The Commonwealth Blog

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Major Steps in a Move-Out Checklist

Selling your house is a busy enough process, but getting ready to leave it is downright hectic. There are a lot of loose ends to tie up and pieces to pack in the transition from one home to another.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your move, reference this checklist to ease your stress while moving from point A to B.

Notify Others of Your Move

Sometime between signing the papers for your new house and packing, you’ll need to contact the post office and your utility companies to let them know you’re moving. Visit usps.com to change your address so your mail is forwarded to your new place. The post office only forwards monthly and bimonthly subscriptions for up to 60 days, so you’ll need to notify publishers separately if you want to keep reading the paper with your morning cup of joe.

It’s just as important to inform your local utilities (gas, electric, water, sewer, trash, and garbage) of your move so they can discontinue services around the date of your exit. If you aren’t transferring service to your new residence, you should still give them your new address so they can send your final bills.

Lastly, if you have homeowners insurance, discontinue coverage on your old home to make sure you’re not paying for two policies.

Do a Thorough Housecleaning

Make room in your schedule for cleaning time before and after you pack. If you clean before you move boxes, you’ll be less likely to drag dirt and dust around the house.

A “broom clean,” a light cleaning of the entire house, is the move-out standard. Dust and wipe down all surfaces (bookshelves, countertops, and walls included), then sweep or vacuum your floors. Unless you’ve agreed to go above and beyond, these general cleaning tasks should be enough for your buyers. They’ll clean the house to their own standards once they move in, but you should still tidy up to leave a good impression on the new owners.

If there’s any confusion regarding your cleaning responsibilities, read over your purchase agreement to better understand what you’ve agreed to handle. If you’re not in a position to take care of the house yourself before moving out, hire a cleaning service to do the work for you.

Label Your Moving Boxes

Don’t forget to label your boxes before the big moving day so you know which ones to load into the truck first (remember, boxes that go in first will come out last). The general advice is to organize boxes by room and label the rooms by numbers or colors. When it’s time to unpack, you’ll know where each box goes.

Stress Less and Get More Done

Refer to this handy-dandy moving checklist if you get stressed in the days—or minutes—leading up to your move. If you take care of these tasks ahead of time, you’ll set yourself up for a smooth transition.


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