How to avoid leaving a huge mess when you move out

Don't forget to clean the stove before moving!

Moving is a huge time-consuming and stress-inducing chore, but there’s no other way about it. You have to spend weeks sorting and packing stuff you’ve accumulated over the past few years, talk to the movers, arrange for utilities to be transferred, unpack and put things away in your new home…the list just goes on.

With all this occupying your mind day and night, it’s only natural that you’ve forgotten one essential part of moving – that’s right, move-out cleaning! This house has been your home for the past many years; don’t you owe it a good cleanup before you leave? Okay, you are not that sentimental about the house, but do you think you have a good chance of getting the deposit back intact if you leave the house in the condition it is in right now?

To make things easier on you and help you avoid leaving a huge mess behind when you move, we have put together a handy list of things that you need to do before closing the door of your old home one last time. Happy moving!

What you will need:

  • A pair of rubber gloves
  • A vacuum cleaner
  • A mop
  • A broom and a dustpan
  • A squeegee
  • A spray bottle
  • Scrubbing sponges
  • Dish detergent
  • Baking soda
  • Magic erasers
  • Vinegar
  • Toilet cleaner and brush
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • An old toothbrush for tough-to-clean stains
  • Old newspapers
  • Cleaning rags
  • Trash bags

Tip: Remember to keep the above items separate from your packing boxes so that they don’t get shipped out to your new home before you are done cleaning!

In all the rooms:

Spray all windows with a mix of 50% distilled water and 50% tap water and wipe clean with a squeegee or a scrunched-up newspaper. If you had not washed your windows for a long time and they are particularly dirty, you may want to wash them with soapy water first. Clean the ledges.

Dirty window blinds? Simply put on an old cotton sock, dip your hand in the vinegar mix, and run your hands over each of the blinds. And there you go, good as new!

Take out all nails and hooks you have put into the walls and doors and fill them with putty. Use a magic eraser to remove scuffmarks, but take care to first test the eraser on a small surface. Harsh erasers can take the paint right off the walls and make your job twice as hard!

Bright lights are magnets for insects. Make sure to check for dead insects when you dust and clean the lighting fixtures and fans.

Wipe the closet shelves and check if the walls are clean. Remove cobwebs from the ceiling, vacuum the floor, and mop the hardwood and tile surfaces.

Tip: Always clean from top to bottom to avoid having to clean the same spot twice!

In the kitchen:

Empty cabinets and remove liners. Wipe the insides and the front surfaces clean with a damp cloth.

Remove refrigerator shelves and soak them in the sink while you scrub the inside clean with a scrubbing sponge and dish wash soap. Wipe the inside dry with a cleaning rag, wash the shelves, dry them, and put them back in. While you are at it, clean the sides, back and top of the refrigerator and also sweep below the refrigerator. If you have a dishwasher, clean it thoroughly.

Clean the oven, microwave and stove next and make sure that you remove all traces of grease and burnt food. While cleaning the stove, make sure you clean below the drip pans too. Scrub the kitchen counter top, sink and plumbing fixtures and you are good to go!

Tip: For the oven, use a paste made of baking soda and water to remove stubborn grease and grime without the harsh odors associated with heavy-duty oven cleaners.

In the bathrooms:

Empty the bathroom cupboards and take out the liners. Scrub clean the shower walls, tub, sink and counter with an all-purpose cleaning agent. Use the toothbrush for attacking the grout. Clean the toilet thoroughly from top to bottom. Spray the mirror with the vinegar solution you used on the windows and wipe clean. Dust the exhaust fan. Mop the floor.

Tip: Remember to keep at least one bathroom for the last or you may have to clean it again before you leave!

Don’t forget the outside areas

If you were using any outside storage facilities in the building, such as garage lockers, clean out those spaces. Dust and clean the outside lighting fixtures. Check your mailbox. Sweep the porch and patio.

One last time

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you say goodbye to your old home for the last time.

  • Are all the closets and cabinets empty?
  • Are all the electrical appliances/lights/fans in working condition?
  • Have you taken the trash out?
  • Do you have time-stamped photographs to document the condition of the house at the time of your move-out? These may be necessary if the landlord comes up with false damage charges later.
  • Do you have all the keys to return to the landlord?
  • Have you informed your neighbors you are moving?

A thorough move-out cleaning, especially if you have not been very particular about keeping the house in great shape all these days, can take a lot of time. If you have friends who are willing to pitch in, don’t hesitate to ask for their help. You should ideally start a few days in advance so that you are not left elbow deep in soapsuds and detergents even on the last day.

If you hate getting your hands dirty and don’t mind spending the extra dollars, you can always consider hiring a professional cleaning service to spruce up the home before you leave. But whatever you decide, don’t forget that move-out cleaning is essential to ensuring that you get your security deposit back from your landlord without a major deduction. In most cases, a happy landlord means a full refund. Here’s hoping that your moving happens as smoothly and easily as possible. All the best!

 

photoKurt Jacobson is a writer and vacation rental manager. Knowing what it takes to maintain pristine appearances for customers, he thrives on sharing what he’s learned from his experience. When he’s not managing a property, he writes about home cleaning for the Professional Home Cleaning Inc website.

5 staging tips to sell your home faster

Written by Claire Schneider

Looking to sell your home quickly and for top dollar? Staging your home is the best way to meet these objectives. If you think the cost of staging your home outweigh the benefits, think again. In fact, 95% of staged homes  take an average of 11 days or less to sell and are sold for 17% more than non-staged homes. So what are the key tried-and-true home staging tips?

We found a staging expert and Tomie Raines Inc., real estate agent, Katie Spyke, to share five simple yet effective home staging tips to get your house sold quickly and at the best price possible. Check out this video to learn how painless home staging can be!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

Moving with kids: tips from the mini movers

Written by Claire Schneider

Moving with kids can be a demanding and taxing effort, but with a little preparation and guidance on what moving day will be all about, the experience can prove to be just the opposite.

What are the most effective ways to create a fun, exciting moving experience the whole family will enjoy? We turned to the experts for their advice. See what these mini movers have to say about moving.

Be sure and check out these additional resources all about creating memorable moving experiences for each family member.

Planning on moving with kids? 5 ideas to turn packing into a game

Moving is a grueling process, especially when little ones are involved. Abrupt changes have the potential to make them feel unsettled, so it’s important to create a seamless transition. To accomplish a smooth shift, simply transform packing into a series of engaging games. You and your kids will remember moving as a fun and special time spent together by infusing creativity and engaging the senses into the process. Click here to read more.

How to move with kids and make lasting memories

Sure, we all know moving is no cakewalk, but for kids, the emotional toll could potentially run deeper. For most children, moving means leaving perhaps the only home they’ve ever known. Whether moving out of state or just around the block, children and adolescents typically exhibit signs of resistance or anxiety at the prospect of starting a new chapter. By making a few adjustments in your approach, a life-changing move can be more cakewalk than obstacle course. Continue reading here.

Tips for starting a new school

The first day of school can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re the new kid in school. Here are some simple tips to help your kids prepare for their first day.

Boss for a day

Make it easier and more fun by assigning age-appropriate tasks. For younger kids, make them responsible for bringing the movers water and snacks during breaks. Allow older kids to monitor when belongings are ready to be moved, and charge them with handling last-minute cleaning duties. A special job for younger children is to give them the role of honorary mover or “boss for a day.” Check out the video below showing how young Cade’s anxiety was reduced when the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® movers let him help lead the move project.

Don’t forget to download your free moving with kids’ checklist!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

10 Renovations to Consider for Your New Home

Guest post by Erin Devine

After the selling, buying, and moving processes are over, you can sometimes find yourself living in a new house that feels a bit foreign. Renovation projects provide you with the perfect opportunity to make the most of your creative skills while transforming your house into a home. Here are 10 popular renovation projects you can undertake to add some personality and style to your new stomping grounds:

Install Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring gives your home a distinctive mark of elegance and sophistication. You can install tongue-and-groove style planks that slide together. Visit one of the large hardware stores near you and get a lesson from an expert. Not to mention that hardwood flooring is an investment that increases the value of your home if you have to move again in the future.

Accentuate the Kitchen

Remove the knobs and pulls from the drawers and cabinets in the kitchen. Find pewter or antique finishes in restoration hardware stores. Shiny ceramic knobs are available in many colors. Backsplash tiles can also take any kitchen from drab to beautiful, and most colors and styles come in mosaic mesh mount for easy installation.

Install Medallions on the Ceiling

Unless your new home has plaster moldings, you can replicate the elegant look with plastic. They are lightweight and easy to install, and they give your home a distinctive and aristocratic look.

Replace Kitchen Faucet

Style and function are important to you in the kitchen, and the right faucet can make a big difference in both. A faucet that has a high arch lets you put large pots under it so you can scrub them easily. A graceful shape complements your kitchen area as well.

Upgrade the Mudroom

Laminate flooring is, by design, perfect for the rooms of the house that are subjected to more dirt and water than others. By prepping the floor and following other recommended procedures, laminate flooring makes a beautiful floor, and it is less expensive than hardwood. You can also install it yourself with little hassle. Join an installation class at your local hardware store.

Install Stepping Stones to Your Door

Find some round or square stones at your local store, or buy a bag of quick-setting concrete mix. Use your old cake pans or your child’s plastic toys as forms, and paint them when they are dry.

Upgrade Your Showerheads

Replace an old showerhead with a large, luxurious one. Find one that conserves water but still creates a wide spray. Or, you may want to purchase a showerhead that features a pulsing massage.

Replace Switch Plates

Armed with only a screwdriver, you can remove the old plates and install new ones. You can choose the same color for all plates or adapt your choice to match each room.

Spruce Up Your Bathrooms

Older homes often have a small mirror in the bathroom. However, you can easily update your bathroom by replacing it with a mirror that covers the entire wall, making the bathroom appear larger than it actually is. You also may want to purchase a vanity so that you have something to store your make-up, medications, and toiletries in.

Buy a Bucket of Paint

Nothing improves the overall appearance of a home more than fresh paint. Start with the room that needs it the most. If there’s a room without windows, you may want to choose a light color to instantly brighten the space.

There are many renovation possibilities for your new home, and all it takes is a little bit of dedication and some elbow grease to make a new house truly feel like home.

 

Erin Devine blogs for Floor & Décor Outlets, a factory direct flooring company specializing in hardwood and tile floors. She also maintains her own interior design and home renovation blog, DIY Home & Floor.