you don’t want to waste your food, try giving it to neighbors who will be staying in the complex while you’re away, or donating it to a local food bank.

2. Pack Away Valuable Items

It’s very important for residents who will not be in their apartment for an extended amount of time to account for any valuable items. Whether this means keeping these items with you when you leave or hiding them in a safe place in the apartment, taking these precautions can allow you to have peace of mind while you’re gone.

If you have a parked vehicle that will be staying on campus or in our parking lot while you’re away, we also recommend doing the following before your departure:

  • Take any valuable items out of your car
  • Stow these items away properly
  • Roll up all the windows
  • Lock all the doors

3. Lower Your Thermostat

To keep costs down and conserve energy, we recommend students turn down their thermostat before leaving their apartment for an extended period of time.

However, for your apartment to remain at a comfortable temperature upon your return, your thermostat should be set to no lower than 60 degrees.

4. Take Out All Trash

Before you leave, make sure to take out all the trash from every room in your apartment. This will prevent both any smells that could linger in your apartment as well as any potential critters going through your garbage bins.

5. Unplug Your Appliances

A quick way to conserve energy and keep electricity costs lower is by unplugging any running appliances that don’t need to be plugged in while you’re away. Some of these appliances could include:

  • Television
  • Cable box
  • Gaming console
  • Laptop or desktop computer
  • Hair dryer
  • Coffee maker
  • Microwave
  • Charging cords and stations

To make this unplugging process easier, you could invest in a power strip or two and simply switch off all of your electronics at once before you go.

6. Lock All Doors and Windows

Another suggestion our team has for your Athens, Ohio apartment is to lock every door and window before you leave. Also, be sure to take all of your keys with you, especially spare ones that you may have hidden under your doormat or in your mailbox. Doing these things will ensure that you are keeping your living space as safe as possible while you’re gone.

If you have curtains on your windows, we also recommend that you close them at least halfway, so that people can’t peak into your windows and see that you’re not home.

7. Let a Friend or Neighbor Know

Another suggestion you may want to consider before heading out for fall or winter break this year would be to let a neighbor or friend who’s staying in the apartment complex or nearby know that you’re leaving.

By doing this, you’ll have someone who can look out for your apartment and keep an eye on it daily if possible. You could even have your neighbors collect your mail or water any plants you may have.

8. Do One Last Scan and Deep Clean

One final thing we suggest to our residents before they leave for an extended amount of time is to do one last scan of your place. Look around every room to see if your appliances have been unplugged, the trash has been taken out, and that nothing has been forgotten.

To ensure that you’ll be coming back to a clean and organized apartment, we also suggest performing a deep clean in each room. Some cleaning chores you may find beneficial to do in addition to your packing may include:

  • Washing and putting away dishes
  • Doing any laundry, or taking it with you
  • Organizing each room
  • Vacuuming the floors in each room
  • Dusting appliances, shelves, and furniture

Have Any Questions About Leaving Your Apartment? Let Us Know!

If you have any questions about things you should and shouldn’t do before leaving your apartment, feel free to reach out to our team today! We’d be happy to help. Also, be sure to follow us on social media for even more tips and suggestions:


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