Move Out Cleaning: Hire someone or Do-It-Yourself?

move out clean  Moving day!  Whether you’ve just sold your home and movin on up or your lease is up and its time to have a fresh start somewhere new, everyone hates the dreaded Move Out Clean.   In all the planning and excitement of moving to the “NEW” most of us completely forget the meticulous details of the mess we are leaving behind.

After the boxes are packed comes the awful, seemingly endless cleaning phase.  Filling nail holes, wiping down the insides of drawers, bleaching the refrigerator, and all the other  miscellaneous B.S.  that you innocently looked over out of pure excitement to get into your new home!  Who can blame you!  You already know where everything is going and probably cant wait to start decorating!

Now comes that nasty collection letter invoicing you for ridiculous fees beyond your initial cleaning deposit, which they are now keeping.  For example, if you left a bag of trash behind for the garbage man, it isn’t unheard of to be charged a $25 fee for the removal of each bag.  Some landlords charge up to $8 per nail hole needing to be filled.  Many leasing agencies bank on this so be sure you have what is expected for your move out clean in writing.

So…  Should you hire someone or do it yourself?Move out cleaning

That’s a great question and will depend on:

  • How much time will it take you to do it yourself?  (Be realistic, and then add 2 hours)
  • Will the returned deposit outweigh the cost for a cleaning service
  • How much will I spend on cleaning supplies if I do it myself?

Most cleaning companies will gladly accept a job for a one-time move out clean.

Move out cleans tend to be fairly easy for a cleaning service because…

  • The location is empty and clear of obstacles.
  • They don’t have to work around other people


These jobs typically shouldn’t cost you more than a regular one time clean. Keep in mind, if your carpet is soiled you will need to consider shopping for carpet cleaning bids.

Whether you decide to use a cleaning service or do it yourself, always request a move out check-list from your leasing agent, land lord or Realtor.  Walking into a home that’s being inspected for a move out clean is not something anyone looks forward to, but having this list ahead of time should relieve some of the stress.

Regardless if you choose to Hire a Move Out Cleaning service or to Do-It-Yourself, we’ve put together a checklist to help you out.

Every Room:

  • Remove all nails, pins and screws. Plaster and sand holes. (Most places will not require painting, but double-check just to make sure)
  • Clean all the ceiling fixtures. Including removing light fixtures and cleaning out any deceased bugs that may have found their way in.
  • Wipe down all surfaces, rails and baseboards.
  • Clean the windows. This includes the Window sill and window tracks.
  • Clean the door knobs and doors.
  • Clean all light switches and outlets. Replace any broken.
  • Vacuum (get any stains out of the carpet, or get the carpet professionally cleaned).
  • Get rid of all cobwebs.


  • Get soap scum off the bathroom tiles and tub/shower and bleach the grout.
  • Clean out the bathroom drawers and vanity, making sure you get all the hair out (and remove any liners).
  • Clean the toilet, on top, behind, under and replace the toilet seat if needed.
  • Clean Sinks
  • Clean the mirror.
  • Clean all light fixtures and replace dead bulbs.


  • Clean out all cabinets and liners.
  • Wash the front of the cabinets.
  • Clean and disinfect all counter-tops.
  • Clean and shine up the sink and faucet.
  • Scrub the refrigerator inside and out. Remove all shelves and clean separately if necessary.
  • Scrub the oven inside and out. Remove shelving, drip pans and burners. Use steel wool, it is your friend.
  • Clean out the dishwasher if you have one.
  • Clean exhaust fan if needed.
  • Remove all appliances and sweep behind them.

Bedrooms/Living Room:

  • Dust, sweep, vacuum and mop these empty rooms.


  • Should be completely empty and swept.

Often times these checklists become a matter not only getting your deposit back, but preventing the opportunity to be stuck with additional “fees” that can turn into collections and judgments to your credit in the future.  Again, make sure you know what’s expected before you agree and set your final walk through.  Following through with these steps whether you’re the Hire someone or Do-It-Yourself type can save you headaches and money as you enjoy your New place.

By the way, Congrats on the “New” place!

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Valentine’s Day in Nashville – 2013

Nashville Valentines DayHere we are again guys/gals, Valentines Day 2013 in Nashville.  There are no doubt several of you that were wishing the apocalypse would have happened so you wouldn’t need to think about Valentine’s Day.  With Valentine’s Day 2013 approaching soon let’s begin to get some ideas so that you’re not frantically planning on Feb. 13th.

Let’s start from the beginning, Valentine’s Day is on February 14th which falls on a Thursday this year (2013).  In our previous post we listed 5 great Nashville restaurants to consider taking your loved one to dinner.  Of course the earlier you make reservation, the better.  In this article we will look at some other Valentine’s Day in Nashville ideas.

1.  Flowers 

Flowers are to Valentine’s Day as parsley is to a  fine meal.  (They make the meal look better but you can’t just give someone a plate of parsley.)  So consider your flowers are simply a garnish of the day.  They are expected and are not to be treated as the main gift themselves.  Some of the most affordable flowers can be found at your neighborhood grocery stores such as: Aldi, Kroger, Publix, and Wild Oats.  In some cases you may need to piece together your own arrangement but this can easily save you up to $50.

2. Dinner Reservations

Being that Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday this may buy you some time into the weekend (either Friday or Saturday) to make plans.  We suggest making reservations sooner than later so you’re not stuck with mid afternoon or late night reservations.  Nashville has quite a selection of great restaurants and again here are 5 great ones that we suggest.

3. In Home Chef

Forget about the reservations, hire an in-home chef to come prepare you and your significant other a romantic meal at home.  This can run you between $80-$250 per person depending on the number of courses but always an unforgettable experience.

4. Limo/Car service

Want to make an impression this year?  Hiring a limo or car service to take you both to dinner will certainly be memorable.  Most Nashville Limo companies will sell out 2-3 days prior to Valentine’s Day so if this is something you would like to do, book early.

5.  Chocolate

Who doesn’t love chocolate?  But if you don’t know what type of chocolate your significant other is keen on, start asking now and take notes. (Tip: Candy Bars in the checkout line are not suggested)  Look for something a little more exciting than your generic heart shaped box of assorted chocolates.  Check out some great Nashville local stores here:  Colts Chocolates,  The Cocoa Tree, or  Olive & Sinclair

6. A Gift

Gifts are great but remember this whole day is about being thoughtful so give your gift some thought over anything.  Don’t just buy jewelry because it’s jewelry.  A thoughtful gift will go a whole lot further.  Ask yourself these questions…

  • What does my significant other love?
  • What have they been talking about lately?
  • Did this gift require more than 5 minutes of thinking before I bought it?

After all, a gift doesn’t automatically say I love you just because You bought it.  This is where “it’s the thought that counts” comes into play.

Nashville Valentines Day Ideas – 2013


5 Great Nashville Valentine’s Day Restaurants

Surprise, Valentines Day is on Feb. 14th again this year, who knew?  This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday which may help some of the “wait til the last-minute” restaurant goers.   Being so close to the weekend, you may find that several people will wait to celebrate Valentines Day on Friday or Saturday evening.  Either way it will be a busy weekend for Nashville restaurants.

Every year, Nashville Valentine’s Day gives you an opportunity to impress your significant other by taking them to dinner at an exclusive restaurant.  Whether this is a restaurant that you frequent regularly or one that you’ve never experienced, making reservations sooner than later can make all the difference.   We suggest making reservations at least 2-4 weeks in advance to give you the upper hand with a prime time reservation slot.  (6:30-8:30 pm)  Tip: Book your reservations as soon as possible to avoid eating dinner at 4:30 pm or midnight.  Most significant others don’t care to eat dinner in the afternoon or early morning.

Nashville has a vast array of amazing restaurants and we wish we could name them all.  In this article we will simply look at 5 great Nashville Valentine’s Day Restaurants that will help you show off your love.

Animal Hugs

1.  Table 3 – (615) 739-6900

  • French cuisine 
  • Menu

3821 Green Hills Village Dr
Nashville, TN 37215

Table 3 Restaurant and Market offers customers an authentic brassiere/bistro dining experience, in a setting that combines contemporary design elements with an Old World atmosphere. Table 3 offers a distinctive, affordable wine list and menu and uses only the freshest of high-quality ingredients.

2.  Miel – (615) 298-3663

  • French/American/Bistro
  • Menu

343 53rd Ave N
Nashville, TN 37209

Miel Restaurant is committed to using as many locally sourced products as possible.  This romantic setting features a traditional French menu with a Southern twist.  From start to finish the menu is exciting and vibrant with a wine list that brings attention to several fabulous French wines.

3.  Capitol Grille – 615-345-7116

231 6th Ave N
Nashville, TN 37219

Capitol Grille’s Executive Chef Tyler Brown has emerged as one of the leaders of the industry through cultural sustainability – a movement that embraces new techniques but honors the region’s culinary roots.  Brown and his team are as well versed in the techniques of BBQ, Dry Aging beef, smoking meat, as they are in sous vide cooking.

4.  Valentino’s – (615) 327-0148

1907 W End Ave
Nashville, TN 37203

Described as Rustic Italian, Valentino’s Nashville TN Italian Restaurant maintains it excellent reputation for high-quality service and food.  This is a Nashville staple that continues to impress.

5.  Flyte World Dining and Wine – (615) 255-6200

  • American/Wine Bar
  • Menu

718 Division St
Nashville, TN 37203

Thrilling both locals and visitors to Nashville since 2006, Flyte World Dining and Wine aspires to engage our diners with local, sustainable cuisine, exceptional wines and finely crafted beers.

Chef Matthew Lackey strives to offer responsibly sourced meat and fish and locally grown produce whenever possible. Middle Tennessee and the surrounding areas provide a vast selection of delicious artisan foods. We collaborate with and promote nearly a dozen nearby farms and producers.

CMA Awards 2012: Parking tips

     The CMA Awards are upon us yet again on Nov. 1st, 2012 in Nashville Tn.  The Bridgestone Arena will be packed with Country Music Stars and fans alike.  Every year this event sells out with approximately 18,000 people at the show and another 1,000 or so working behind the scenes.  Needless to say, you’re probably not going to find a parking spot up front.  (Unless of course you’ve hired a car service for the night.)
So, here are a few tips on parking.

1. Wear comfortable shoes (or at least bring them along)
-Ladies and Gentlemen:  Plan on walking a ways.  With all of the construction surrounding the Bridgestone Arena, many sidewalks/paths are temporary and not made for beautiful footwear.
2. Make sure you park in a safe/legal place
-If you tell yourself, “I hope I don’t get towed here” it’s probably a good idea to move your vehicle.  Tow trucks are out in full force this night.  Paying $20 now is cheaper than $75 tow fee plus a $25 cab ride to your car.
-Make sure you give money to the right parking attendant.  There are quite a few bums and scam artists walking around collecting money for parking when they’re not authorized.

3. Put anything you don’t want stolen in your trunk
-The parking attendants will probably leave before the show is over.  Don’t let your car be the one that gets its windows broken out.
(I’ve seen windows broken out just to take loose change someone saw in the center console)
4. Charge your phone before hand
-In the past, at the end of the night, I hear people saying they wish they had charged their phone more before hand.  From start to finish the show will last about 3 hours.
-Tip – in the Bridgestone Arena’s Patron Club there is a “Go Charge” station which is a rapid charge phone charge system with hookups for about every type of phone.  (Unfortunately, you must be a Nashville Predators club seat ticket holder to access the club.)
5. Remember where you parked.
-This is not Disney world with tram service to Donald Duck Lot F.  Take a look at cross streets and landmarks so you can find your car at the end of the night.
6. If you plan on leaving your car overnight…

-When you park, make sure you double-check whether or not your vehicle will be allowed to stay overnight.  Some parking will be day of event only and you can run the risk of being towed the next morning.

Most of this is common sense but sometimes forgotten.  I hope this helps and we at 9Seven Executive hope you have a safe, wonderful night.

How much to tip your chauffeur?

  As a chauffeur for many    years in the Nashville limo market, many clients, friends and family ask “what should we tip our chauffeur”?


If you are looking for a quick answer, standard tipping is   between 10%-20%.

If you want to look at this a bit further, there are several factors that you may want to consider.

1. Does the limo company you’re using include automatic gratuity?

– It seems to be split down the middle with companies who include automatic gratuity vs companies who leave it completely up to the client. So, make sure to read over the confirmation/reservation agreement sent to you by the company.

– If a company does include automatic gratuity in your total, it is acceptable to give additional gratuity if your service was exceptional. (Like restaurant servers, chauffeurs work hard for tips.)

– If a company does not include automatic gratuity, most provide a way to add gratuity to your credit card or cash will do just fine.

2. Did you receive excellent service?

– Was your chauffeur on time or early?
– Did they know how to get you to your destination?
– Was the vehicle clean, inside and out?
– Did you feel safe as a passenger while you were being chauffeured?
– Did they meet and/or exceed your expectations?
(Just to name a few)

3. What type of trip were you on?

– Was it a simple airport transfer or all night hourly trip?
– Did the vehicle require any special certifications (like a CDL) for your chauffeur?

These are a few things you should consider when calculating a chauffeur tip.