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Fleeing Our Apartments for the Winter

The cold months have arrived. As the days grow shorter and the holidays rapidly approach, many of us are considering fleeing the city in search of warmer weather—or at least somewhere with fresh air. I know I am. I’m going to spend a few weeks in Pennsylvania with my family and replacing the buzz of cars and ambulances with that of birds chirping and my dog’s morning barks.

Even with the amenities and outdoor spaces that we often enjoy in multifamily living, the COVID blues sometimes make it feel a bit claustrophobic. And, let’s be honest, there is nothing quite like spending time with family and having a yard.

Access control is crucial to keeping our homes and belongings safe any time we are out of town for a long period of time. This industry gives us the peace of mind to leave our homes and know that everything will be just as we left it when we return. And one of the many advantages of living in a multifamily building is that most of our concerns, anything from building security to keeping our mail safe, are taken care of.

However, it’s still a good idea to take some precautions. Those of us who plan to trade our apartments for a bit more space this holiday season should keep a few things in mind before we pack our bags:

  1. Make sure your thermostat is set to a medium temperature. Those of us who live in places with cold weather probably know how easy it is for pipes to freeze in the winter.
  2. Don’t tell a lot of people that you will be leaving for an extended amount of time. Regardless of whether you live in a multifamily building or not, the fewer people who know your home will be empty the better.
  3. If you’re expecting packages to arrive while you’re away, it’s a good idea to reach out to a friend or neighbor so they can pick them up for you. It helps ensure none of your packages will get lost, and it’ll help keep packages from building up in the mailroom.
  4. Tripe check that you lock your door before you go. There have been times when I leave my apartment for vacation, and I spend a lot of time stressing about whether I locked the door or not. However, the good news is that if your door unlocks with a fob, you usually don’t have to worry about this.
  5. If you’re having a neighbor pick up your mail or check on your place while you’re away, be sure to let your front desk security guards know that they will be coming. Give them their contact information so that they have easy access and avoid any trouble getting in.
  6. Make sure you give whoever is coming to check on your packages is someone you trust. Give them a spare key for emergencies.

It’s more important than ever to take care of our mental and physical health. As we prepare to travel to see our families (with as much precaution as we can), we need to make sure our homes are prepped for our absence. Wherever you spend the holidays this year, I hope you, and your homes, stay safe!

Ivana Gatica graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a degree in Fine Arts and Writing. For the past year, she has been working as a copywriter in the marketing and fintech spaces helping businesses find their unique voice. She also likes to take on freelance writing opportunities in her free time and loves to write fiction and poetry.