6 Tips: Moving-Out Etiquette

When moving, show your home & it’s new occupants some love by giving your space a thorough cleaning. While it may not be a part of your written agreement, it’s not only a gesture of goodwill, it may also benefit you down the road.  

Ideally, your final cleaning would happen after you’ve packed everything into the moving truck, but that’s not always an option.  If you must clean around your belongings, try to corral as many of your belongings as possible into one area, so that when you do remove everything, that one space can quickly be cleaned or at least swept up.

Before we get down to the details, I would like to emphasize the importance of planning ahead. Even the most well executed moves can become chaotic at the last moment- it’s easy to run out of time. If you think you may find yourself down to the wire, consider hiring a professional to give your home a thorough scrub once you’re out (or close to it).

Leading up to the move, you’ll probably find yourself with things the new occupant could use. Paint, garden supplies, cleaning products, shelving- while you may think you’re doing them a favor by leaving these things behind, you could be creating a headache. Ask if they want these items in advance & remove what they don’t want ahead of time. 

Without further ado, here are our 6 steps to creating good moving day karma:

1. Wipe down (or spot clean) the walls, doors, door frames & switch plates. Sweep the cobwebs from the walls & ceilings, wipe the grime from the edges of doors & door frames & clean off any stains or gunk left behind by children or pets.

2. Clean the bathrooms. Clean it like you’re expecting company. Nothing says “ew, gross!” like someone else’s bathroom grime left behind when they move out.

3. Clean the kitchen. In addition to wiping off the counters & rinsing out the sink, be sure to clean the fridge, stove, microwave & dishwasher, inside out.

4. Take out the trash. Moving out before trash day? Ask a neighbor to pull your trash cans to the curb for you, so that when your buyers move in, they have access to an empty trash bin.

5. Take all your stuff. Sure, it’s polite to leave behind that extra gallon of touch-up paint, or the left-over tiles from your kitchen renovation. But it’s not helpful to leave stuff simply because you no longer want it. Don’t make your buyers move the rest of your stuff out before they can move their stuff in.

6. Don’t forget the unfinished basement & garage. Clear them out, do a quick cobweb sweep & sweep of the floor.

Do you have to do these things? Nope. But your buyers will appreciate it. And just think — wouldn’t it be nice if the people moving out of your new home did the same for you? We agree!

PS- Not sure what to do with your perfectly good paint, household chemicals, etc? Check out our post “Dispose + Rehome Your Stuff (And Avoid The Landfill!)”