You’ve purged and packed, followed a weekly timeline, and now your moving day is almost upon you. It’s an exciting time! But there’s one last thing you need to do: get your home ready for the action. Movers, whether friends or professionals, will appreciate arriving at a home that’s organized, easy (and safe) to navigate, and ready to go.
Preparing your home for movers
A little preparation goes a long way towards making sure your move goes as smoothly as possible. Here are some important steps you can take when preparing for a move to make it safe for everyone involved and to protect your home from damage:
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1. Children & pets
If your kids are old enough, they can help out with the move, but young ones and pets are better left with a trusted friend or relative, or in a safe, secure room out of the way with someone watching them. With so much going on, it can be unsafe and stressful for children and pets, who can easily get underfoot or accidentally be let out of the house.
2. Protect your home and remove obstacles
Professional movers are well-versed at moving furniture and boxes without causing damage, but accidents do happen, so it’s best to be prepared to avoid the worst. Here are some things you can do to protect both your home and your stuff:
- Protect floors and carpets with plastic, cardboard, newspaper, old sheets and rugs, or other protective material to prevent scratches and dents and limit the amount of dirt your floors are exposed to. Just make sure it’s not a slippery material!
- Attach sheets to walls to prevent scratches.
- Wrap stair railings and bannisters with thick blankets.
- Install temporary corner guards.
- If possible, put down non-slip treads on stairs.
- Remove doors from the hinges and add padding to the frame.
- Take down everything hanging on the walls.
- For large items, plan out the best possible route in advance and discuss it with your movers before they begin.
3. Separate important items
Anything that you do not want placed on the truck should be moved into a labelled and locked room to prevent any mixups. This includes personal documents, valuables, prized possessions, and your survival pack of things you’ll need during your transition to the new home.
Preparing your home for its new residents
When preparing for a move, whether it’s a condo, apartment, or house, there are a few things you’ll need to do before moving day arrives. If you’re living in a rental, this part of moving may need to be completed sooner rather than later, since your property and residence will likely need to be inspected by the landlord.
1. Take stock
You’ll have less work to do if you’ve already cleaned and fixed up your house before moving day in order to present a good face for prospective buyers, but there are still a few minor things you might need to take care of.
Take a tour of your home and make a checklist of anything that needs to be patched, cleaned up, painted, or fixed. It’s also a good idea to document the condition of the house before the moving crew arrives, in case there is an accident and something gets damaged. Nancy Tallman believes that this is the perfect opportunity to take stock of your possessions and get started on the decluttering process:
When I am working with clients who are selling their home and preparing to move, I suggest they begin to start packing before we put their home on the market. Preparing a home for market means massive cleaning and de-cluttering. I suggest my clients think of this de-cluttering process as preparing for their move. It should involve tasks like packing up books, sentimental belongings and off-season wardrobe items. Toys, clothes and damaged furniture that are no longer used should be donated or tossed. I have worked with people who had multiple sets of china and linen closets filled to the brim with towels and linens that were not used in years. All of these items should be dealt with before the house is put on the market. Once a buyer is found for the home, the process becomes more stressful and will move pretty quickly.
2. Fix holes in walls
Make sure you pick up some spackle or wall putty, and as you take down artwork, photographs, and other cherished items, fill in any holes you may find. If you use spackle, don’t forget to sand it afterwards to ensure it’s smooth.
3. Touch up paint
If there’s anywhere in your house that has chipped or peeling paint, it’s time for a touch up. Bathrooms are the most likely rooms for this problem because the humidity can decrease the longevity of a coat of paint. After you’ve patched all the holes, paint any walls that are in need of a fresh coat, even if it’s just a spot touch-up.
4. Neat, clean, and organized
Whether you’re staging your home for an open house, you’ve already sold it, or you have a landlord’s inspection coming up, cleaning your home is necessary before you surrender the keys. Not only does a thorough cleaning create a good impression for potential buyers and help you get back any security deposits, it also helps you ensure you’re not forgetting anything important. Moving is hard enough without having to clean up the mess someone else left in your new home, so make sure you do a good job. Kyle Hiscock believes that this is one of the most important tasks for a homeowner to complete before closing:
One of the most common final walk-through issues from the soon to be owners of a home is that it’s dirty. One of the most important tasks for a homeowner to complete prior to the closing is to ensure the home is cleaned. This includes tasks such as vacuuming the carpets, washing the floors, and cleaning the sinks and toilets. There is nothing worse than a closing being delayed or even worse, cancelled, because of a dirty home.
Add these tasks you might have missed to your moving day checklist:
- Dust for cobwebs.
- Clean the windows, inside and out.
- Vacuum, wash, and treat floors.
- Scrub the baseboards.
- Clean and wipe down kitchen appliances.
- Cut the grass.
- Remove dead branches.
- Clear any debris from walkways and the driveway.
- Scrub or power wash decks, stairs, and patio stones.
5. Don’t forget the entranceway
Download a printable moving day checklist
Walkways, porches, front stoops, and foyers are often neglected during home preparations for moving day. Not only will an attractive entranceway entice buyers and be appreciated by new residents, it also makes the space safer for movers. Make sure you carefully inspect the area around the front of your house for loose or cracked stones, rotted floorboards, damaged concrete, and other tripping hazards. Repair or replace any damaged sections and spot- or repaint any areas that need it.
6. Remember the utilities
In the chaos of a move, it’s easy to forget something simple like shutting off your utilities. Call as soon as you know your move-out date and schedule the utilities to be shut off the day after your big move, so you don’t have to worry about loss of power or water while you’re still in the house.
7. Help the new owners get settled
Realtor Lynn Pineda suggests leaving behind operating manuals, useful tips, and directions for appliances and utilities:
If you were lucky enough to have been on the receiving end of a prior homeowner welcoming you to their old home, you know exactly what it meant to be a recipient. There will be new switches, new gadgets and new equipment that all come with a new way of being operated. Nothing is worse than getting moved into a new home and you have no idea of how to operate something. Gather up all of your manuals to leave behind in one spot, and write out any directions that would be beneficial for the new homeowner. If all homeowners did this, just imagine how our lives could be made that much simpler avoiding unwanted stress.
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Download the complete printable Ultimate Guide to Preparing for Your Move.
Keep Reading the Ultimate Guide to Preparing for Your Move
Part 1: Budgeting for Your Move
Part 7: Moving Large, Heavy, or Bulky Items