Preparing to go North

It is hard to believe that the “season” for snow-birds is coming to an end for another year. Many of my clients are relocating to their other home “up North” from their Florida “seasonal” home. Some transport their computers and equipment between locations and some have computers and printers in both locations.

Here are 10 things to consider that will make the transition between locations smoother.

  1. Password: if you have computers in different locations, it is easy after many months to forget the password you use to turn on your computer.  Write the password down and tape it to the side of your computer so you can use the computer next “season.”
  2. Printers: Unplug your printer before leaving for the season, to protect it from power surges and outages. Put your ink cartridges in zip lock baggies in the refrigerator to keep them from drying out from the hot Florida summer heat. If you have separate printers in each location, set the default printer to the one in your new location (in devices and printers).
  3. Computers: Unplug your computer(s) from power to protect them from power surges / outages; summer lightning storms in Florida play havoc with our electricity. When you return, consider scheduling an annual checkup for your computer; this service can also be provided remotely when you are “up North”.
  4. Wi-Fi: Put your internet service on “vacation mode” before leaving (to save money) and take it off “vacation mode” before returning (so you have internet service on your return).  Connect to the Wi-Fi for your location by searching for your router’s SSID name and enter the Wi-Fi password for that location.
  5. Backup: Before leaving, backup your files to an external USB storage device (flash drive or external disk drive) and take the backup with you.  Traveling with a backup device is far lighter than traveling with a computer.  When arriving at your new location, you can copy the files from your backup device to your other computer. Do this twice a year before traveling to your other location.
  6. TV: before you leave, put your TV service on vacation mode to save money and unplug the TV set.
  7. Land-line phone: before you leave, transfer your phone to your ‘up North’ phone number to receive your Florida calls.  If you previously set up transfer on the ‘up North’ number, cancel that transfer.
  8. Mail: before leaving, submit a temporary change of address form with the USPS to deliver physical mail to your other location.  When you arrive at the other location, cancel any prior transfer instructions that cause mail to be delivered in Florida (otherwise your mail will bounce between locations!)
  9. Humidistat / Thermostat: If your home in Florida has a humidistat as well as a thermostat, before you leave, set the humidistat to away 70% to turn on the air conditioning if humidity exceeds 70%; this keeps mold and mildew under control when temperatures exceed 95 in Florida and saves you money. Before you leave ‘up North’, set the thermostat to 50 or 60 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing
  10. Property:  hire a landscaper to trim shrubs and weeds when you are away from your Florida home (they grow out of control during summer rain storms).  Arrange for snow removal during winter months when you are not ‘up North,’

I hope you enjoy your “season” while you are here in Florida, have a safe journey to your other location, and looking forward to seeing you again next “season”.

I am committed to protecting your computers at an affordable price. Thank you for trusting me to keep your computers healthy. Contact us at 239-567-0104 to renew your protection software, join our monthly training program “Learn Computer 101”, or schedule computer and printer help. Be well. 

By Linda Lindquist,  March 20, 2023