Before I leave the house for vacation, whether it's a three-day weekend with my friends or a week-long trip home for the holidays, I make a to-do list. One of the items on that list reads "Turn off/unplug things" because I worry I'm going to forget to turn off the stove.
I bet more than a few of you do the same thing. Did you turn everything off before you left the house this morning?
I worry that I've left the toaster oven (my favorite appliance after the coffee pot) on, mostly because it's happened once or twice. I worry that I've left the stove on (ask me about the only time I've ever set off a carbon monoxide detector by leaving a my gas burner on so low you couldn't see a flame).
There's a lot going on when you leave the house in a rush and let's face it, we're always in a rush. Running late for work or running to beat vacation traffic out of town, we're moving quickly and we forget things. Or we can't remember if we forgot things so we fret about it for hours. I once ran home from the airport while waiting for a delayed flight because I couldn't remember if I'd turned the stove off.
So when I read this genius hack from Lifehacker, I felt like a light bulb went off over my head. (And then I promptly reached up and turned it off, because leaving it on wastes electricity.)
Here you go: Take a picture of your stove dials right before you leave your house.
I know, right? It's such a simple action, but it solves so many problems.
First, having pics means you don't have to worry while you're trying to have fun on vacation. Any time you wonder "Did I..." just look at the photo.
Second, the act of taking the picture forces you to take another close look. You're not just taking a photo of the stove from a distance, you're taking a picture of the dials. It's a chance to look again to see that all the burners and the oven are off.
This hack works for your stove, your toaster oven, thermostat, bedroom light, ceiling fan, windows -- whatever you worry about leaving on or open.
Plus, if anything does happen to your home while you're gone, you've got proof that it wasn't because of neglect on your part.
This tip works really well when you've just moved into a new place and are getting used to the different appliances and a different routine, or when you buy a new appliance or smart home system and are figuring out how it works.
And now you know, so you can leave your house without worry -- or at least with a way to quietly check your worry -- and focus on having fun.
Watch: We Tried the Otto Wilde OFB. Here's What You Should Know.