Hopkinton MA Real Estate | Donna Coakley McGowan - Millennium Realty


When you’ve gone through the lengthy and tiring process of seeking out, bidding on, and buying a new home and then sell your home, the last thing you want to worry about is cleaning your old house before you leave.

 However, there’s multiple reasons you’ll want to ensure your old house is clean before you leave. First, as a common courtesy, you’ll want the new owners of your home to have a good first experience and to maintain your rapport with them after closing day. However, there are also legal and financial issues at play.

If your contract states that your home needs to have been “broom-swept” or some other form of cleaning before you leave, then your new owners could technically postpone closing. Furthermore, some states have laws requiring that homes are cleaned by their previous owners before they move out.

 Although it can be difficult to define just how clean a home needs to be, legally speaking, your best option is to do your part to leave the home relatively clean, whether that means cleaning it yourself or hiring a cleaning company.

Legal reasons for cleaning your old house

As mentioned earlier, some states state cleaning requirements in the purchase contract when you sell your home. Their definitions of clean can often be vague, but usually include sweeping floors, wiping down surfaces, stripping nails and hangers from walls, and carrying out all furniture and garbage.

These rules are mostly designed to protect people who purchase a home from getting stuck with bulk items and other surprise issues that they’ll have to pay for.

An exception to this is when your home is sold “as is” or when you have some form of written agreement between you and the new owner that some part f your home will be left as is.

Cleaning your house

The ideal time to clean your house is once you’ve moved everything out. However, if you’re moving over a long distance, you might not be able to return to the house once it’s empty to give it a final cleaning.

In this case, your best option is to have your furniture and boxes packed away neatly in the garage, or in the corner of one room. Doing so will allow you to sweep, clean surfaces, wipe down cabinets, and so on, while your belongings are still in the house.

Just be sure to keep a broom handy once you’ve put everything on the moving truck so you can give one last sweep of the floor before you say goodbye to your old home.

Cleaning checklist

It can be difficult to keep track of everything you’ll want to clean before you move out, so here’s a list to go by:

  • Sweep all floors

  • Vacuum all carpets

  • Wipe down cabinets, shelves

  • Try to sweep under appliances, oven, etc.

  • Spray sinks and tubs, leave air freshener in bathroom

  • Wipe inside of refrigerator, if applicable

  • Remove all nails from walls

  • Do a final walkthrough and remove any trash you’ve missed


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Most times, after moving your property into your new home, you have stacks of empty cardboard boxes to put away. After taking out the contents, you might be wondering what to do with that pile of cardboard. Thankfully, cardboard moving boxes are easy to reuse and can serve other purposes.

Break Down All Your Boxes

The first thing to do with your moving boxes in preparation for recycling is to break them down; it makes it easier to recycle. Empty all contents in the boxes, cut tape along the connections rather than tearing it off, collapse the boxes, and ensure they are entirely flat. Cut out any part that might have damage from liquids or spills as it is almost impossible for recycling companies to recycle saturated cardboards. Store the deconstructed boxes in a dry place until you can bring them to a waste management facility or until you can arrange for pickup.

Check with the Waste Management Company 

Before bringing out all your boxes and stacking them right next to your bin, ensure the waste management truck will collect them during regular pickup times. Most cardboard boxes take up a lot of space even when collapsed, so services pick them up on different days or require you to deliver them. Put a call into your waste management company or instructions or ask for a drop off point you can take the boxes to yourself.

Put the Cardboard to Use Yourself

You can repurpose your boxes without sending them to the recycling plants. Consider the following:

  • For Compost: If you make compost, throw your cardboard boxes into the pile. They will break down into mulching for gardening. You can compost boxes damaged by food or water but avoid incorporating boxes soiled by chemicals. 

  • For Protecting Your Floors: If you intend to paint your new home, your cardboard will come in handy for protecting your floor from paint spills. Cut open your boxes to make them bigger and tape them together to protect a wood floor or carpet. 

Lastly, rather than recycle or repurpose your boxes, be a good neighbor, and consider gifting them to someone that is moving. Check with your real estate agent to see if another client could use your boxes.


If you need to relocate from one address to another, it usually pays to plan an early-morning move. In fact, there are many reasons to consider an early-morning move, such as:

1. You can beat the heat.

No one wants to deal with extreme heat on moving day. However, the weather sometimes can be unpredictable, and hot temperatures may force you to rethink your moving day plans if you're not careful.

One of the best ways to beat the heat on moving day is to schedule an early-morning move. That way, you can pack all of your belongings into a moving truck and begin your journey to your new address before the hottest points of a given day.

Typically, the sun reaches its pinnacle in the mid-afternoon, i.e. the period when you'll likely encounter the highest temperatures during the day. But if you complete the majority of your move before this period, you can limit the risk that excess heat will slow you down.

2. You can avoid heavy traffic.

Ideally, you'd like to take all of your belongings to your new address as quickly as possible. Yet heavy traffic may add several hours to your moving day travel.

An early-morning move offers a great opportunity to avoid heavy traffic. For instance, if you pack a moving truck early in the morning, you may be ready to drive to your new home by late-morning or early-afternoon. Thus, you can avoid the heavy traffic associated with people traveling to work in the morning, along with the traffic associated with people heading home from work at the end of the afternoon.

3. You can finish your move earlier in the day.

Remember, the earlier that you begin your move, the sooner you can finish. If you kick off an early-morning relocation, you can complete your move earlier in the day and immediately start to get settled into your new address.

If you need help planning for an early-morning move, there is no need to worry. Many moving companies are available nationwide to help you alleviate stress prior to moving day.

A moving company employs highly trained specialists who can help you take the guesswork out of getting ready for moving day. This business also offers expert moving day recommendations and suggestions and will ensure that all of your big and small items can reach your final destination without delay.

In addition, if you're unsure about where to find a moving company, you can always consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you buy or sell a home, as well as connect you with the top moving companies in your area. By doing so, a real estate agent will guarantee that you can get the moving day support that you need, precisely when you need it.

For those who are preparing for moving day, it may be worthwhile to consider an early-morning move. If you start mapping out an early-morning move today, you can increase the likelihood of a fast, seamless moving day experience.


When it comes to moving, how do you pack up food and ensure it will safely make it from Point A to Point B? There are many challenges associated with packing and storing food while you move. Fortunately, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of packing up food so that you can enjoy it once you reach your new home.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can quickly and effortlessly pack your food and transport it to a new address.

1. Get Rid of Any Expired Food Items

Go through your pantry and remove any expired or soon-to-expire food items. That way, you won't have to worry about transporting these items to your new address on moving day.

In addition, you should try to eliminate food waste. For soon-to-expire foods, consume them before it's too late. Or, you can always offer these items to friends or family members.

2. Pack Fragile Food Items Carefully

Flour, sugar and other fragile food items likely require extra attention when you pack. If you dedicate the necessary time and resources to pack fragile food items carefully, you can eliminate the risk that these items could leak or spill while you're moving.

Heavy-duty, sealable containers are ideal for storing fragile food items. These containers usually are easy to find at supermarkets and retail outlets and will ensure your food items will remain safe and secure at all times.

Furthermore, don't forget to cover salt and pepper shakers. Place a piece of masking tape over the top of these shakers, and you can prevent the shakers from spilling out.

3. Use Appropriate Moving Boxes

Moving boxes come in many sizes, and when you're packing food items, you'll want to use the right-sized boxes. By doing so, you may be able to store various food items in the same box – something that may help you unpack quickly once you reach your final destination.

In most instances, small and medium-sized moving boxes are perfect for food items. These boxes offer plenty of space. Plus, with the right-sized moving boxes in hand, you may be able to avoid the temptation to stuff too many heavy food items into a single box.

If you need additional support with packing food items or other belongings, you may want to discuss your options with a professional moving company. This business employs friendly, knowledgeable staff members who can help you prepare for moving day.

Lastly, it never hurts to collaborate with a real estate agent, either. In addition to helping you buy or sell a house, a real estate agent can offer recommendations about moving companies in your area. Therefore, a real estate agent can provide extra help as you search for ways to streamline the moving process.

Simplify the process of moving your food items from one location to the next – use the aforementioned tips, and you can ensure all of your food items will arrive intact at your new address.


You've sold your house, and now, you have only a few weeks to pack up all of your personal belongings and move them out of your current residence. Time moves quickly, especially in the days after you accept a homebuyer's offer to purchase your house. Thus, you'll need to pick up essential packing supplies so you can prep your belongings and ensure you're ready to relocate without delay. So what are some of the must-own packing items for those who need to move out of a home? Here are four essential packing supplies that you'll need to take your belongings from one location to another quickly and safely: 1. Cardboard Boxes No packing checklist would be complete without cardboard boxes, as these boxes enable you to pack up items big and small and transport them between locations. Ideally, you'll want to pick up cardboard boxes of all sizes before you relocate. By doing so, you'll be ready to pack up a wide range of belongings, place them in cardboard boxes of different sizes and streamline the process of getting ready for an upcoming move. 2. Bubble Wrap Want to protect valuable antiques and other delicate items? Pack them in bubble wrap, and you'll be able to minimize the risk of damage to these items when you relocate to your new address. Bubble wrap is readily available and affordable, and it can make a world of difference when you're moving. Ultimately, it is always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to bubble wrap, too. And if you're uncertain about whether an item should be placed in bubble wrap, you may want to use as much bubble wrap is needed to safeguard this item and minimize the risk that it could break or be damaged during your move. 3. Duct Tape Duct tape is paramount because it enables you to seal any cardboard boxes instantly. Plus, the seal that duct tape provides is strong and will ensure that your belongings will stay in place throughout your move. Like bubble wrap, duct tape is easy to find and inexpensive. As such, you should pick up multiple rolls of duct tape as you begin packing, because doing so will guarantee you're able to pack up your belongings and store them in cardboard boxes safely. 4. Pens and Markers Want to label your moving boxes and ensure you're able to put them in the right place at your new address? With bright, vibrant pens and markers at your disposal, you can label your moving boxes to your heart's delight. Having a large array of pens and markers may make it easier to categorize your belongings as well. In fact, you can even use a color-coded labeling system to organize your belongings by room to ensure you can unpack quickly after you arrive at your new home. When it comes to relocating from one address to another, you'll want to do everything you can to make the moving process as simple as possible. And with the aforementioned packing supplies, you should have no trouble preparing for your move and guaranteeing all of your belongings reach your new home.



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