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Old 08-16-2013, 10:43 AM   #41
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One thing we do with cars, boats, tractors, golf cart is simply disconnect the negative cable.

My Mom's car is usually stored for about 6 months and I have never had to charge the battery - just reconnect and it starts up every time. I usually let it idle for ~5 minutes while I do other things and then it is all set for the summer. I could trickle charge it rather than let it idle but that is too much w*rk.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:08 AM   #42
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Been doing about 6 on and 6 off between Oregon and La Quinta Ca since 2010. Have to leave the water on in Ca for the plants but do shut off the valves to the washer. We leave the cooling off down there and have seen temperatures of 106 inside (friend sent a photo of the thermostat thermometer). I'm sure plastic off gasses and degrades and we see a film on the window interiors, candles get sad... don't think there is enough damage to offset the cost of running AC. We have friends coming by off and on who flush toilets.

In Oregon my latest wrinkle is to drain the water, plunge toilets, and add RV antifreeze and bleach before saran wrapping the toilet bowl. The bleach last winter helped cut down the massive mold colonies growing the year before - didn't eliminate them, but helped.

We also use the LED fake tv up north, shut off internet to the vacant place, and shut off our water in Oregon. We leave the gas on, but I shut off the valve at the meter in Oregon - I want hot water ASAP up here, but don't want to have concerns about our various pilot lights, including the ones on our old old stove that blow out...

Had someone smash in the french door down south - dumb but rather tidy thieves who took some stuff about equal to the dollar amount of the damage. We must care about odd stuff, because they didn't take anything that really bothered us. Neighbors reported it to the cops, who called us and we got the place repaired before we got back. Eh. just stuff, nothing personal.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:25 PM   #43
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23 years of 6 & 6
Lesson learned... Turn water off at street. A $15,000 lesson, most covered by insurance. In particular, polybutelene pipes and fittings which were in use until the mid 1990's and are still being used today in some places. Also, nylon toilet riser connection nut made subject to chemical corrosion. Even with water being turned off at the street, copper gate valves often leak, allowing pressure to build up in interior pipes, as happened in our case. Turn off water at each plumbing unit.

Out to-do list begins about two weeks before the move, and covers 5 or 6 pages.
Here's a simpler list I found from 2008...most of which was already covered:
..................................
Stop Newspapers
Send Notification to Post Office... Call Post Office in both locations to verify
Change billing Address for
Water and Electricity
Bank
Insurance
Credit Cards
Gas
Cancel Paper
Checks for maintenance/dues/meberships etc.
What bills may be due?
get cash for trip
Doctor contacts? appointments... latest medical records, blood tests,Xrays
Cancel Comcast
Order Comcast
Check w/ city for water shut off at street
Advise gated community we are leaving........................................... .........
clean refrigerator
saran wrap plumbing fixtures
check glove compartment papers, first aid,tel #s insur+registration
remote themometer to neighbor
thermometers into windows
key to neighbor
turn off water inside house
give cell phone number to neccessary neighbors
clean refrigerator give away food
get telephone number print out
bring financial records (review papers)
seniorcare check status, papers
pour anti freeze intraps
lock all doors
unplug all but necessary electrical cords
leave blinds open? North yes, south no.
check "stuff" in desk drawer- cards papers etc.
What bills may be due?
Neighbor to verify mail is stopped? Trust but verify
Clean Furnace
checks money from ATM
wash car
Check out car fluids air in tires .. get gas
Send EMail notes to all
Take in grille and lawn furniture
Set out trash for the last time.
check mailbox
Bug Spray
lock all doors, disconnect garage opener
wrap all drygoods to be carried over, cupboards
personal papers review what nees to be taken
last trash bag to neighbor
wrap grille.. pull out grille parts and oil.
Pack some water and food for trip
shut off water heater
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:06 PM   #44
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23 years of 6 & 6
...
Out to-do list begins about two weeks before the move, and covers 5 or 6 pages.
Here's a simpler list I found from 2008....
If you have the complete current list in an uploadable format (something like a Word or Excel file), I am sure a few of us would find this beneficial since you have created this based on so much actual experience.

For me personally, I am considering doing something very similar to you with regard to splitting time between Midwest and FL (although I still have not ruled out replacing FL with Mexico or something farther south).
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:29 PM   #45
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An obvious one, but one I do in a particular way is "lock all doors". I've always put double keyed locks (key on both side) deadbolts on all exterior doors. When I leave, I take the keys out of the inside deadbolt and hide them. That way, the crooks will need to haul the stuff they want to steal through a window, which just might look less 'normal' to the neighbors than walking out of a door with some suitcases or garbage bags.
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Old 08-16-2013, 03:38 PM   #46
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AH! Just a thing I'm smarting from: since we are in California during tax time we had all our bank and interest and credit card statement's mailing addresses changed to the southlands during the times we were down there. As a result, this year California sent me a nice note regarding 2010 suggesting I must be a California resident and they wanted their tax money. I've forcefully denied that - we are Oregonians and do our business here etc.

Still, lesson learned. We now have our Oregon address as the primary and get all statements online. Tax data will be retrieved online as well. We pay the state of Oregon plenty - have no desire to get in the middle of a custody battle between the states over our taxes.
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:25 PM   #47
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Wow, I never thought about it but our 35 year old son who pays us R&B and takes care of all of this stuff while we're gone. A source of much prior contention it is actually working out for all of us. A resident caretaker who likes the arrangement. I guess I've come to terms with that. Life's good.
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:53 PM   #48
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For the last few decades we have always paid neighborhood teenagers to come over twice a day to bring in the mail, turn lights on and off, close drapes, etc.

Even when we are home I have a bunch of on at dusk lights inside and out so it always looks like someone is home, even if we go out and get home after dark. There are motion detectors lights inside and out, too. The stairs and hallways have motion detector lights so the dog can walk around the house on his own and not be in the dark.

We also have numerous solar lights outside so they come on at dark and go off at random times depending on the cloud cover.

We are just starting to think now about how we could travel for a month or more at a time in picking our next house. Eventually we will probably live in a condo we can lock and leave and maybe a townhouse as an intermediate place.

This is a good thread. Lots of good ideas here.
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:37 PM   #49
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For the record 3 months in Phoenix would evaporate a foot of water out of your toilet and unseal it. Phoenix is not Ohio. Very hot. Very dry. I worked out there for 3 months one year. Sweat immediately evaporated even while doing heavy manual labor. Any standing water loses at least 1/8" per day.
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:07 PM   #50
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And you know, you only need to use enough oil to put a very thin continuous layer on the surface of the water. I'm sure that's a lot less than a cup, especially in the new toilets where the water level is very low.
If you put in even a tablespoon of oil, and say with a 10 inch diameter water surface, it was "too thin" and you got evaporation, then if it kept evaporating, it would get down to a 3 inch diameter and that tablespoon of oil would be about 1/8 inch thick yes, I did the math ). That is plenty thick to prevent evaporation from the inside. But getting up on the roof and getting (at least) a tablespoon down the vent pipe into the trap...that might be more of an issue. Maybe someone here should invent a toilet oil injector...a tube that you shove through the u-bend to stick a tablespoon on the other side.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:51 PM   #51
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IP cameras? Please explain
There are a number of IP cameras on the market. A friend has two Foscam wireless cameras in his house that he monitors from his laptop while snowbirding. His cams have great video and sound. I just found this youtube video.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:16 PM   #52
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I don't get it - can you set up a motion alarm to ring your cell phone? Are you supposed to monitor the cameras all night (maybe rotating shifts with the SO?). So you pay to keep the internet service on while you are away 6 months?

I can imagine a random chance of seeing a burglar break in and start rifling through your unnerwear drawer while you frantically call 911 for your home... Maybe the law will get on scene in time and bust them. For me, the odds just don't seem that good.
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:04 PM   #53
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Wow, I never thought about it but our 35 year old son who pays us R&B and takes care of all of this stuff while we're gone. A source of much prior contention it is actually working out for all of us. A resident caretaker who likes the arrangement. I guess I've come to terms with that. Life's good.
Does he move out when you get back?
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Old 08-17-2013, 01:15 AM   #54
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Here's my routine

Shut off water
Set timer lighting
Set AC high or heat low
Shut off water heater or set to vacation
Unplug garage door opener
Hold mail
Make sure ip cameras can be seen remotely ( this will tell you if/when the house is demolished) - good to have one camera positioned to read indoor thermometer
I also add a 'C' clamp just above one of the rollers on the guide rail. Also add smaller 'C' clamps to sliding glass door rails.
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Old 08-17-2013, 08:06 AM   #55
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2. I open all interior doors to promote circulation. In AZ I also place five gallon buckets of water around the house to add some humidity to the house. I have heard stories of cabinets literally warping over the summer because of lack of humidity.
This is fascinating, and may explain something. When I lived in South Florida, I had a neighbor who asked me to look after her house when she went up to New York.

She insisted I fill and watch her 5 gallon buckets of water around the house.

I tried to protest, explaining that is the opposite of what you want in S. Florida (very humid, mold is everywhere), but she insisted. So, I dutifully kept the buckets of mold water full.

I learned later that she had some cognitive issues which explained the strange behavior, and she may have spent some time out in the Southwest which explains a lot.
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Old 08-17-2013, 08:59 AM   #56
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I don't get it - can you set up a motion alarm to ring your cell phone? Are you supposed to monitor the cameras all night (maybe rotating shifts with the SO?). So you pay to keep the internet service on while you are away 6 months?

I can imagine a random chance of seeing a burglar break in and start rifling through your unnerwear drawer while you frantically call 911 for your home... Maybe the law will get on scene in time and bust them. For me, the odds just don't seem that good.
You can setup the IP cameras such that it will send you an e-mail when motion is detected in the zones that you want to be monitored.
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:09 AM   #57
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Here's my routine

Shut off water
Set timer lighting
Set AC high or heat low
Shut off water heater or set to vacation
Unplug garage door opener
Hold mail
Make sure ip cameras can be seen remotely ( this will tell you if/when the house is demolished) - good to have one camera positioned to read indoor thermometer
Instead of dedicating a camera to read the indoor temperatures, I purchased an IP based thermometer that allows you to access the temperature readings. You can access 1 month's worth of reading (adjustable periods) on the web. I have 4 of these that I use to monitor the outdoor, spa, downstairs, and upstairs temp.
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:12 AM   #58
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You can setup the IP cameras such that it will send you an e-mail when motion is detected in the zones that you want to be monitored.
That's much better than snail mail. In the country that could prevent days or weeks of bears and racoons and blowing snow drifts from piling up inside a smashed door; in the inner city it might keep the appliances and copper pipes from vanishing.

(gong) "You've got mail!" (open) "You got robbed!"
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:37 PM   #59
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Instead of dedicating a camera to read the indoor temperatures, I purchased an IP based thermometer that allows you to access the temperature readings. You can access 1 month's worth of reading (adjustable periods) on the web. I have 4 of these that I use to monitor the outdoor, spa, downstairs, and upstairs temp.
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I also add a 'C' clamp just above one of the rollers on the guide rail. Also add smaller 'C' clamps to sliding glass door rails.

2 great ideas that I need to put to use.
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Old 08-17-2013, 07:29 PM   #60
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I also add a 'C' clamp just above one of the rollers on the guide rail. Also add smaller 'C' clamps to sliding glass door rails.
As an alternative, one can drill small holes in the frames of the doors when closed, and then put pins in. Actually this is easy enough to remove when needed, that you can actually pin the door when at home as well. The pin extends from the fixed door frame into the sliding section about 2-3 inches, making the door fairly jimmy proof. The pins are available at your favorite hardware store.
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