We recently PCSed (moved) from Tinker AFB in Oklahoma to Joint Base San Antonio. (Lackland.) We lived on base in Oklahoma so when it was time to move, we knew we'd be going through an inspection. This means someone comes into the house and makes sure everything is clean. (There's also a pre-inspection. I wrote about that here.) You cannot leave until they sign off. It can be rather daunting, but I have tips.
1. We paid them to clean. No wait! Don't go! Even though we paid them to clean, we still were responsible for some things. Take a look:
Now, personally if I'm forking over $300, I shouldn't have to clean a damn thing. But Balfour Beatty is mean.
2. One thing we had to do? Clean all the outdoor light fixtures. Bugs will get trapped in them so we had to unscrew them. A tip? Put them in the dishwasher. I'm serious. It works!
3. Keep out a vacuum until the last minute. The packers are generally nice and will allow this. When they DO pack up the vacuum, make sure you have a friend who can loan you one. You MUST have clean floors otherwise they'll charge you.
4. We just made sure we started to clean as soon as the movers packed up all our stuff. Even though we paid them to clean, we didn't want to wait until the last moment to do what we were in charge of. My husband cleaned out the trash cans the day after the movers left. You'd think this was an easy task, but sometimes food and gunk gets stuck on the bottom. It took him about a half hour to clean it all away. My advice? Routinely clean out your trash cans.
3. We were polite. Maybe TOO polite. I was not pleased when they claimed a piece of carpet was not able to be fixed. I reminded them we had lived there for almost 5 years. We have kids. Pets. It's not going to look perfect. But because they weren't able to patch it, we had to pay for it. (However, if you have renter's insurance, call them, because they might cover it. USAA did cover the carpet!) But I think because we didn't show up at the final inspection with foul moods, it made the lady inspecting the house maybe a little kinder. After all, we had a stain under the sink when my shampoo spilled out and she didn't say a thing. I worried we'd have to pay for it.
4. A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is your friend. We used this to clean the fridge. There were some stains on the bottom and the eraser got it right up. We also had some stains on the floor. Also, set aside some cleaning sprays. The movers won't pack them anyway.
5. Be careful when pulling out your stove and fridge. Another thing we had to do was clean underneath these. My husband and I each took a side and pulled slowly. Then we used the vacuum, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, and the cleaning spray to get the floor. It really wasn't as bad as I thought.
Inspections are never fun. In fact, I made this:
It's nerve-wracking. Uncomfortable. And irritating when you're told you owe money. But it's what comes with living on base.