So you’ve given or are about to give your 30-day notice and are preparing for PCS. What now? Surely you’ve heard infamous stories about military move-out and various ways that other service members and their families may have lost money in the move-out process– but we’re here to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you. Read on to learn more about what to do before and after your move-out inspection.

Before Inspection 

One of the most important tips to keep in mind is that you should start preparing for the inspection as soon as you know you’ll be changing stations or housing situations.

First, take stock of any repairs that need to be done around your house, both inside and outside. To save yourself some money, it’s highly suggested to do any of the easy repairs yourself ASAP, and then you can schedule the repairs that are a bit more involved with a trusted or highly referred repairman.

The next step might feel the most daunting: it’s time to clean your space from top to bottom, inside and outside. Gather up all your cleaning supplies, and peruse any move-out checklists that your base might have for you. Those checklists should give a comprehensive overview of what will be checked during your inspection, so read over them carefully.

Surprising Areas to Clean 

Don’t forget the following areas when you’re preparing for inspection:

  • Refrigerator shelves (it’s best to take them out of the appliance and spray them down)
  • Baseboards
  • Light fixtures (dead bugs can accumulate in these, so washing them out is key)
  • Stairs (vacuum and/or dust these)
  • Stovetop grates
  • Behind and under the stove
  • Trashcans

It is indeed possible to pass your move-out inspection, but you’ll have to pay attention to the parts of the housing that don’t get cleaned regularly. It’s also possible to hire cleaning services that are tailored specifically to the military move-out process, but if you are more budget-conscious, take confidence in knowing that you can do it yourself… and pass!

After Inspection 

If you didn’t pass the inspection, don’t fret. You still have time to re-clean the space and make sure they’re up to standards. If you hired a cleaning company, you can ask them to come back depending on their terms of service, and some companies can be obligated to come back until your inspection is passed. You can also choose to simply pay the damages or associated fees. Your base should have all the relevant damage and repair information.

If you did pass, congratulations! Safe travels to your next destination. If you’re PCSing to another military housing situation, remember to get all the relevant information as you’re moving in to ensure that your next move-out process goes as smoothly as the last one.