6 Places to check for Hidden Stuff Before Moving Out of Your Rental Home

Moving out of a house is a long process that takes more than a few steps. Even when you've packed everything up and loaded the boxes into a truck, there are always one or two forgotten things on high shelves, behind doors, in the attic, or in spaces you've become blind to over the years. One of the most important steps in getting a home move-in ready for the next resident is to empty out all those secret caches of stored stuff.

Most homes have these secret places where stuff was put and then forgotten about for years. You may have completely forgotten about these little caches of stuff, which is exactly how new residents wind up with a like-new house... except for that drawer of half-used pens or the box of outdated holiday decorations in the attic. The dusty plastic pitcher in the back of the kitchen cabinet. Every adult who has rented and bought houses knows of these forgotten items and has had to decide what to do with them.

Here are the top six places to look for forgotten items to help you avoid leaving behind some of your stuff when you move. 

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1) Climb Into the Attic

'Out of Sight, Out of Mind' is the whole point of having an attic. Aside from a few seasonal things like winter sweaters and summer pool toys, most stuff gets put in the attic and never again sees the light of day. Do you really know what's in the shadowy reaches of your attic? Do a thorough end-to-end check just to make sure someone didn't stash a box far from the stair entrance. You might even find hidden treasure from a previous owner.

2) Take a Flashlight to the Back Shed

Outbuildings are another very common place to forget things when packing up a house. The house may get packed, but the outbuilding just doesn't cross your mind until next winter when you think about those yard decorations you stashed. If your home has an outbuilding or a closet that is only accessible outdoors, grab a flashlight and go check it out. You probably want to spruce up the place for the new buyer anyway, and you might just find a few things you're happy to have in the pack-up.

3) Peer Under Bathroom Sinks

The cabinets underneath bathroom sinks fill with all sorts of things, including things that don't make sense to be there. It's also surprisingly easy to forget about all the things you put in these stoop-to-open spaces. Take a moment to crouch down and fully clear out the cabinets underneath all the house sinks. If you want to leave some cleaning supplies for the next owner (or the landlord), set that out separately and intentionally

Man in button down shirt searches in empty kitchen cabinets..

4) Check in All Kitchen Cabinets

Finally, be thorough in clearing kitchen cabinets. Kitchens often have cabinets deeper than their access doors. This makes room for large and rarely used items like crock pots, roasting pans, and serving dishes. But those roasting pans can also be forgotten if no one climbs in after them during pack-up. It's worth it to spend a few extra minute digging through your cabinets, unless you want to give those lost pans and pitchers to the next owners.

5) Peek Over Closet Shelves

Shorter residents have one classic thing they overlook: high shelves. Many forgotten items in homes have been found in the out-of-reach shelves in the kitchen, in upper closet spaces, and on high garage shelves. If you can't automatically see over the top of every shelf, grab yourself a sturdy chair and do the top-shelf tour of your house. This is also a good time to dust the ceiling fan blades if you haven't already.

6) Open Every Drawer You Can Find

Live in enough homes, and you are guaranteed to find one with a drawer full of completely forgotten stuff. Sometimes it's the kitchen utility drawer, and sometimes it's a bathroom drawer full of hairbrushes and clips. Before you declare your home empty, go on a quest to open every single drawer you can find. If it looks like a drawer, tug on it just in case. Then look all the way to the back of each drawer to confirm their emptiness.


Part of properly moving out of a house is clearing it of all previous possessions, whether they were yours or belonged to a previous resident. With this list, you can find all sorts of lost goodies (or just socks) so your landlord doesn't have to. Spending some extra time clearing stuff out can also help you get most (or all) of your security deposit back.

Here at Hometeam Property Management, we are proud to provide superb property management services for both homeowners and tenants in residence. For more tips and tricks, contact us today!



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