I have a number of shotguns and most of them live the majority of their lives safe and secure in my gun safe, unloaded with the breech closed. Two that live out it the open are a New England Arms 12 gauge pump, and a Stevens .410/.22 Over and Under that my girlfriend feels comfortable with. The 12 GA is kept fully loaded, with the chamber empty. Simple manipulation of the slide brings her into action, and a side saddle on the stock carries a handful of extra rounds,so I can top off the magazine quickly and efficiently. The .410/.22LR is kept unloaded with ammo nearby.
This isn't my weapon of choice, should I know a confrontation is imminent, but rather one that I wouldn't lose any sleep over should it be stolen, if someone was stupid enough to enter my castle uninvited, while i was away. If I knew trouble was imminent, I'd be using my M4 carbine, Benelli M3, or both, and all of my friends that have guns. LOL
Though you didn't ask, I'd also recommend that you keep your home defense shotgun loaded with birdshot, with heavier rounds available, should they become necessary. This is particularly important if you live in a house/apartment with other people, who could be hurt/killed when you shoot 00Buck through the wall. #6 or #7 will do a a great job of getting the attention of an uninvited guest without harming your loved ones in other rooms. Be safe.
Keep it loaded!!!! Never know when a BG gets stupid & invades.