What to do before moving out of your place

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Bucket with rags and cleaning spray.Before you turn in your keys and collect your new ones, have you taken care of these errands?

Shut off utilities

Whether you rented or owned your previous home, if the utilities are in your name turn them off and/or get them transferred before leaving. To be safe, set the shut-off for the day after you leave and turn them on a day before you arrive. This way, you’ll never be without what you need.

Take out (all) the garbage

This is more about karma than anything else; do unto others and all that good stuff. If you have a lot more than your usual load, contact your provider to make sure they can pick it up on trash day. Some cities charge additional fees for discarded furniture and extra bags you have at the curb.

Wash your clothes

Why pack dirty things? This will be just another thing to take care of while unpacking, and you might not know where to do your laundry yet. It’s also hard to remember which clothes are clean and which ones are dirty by the time you unpack.

Forward your mail

You might know you’re moving, but your bank and magazine subscriptions do not. A quick trip to the USPS website and a $1 fee can get your mail to wherever you’re going. Let friends and family know about your new address too.

Check your storage areas

Depending on the size of your home, your storage places might be fairly extensive. Clean out the crawlspace and that weird cabinet behind the stairs. Check the space above your refrigerator — it can be a lurking place for leftover food items. Look through your storage spaces for anything you might have left unpacked. Did you leave clothes in your dresser? Check with your movers to see if this is okay. Some movers prefer to move your clothes in the drawers, other do not allow it.

Do one last sweep through

My mother would make me check under my bed twice before we moved or even left a vacation hotel room, and she was right. Two out of three times there would be nothing, but when I did leave something it would have definitely been missed. Look around for inconspicuous objects like air conditioners and mirrors that you pass by everyday, but might not think about.

Clean top to bottom

Giving your space a good cleaning is crucial, especially when you’re renting. This saves your security deposit and in turn saves you money.

Tackle the chore by starting with one room and work your way through the space. In the kitchen, pay special attention to any counter spaces, cupboards and the refrigerator and freezer, food can leave crumbs and bits behind when stored for long periods of time. When cleaning your bathroom, watch out for the mold that can lurk along the bottom of your shower curtain and in the cracks of the bathtub, as well as any soap residue. Once you finish, top the job off with a good vacuum and dusting. These are the little things you might have neglected, but are sure to deplete your security deposit if taken on by your landlord and a cleaning service.

Sometimes with the best cleaning effort, it’s easy to forget something. Rentals, especially those managed by a third party management company, relish in profiting off the fines they charge on security deposits. $35 to clean the baseboards, $15 for not wiping the ceiling fan blades… it all adds up. If you’re of the "spend money, not time" school of life, try this pro tip: call the landlord and ask which cleaning service they use to make-ready the apartment for new tenants. Hire them; you know they’re familiar with the units and will clean up to management’s standards, and they’re often a little cheaper than your average maid service. Most management companies end up paying for professional cleaning even after you clean. You might as well save yourself the elbow grease when you’ve got forty other items on that moving to-do list.

Check out more moving day tips or move organizing tips from Moveline, a radically easier way to move.