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Don't wait for a clogged drain or power failure to figure out your house's inner workings. Make a rough sketch of the floor plans, and indicate the shutoff valve, fuse, or power source for everything in your home that uses water, gas, or electricity. Apply color-coded stickers for each utility. Keep this map handy, and be sure to leave a copy for any house sitter.

Comments (14)

Anonymous
June 24, 2010
I made a house sitter notebook, which includes the repair/utility numbers. The water/gas/electrical map is a worthy add in my case.
Anonymous
June 24, 2010
Post Scriptum: Its a great idea.
Anonymous
June 24, 2010
This is a simple concept - you draw a floor plan of your house - you assign a color for electrical, one for water, one for gas - you put the dots on your floor plan where there are shut off valves or a power source. Your make a second sheet with contact numbers. What are you people whining about?
Anonymous
June 24, 2010
What a great idea: I plan to include this information in our monthly Senior Citizen Newsletter. Thanks so much for all you tips and hints.
Anonymous
June 24, 2010
I understand where Mykele and others are coming from and your point also DD. Yes, we each have our own unique floor plan but in our hectic everyday lives, it helps sometimes to see the idea you have in a better light to kind of guide us along. I agree with Mykele a little more though. Even before reading the comments, I thought an attached PDF example might be nice...although not necessary. But Martha...thanks for the great idea!
Anonymous
April 19, 2010
I agree with Mykele. It would have been helpful to see the layout of someone else's house. You don't get it DomesticDiva. "Pretty" or not, I would like to see the Legend and the Plan. Just like a Reflected Light and Electrical Plan. Of course it won't be the same for your house, however,the construction of such is enlightening (excuse the pun) just the same. I sometimes think there is too little information provided to an intelligent audience. I hope that is not the case.
Anonymous
February 2, 2010
mykele, why should this be amplified? And basic floor plan templates? The floor plan for your house is unique, so someone else's floor plan (though perhaps pretty) wouldn't help you at all. The idea is to sketch "your own" floor plan for "your" utilities. The 2nd page would be "your" utility companies. Pretty self explanatory.
Anonymous
January 31, 2010
Basic floor plan templates would also help get us started. This tip needs to be amplified....................Mykele
Anonymous
January 31, 2010
Instructions incomplete and the second page appears to be a phone list of utilitys and service providers, such as repairmen....Mykele
Anonymous
January 31, 2010
It is a good idea, but your instructions are not too good.
Anonymous
January 31, 2010
Your instructions leave a lot to be desired.. Is Martha aware of these errors???
Anonymous
May 8, 2009
It looks like a list of names
Anonymous
May 8, 2009
Somebody did all that work and they only showed half of it. What in the world is on that second paper? Shouldn't there be details or at least a different picture that's not artistic?
Anonymous
September 20, 2008
great idea