Vacation is a time to leave your worries behind, but a nagging thought that you forgot something at home can ruin the best of vacations. Take these simple steps to prevent things from going awry while you’re away from home.

Two weeks before heading out, says you should:

  • Arrange for lawn service and pet care.
  • Check your outdoor sprinkler system.
  • Stop all routine delivery services and arrange for final trash pickup.
  • Check your alarm system.

Also, remember to make arrangements for your mail. The U.S. Postal Service can hold mail safely at your local branch until you return. You can notify the USPS as many as 30 days in advance or as early as the next scheduled delivery day by signing up for Hold Mail Service.

Trust a friend, advises, by giving them a key and contact information in case of an emergency. Also, many police departments offer vacation house checks, so check with your local precinct for details.

So, the suitcases are packed, the gas tank is full and you are heading out for that long-awaited respite! The day you leave, don’t forget to set your thermostats. If you have a manual one, set your air conditioning system to 80 degrees for homes and townhouses; 77 degrees for condos and apartments. For a programmable thermostat, set it at 72 degrees for two hours each morning before sunrise and at 88 degrees the rest of the time. This will help prevent mold by removing moisture from the air during the cooler hours.

Other last-day checklist items:

  • Run the dishwasher
  • Unplug nonessential appliances
  • Turn off water to washing machine and toilets
  • Set timers and lights
  • Check window locks
  • Throw away food that might spoil
  • Get rid of the trash
  • Set the alarm

Finally, give the house a last once-over before you lock the doors. Remember what happened to eight-year-old Macaulay Culkin in “Home Alone.”