Happy holidays – 5 steps to a stress-free kitchen departure

Prepping your bespoke kitchen before embarking on a well-deserved holiday with May bank holidays, half term and summer holidays around the corner, can be hugely beneficial to your relaxation levels while lazing by the pool. Wondering if you emptied the compost bin or turned off the boiling water tap will not help you chill out while topping up the tan. Use our checklist to ensure you tick-off the most important pre-travel tasks before you switch to Out of Office and hit the beach. And relax…

Clear out the fridge

Few things will kill your post-holiday buzz faster than opening the fridge to mouldy veg and rancid milk. Try to use up as many perishables as possible in the run-up to your departure and freeze anything that won’t survive until your return. Check if your fridge-freezer has a holiday mode setting, which sets the fridge compartment to 15°C, without defrosting the freezer. This temperature is sufficient to prevent mould build up, while saving energy.

Also check ambient perishables like bread, cereal and snacks – pop anything that will survive your absence in airtight containers, Roundhouse designers recommend vacuum storage systems like Zwilling’s Fresh & Save or Bora’s QVac.

Empty the bins

This may sound obvious but forget to empty the bins (and rinse them out) at your peril, especially if you’re going away in summer and your kitchen is south facing! Check all the bins throughout the house as the last thing you do before you lock the front door. Try to liaise with a neighbour to ensure they go out on the right collection day, or double-bag and leave in a shed. Whatever you do, don’t leave waste to fester in your luxury kitchen design while you’re away.

Clean everything down

You don’t have to go OTT, but wiping down worktops will help prevent bacteria build-up and make your kitchen much more welcoming upon your return. Clean the inside of appliances, including the microwave, fridge and oven, before you leave and make sure the dishwasher is empty with no food debris left in the filters. Crack the door a little on both dishwasher and washing machine to help prevent the interiors from going mouldy or stale. To avoid being met by the waft of smelly drains, pour around two tablespoons of baking soda and 100ml of white vinegar down the kitchen sink. Leave it for about 20 minutes and then follow with a litre of boiling water.

Switch off

Turning off as many appliances as possible (not the fridge-freezer) will help reduce energy use and potential fire risks. Most large appliances will have an isolator switch you can turn off, often hidden in a cupboard nearby, while small appliances like the toaster and blender should be unplugged. Don’t forget to switch off the boiler on your hot water tap if you have one.

If you’re going to be away for longer than a fortnight, consider turning off the mains water supply stopcock (usually under the sink) for complete peace of mind against flooding or water damage. Turning off the heating/hot water boiler may also be a good idea in the summer, but in winter it’s best to power it down to a lower temperature setting to prevent pipes from freezing.

Set up security measures

If your kitchen is at the front of the house, try to make it looked lived in while you’re away. Modern kitchen lighting, such as Smart lightbulbs on an automatic timer, are an easy solution. Smart lights can be connected to an App so you can also turn them on and off randomly wherever you are in the world. Alternatively, buy a Smart plug and use with an existing lamp. Your kitchen doesn’t need to be lit up like Disneyland to give the illusion you’re at home!

If you don’t already have automatic blinds or shutters, it’s better to leave blinds open than closed, because closed blinds in the daytime is a major ‘empty home’ red flag to potential intruders. Also check your home security system is activated and any outdoor lights on sensor or doorbell cameras are fully functioning.

Taking care to prepare your designer kitchen before you set off can help ensure a stress-free return, and long-lasting post-holiday glow. Your jet-lagged future self will thank you!

Our expert kitchen designers can help you make the best choices for your Roundhouse bespoke kitchen, furniture or wardrobes. Visit any of our seven Roundhouse showroomsWigmore St, ClaphamFulhamRichmondCambridgeGuildford Cheltenham and get planning!