(ARA) - Whether you're renting a truck or paying for movers, costs can add up quickly when you're changing residences. If you've been renting, the full return of your security deposit may come as sweet relief as you move from one place to the next.
Because you've been without that healthy chunk of change since moving in to the place you're now leaving, anything less than a full refund would be a disappointment. It would be a shame if a spot on the carpet, a broken blind or knick gave your landlord a reason to withhold a large portion, or all, of your security deposit.
With a careful eye and some elbow grease, you can ensure that you get your full deposit back and put the money to good use during the next phase of your life. Home improvement experts and authors of "Dare to Repair" Julie Sussman and Stephanie Glakas-Tenet teamed up with Lowe's to offer the following tips for getting your full deposit back:
* Work with your landlord. Obtain a list from your landlord that defines normal wear and tear, as well as tasks that must be completed upon moving out. If possible, have your landlord do a walk-through with you before moving out. If not, take photos so you have proof of the condition your residence was in when you left.
* Pack first, clean later. While cleaning and making minor repairs are integral to getting your deposit back, it's a lot easier to do once everything has been cleared out of your residence. A home improvement store like Lowe's will have all the boxes and moving supplies you may need.
* Dust and vacuum. Do not limit to just floors and obvious places. Dust light fixtures, ceiling fan blades and around the windows. Vacuum closets and under appliances.
* Clean appliances. Check the manufacturer's website for instructions on cleaning the oven. This can take hours, so budget your time accordingly. Clean the refrigerator with a warm, soapy rag and move shelves to be cleaned to the sink. Dry the shelves before returning to the fridge. A handy trick for cleaning microwaves is to fill a microwave-safe bowl with water and half a lemon and heat it for a few minutes. Remove the bowl, wear an oven mitt and wipe down the inside with a wet rag. Clean the exterior of your washer and dryer and remove lint.
* Make sure the kitchen and bathrooms are spotless. Use specialty cleaners for toilets, sinks and other surfaces if necessary.
* Touch up walls. Use lightweight joint compound for nail holes and wall repair patch over larger holes. Let the filling dry, sand and paint. For cracks, use wall repair tape, let dry, sand and dust. Reapply and follow the same process before painting. To find the right paint, take a chip of paint to a home improvement Â store and have it matched to the original paint color. Consider a one-coat-and-you're-done paint like Valspar Signature, which is carried by Lowe's, to save time.
* Clean carpeting. Before spot-cleaning the carpet, test the carpet cleaning product in an out-of-sight area.
* Replace broken items. Look for burnt-out or broken light bulbs both inside and out and replace. Check for blinds and shades that are broken.
* Clean up outside. Pick up trash. Mow and sweep if necessary.
* Donate items you don't want or need. Look for local charitable organizations that could use the items instead of throwing them out. Ask for a receipt so you can write off your donations on your taxes.
For more help with your moving needs, visit your local Lowe's or lowes.com/moving.
Courtesy of ARAcontent