Sleep Better: Tuck in Your Home
Nightly Damage Control Routine
Have you ever woken up to the smell of fresh air, only to find that the (unlocked) front door blew open? You hope.
How about a $400 water bill from a garden hose your children left running all night? Whoops!
Sour laundry, stinky garbage, a trail of ants leading up to the watermelon rind on the patio – that’s fun.
Enjoy jolting awake when the rain crashes against the house, and you can’t remember if you shut the car windows?
The errant cat finally makes her way home at 3 a.m. and wants in NOW.
When our children were tiny, we had a handle on evening lock-up.
Occasionally, we forgot the garage door, but our neighbors always called to let us know.
Somewhere around the time our children started playing outside by themselves things got dicey.
We would think all the loose ends were tucked in, but four mobile kids running around is like herding, well, kids. Impossible.
To sleep better, we had to fix the problem.
After several frustrating mornings, damaged property, and a few scares, the damage control list was born.
It looks long, but if every person of age has a responsibility, the list takes about 10 minutes to complete.
You may not trust your six-year-old to turn off all the hoses, but he can check if there’s laundry in the washer.
And when it comes to yard clutter, if you’re old enough to get it out, you’re old enough to put it away.
Home security and damage control list:
1. Turn off water
Check the hoses around the yard, sprinklers, and water features.
Summertime requires extra diligence, but beware of kids using the water on warm spring or fall days. It may run/drip for days before you realize it.
2. Douse fires
Put out the fire pit, grill, iron, stove, and oven.
Watch out for food and food scraps left in the yard, on counters, and around the house.
Food scraps attract rodents and insects. I’m sure that’s a problem you don’t need.
Make one final check to be sure everything is refrigerated, as needed.
I left a grill full of chicken out all night. I was prepping it for the next week, left it to cool and never went back.
4. Yard clutter
Put away bikes, toys, towels, and sports equipment.
Dew and rain will damage gear.
Soggy towels lying around the yard is plain disheartening.
5. Lock cars
Shut the windows, and remove valuables.
Leaving purses, wallets, and electronics in the car is an invitation for break-ins. We live in a secluded neighborhood with 500-foot driveways, and there’s at least one smash and grab every summer.
6. Where are your keys?
Put them in the same spot every night…find them in the morning!
Oh, the joy of knowing exactly where your keys are! And the day-toppling effect when you don’t.
7. Trash out
Pew! Nuff’ said.
8. Lock up
Secure the doors, windows, slider, and garage.
9. Stash valuables
Put things out of sight – a closet, drawer or basket works.
Just like the car, keeping purses, computers, wallets and other valuable items away from windows is smart.
Is there a load of wet clothes in the dryer?
In the warm months – wet laundry sours in a heartbeat.
11. Tuck in the kids
Depending on the age and stage of your children at some point they need to be corraled and tucked-in. Any parent with a preschooler knows they can undo ANYTHING faster than you can do it.
12. Pets cared for
If you have animals, tend them. Children might help with this before heading to bed.
Power down or plug in phones, computers, and tablets for a charge.
Don’t you just hate a dead phone in the morning?
On or off for the night.
We have a motion light on the back of the house – right under our bedroom. If a little person toggles the light switch, the light will stay on all night, and it shines in our window. A piece of masking tape over the switch solves the problem.
15. Close blinds and curtains
16. Check calendar
Any surprises or special items you need to take tomorrow?
Early morning dentist appointment? Permission slip to send back to school?
17. Put stuff by door for tomorrow
Set backpacks, work bags, etc., right by the door.
We keep a magnetic clip on our front door to hang reminder signs and papers.
Some of us forget about the 7 a.m. dentist appointment and head for work instead…
18. Set alarms
Bedside and security system (if applicable).
For DIY’ers – Make sure the air compressor is turned off!
Spending 10-15 minutes tucking in your house will lead to peace of mind and better sleep.