Ah, vacation! A time to relax, unwind, recharge and… wait a minute… did I close that window in the kids’ bedroom?
There’s nothing worse than spending the first three (or 24) hours of your vacation attempting to convince yourself that you did indeed turn off the stove, turn up the AC, and lock the back door. Fortunately, there is a simple answer to this common problem sitting in your pocket or purse: a smartphone camera.
Make a list of the things that are likely to fret about – stove dials, window locks, thermostat, sprinkler system timer. As you do your final check before leaving the house, take a photo of each of these items in its proper position. Then, when you begin to obsess, whip out your phone, scroll through the pictures and feel the worry wash away.
And don’t think you are some kind of oddball if you do fret about such things. The worry is normal and has a simple explanation. We are all creatures of habit. When our daily routine gets interrupted by, say, leaving for vacation instead of heading to work, it’s easy for us to forget to the things we would normally do – turn up the AC, feed the fish, close the windows, et cetera.
Plus, one memory lapse can stick with us for a long time, even if there were no dire consequences. We always remember that one time we did forget to turn off the oven.
Of course, technology does offer more sophisticated insurance policies against forgetfulness in the form of full home automation programs that let you control and monitor nearly every aspect of your house via your smartphone. But for basic ease of mind, a few snaps of the camera are all you need.
This is truly a case where a picture is worth a thousand words of reassurance.