Archive for the ‘Checklists’ Category

Spring Cleaning

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Tulips and daffodils are making themselves known, popping up out of the dirt, a sure sign that spring is here. It’s time to get your house looking and feeling clean, inside and out. Here is a checklist of things that need doing:

• Put seasonal items away in storage (snow shovels, Christmas decorations, etc.)
• Pick up stray garbage
• Clean up after your pet
• Shake out entry mat
• Sweep the walks and deck/patio
• Rake the grass when it is dry
• Turn on hose bibs when the chance of freezing is over
• Put out hoses
• Power wash siding
• Wash windows and doors
• Clean outdoor light fixtures
• Clean outdoor furniture
• Trim trees, bushes, shrubs
• Prepare garden and flower beds for planting

• Start at the top and work your way down
• Clean ceiling fans and light fixtures
• Dust ceiling corners
• Wash or dust walls and baseboards
• Clean air vents
• Wash windows
• Wipe all light switches and electrical plug covers and door knobs
• Dust all surfaces
• Clean all window coverings
• Polish furniture
• Clean floors
• Pull out appliances and clean underneath them

Winterizing Hose Bibs

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Here is the step by step directions for winterizing your hose bib correctly, to ensure no breakage or bursting when spring rolls around.
Step One: Take Off The Hose
You can’t winterize the hose bib with the hose attached to it still. No brainer right? Detach the hose from the hose bib and drain it completely. Frozen water in hoses can cause holes and leaks too, so to keep your hose over winter it needs to be properly drained. You can lay the hose down and walk the length of it, picking up small sections and letting the water flow out. Imagine a tube of toothpaste, and try not to miss any spots. Once it’s empty, roll it up and store it for the winter months.
Step Two: Drain the Faucet
This step is quite like the steps you take to winterize faucets in your home. You’ll locate the shut off valve for the outside water line (if you have any trouble here contact a plumber to help you locate it) and shut the water off. Once the water is disconnected go back outside and turn the faucet all the way on. This will drain out any water currently sitting in the line.
Step Three: Drain the Valve
Go back inside to where the shut off was, and locate a small brass looking plug or cap. Unplug that cap, so that the valve itself will drain. Draining the water out, without emptying the valve, is useless. You must do both. Once that valve and all the water in the line have been drained, you can close the valve and shut the hose bib faucet off.
You’re Done!
It’s a simple 10 minute job, but it can save you hundreds in plumbing repairs when spring thaws the frozen winter water.

What Movers Won’t Move

Friday, March 21st, 2014

What Movers Won't Move | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamIf you are moving to or from Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, or the Edmonton region, you may be planning to use professional movers to get all your belongings from your old home to your new one.  You might be surprised to learn that there are many items these companies will not move for you, and it will be up to you to get them to your destination yourself, or dispose of them.

Why are you left on your own to deal with some things?  Laws and safety regulations account for some, while ethics and liability account for the rest.  Items the professionals won’t touch (and some you don’t want them to touch) fall into 3 main categories:  hazardous materials, perishable items, and irreplaceable valuables. 

Hazardous Materials

Anything flammable, corrosive, explosive such as:

  • Acids
  • Aerosol cans (deodorant & body spray, hair spray, spray paint, spray cleaners)
  • Batteries of all kinds
  • Bleach & ammonia
  • Charcoal
  • Chemistry sets
  • Cleaning supplies & solvents
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fireworks
  • Gardening chemicals, pesticides, fertilizer, poisons of all types
  • Lighter fluid & matches
  • Liquor
  • Nail polish & remover
  • Oils of all types
  • Paints, stains, varnishes, paint thinner, turpentine
  • Petroleum-based products:  fuel of any kind, gasoline, kerosene, motor oil, antifreeze
  • Pool chemicals
  • Propane Tanks
  • Scuba tanks
  • Weapons, firearms & ammunition
  • Yard equipment containing fuel (ask your mover if they will take equipment if it has been drained of fuel and oil)

(You might think of being sneaky and hiding some of the above in with more legitimate items.  DON’T DO IT!!  This could have all sorts of negative consequences.  Even if the vision of an exploding moving van with you being liable for the damage doesn’t become reality, you could still be on the hook for voided insurance claims and the like.  It’s just not worth it!)

Perishable Items

  • Food of almost any kind:  fresh, frozen, refrigerated, open packages of non-perishable foods
  • Houseplants
  • Animals, living or dead.  (Sorry, but Fluffy and Fido will have to ride with you!  And that stuffed deer head trophy over the mantel?  Probably that too!)
  • Almost anything containing organic materials, such as unwashed pet items (bedding, cages, food dishes, etc.), household appliances such as freezers that haven’t been cleaned of food debris, and the like.

Irreplaceable Valuables and Personal Items

Items of high monetary or sentimental value, personal items, important documents, such as:

  • Financial items:  financial statements, cheque books, cash, credit & debit cards, stocks & bonds
  • Important documents:  deeds & titles, tax records, car registrations, medical records, insurance documents (life, health, home, auto, etc.), airline & other tickets
  • Personal documents:  birth certificates, passports, marriage certificates, wills, Social Insurance cards
  • Keys (vehicles, house, safety deposit, etc.)
  • Collections (stamp, coin, sports cards)
  • Photos & memorabilia
  • Medications
  • Electronics, especially data-filled:  cell phones, computers, external hard drives, etc.
  • Other high-value items, such as artwork, antique furniture, jewelry, furs, etc.  (Some moving companies specialize in moving items like this – ask your mover)

Check with your moving company about extremely heavy or delicate items such as pool tables, pianos, hot tubs, vehicles and the like.  Some companies will, some won’t!

There is a 4th category of items you are advised not to have movers move, nor should you move those things yourself!  This category includes items you are not using because they are broken, damaged, worn out, out of style, “maybe I’ll have a use for this someday”, “that was a gift from a special person”, “I paid good money for that”…!  Take a picture of yourself with especially hard to part with items, then sell usable items, and give or throw the rest away (keep in mind some items need special hazardous waste disposal methods).  Congratulate yourself for not paying to transport and store stuff you’ll never look at it again!

Moving is a huge life event, with many, many things to think about and do.  Take a look at our Moving Guide for much more advice and help.

Comments or questions about this article or anything related to buying or selling real estate?  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.  

Change of Address Checklist

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Change of Address Checklist | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamMoving is one of those necessary and stressful life events we all experience.  If you are moving to or from Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or the Edmonton region, you’ll need to pass on your new address to many people, businesses, organizations, etc.  The list below will ensure you don’t forget anybody!

Government Agencies

(information courtesy of Service Canada:

☐  Canada Post (visit your local post office or change your address online)

☐  Canada Revenue Agency

☐  Alberta Motor Vehicle Registry (driver’s licence and vehicle registrations)

☐  Alberta Health Services

☐  Employment Insurance, if you are receiving benefits

☐  Canada Pension Plan / Old Age Security, if you are receiving benefits

☐  Canadian Firearms Centre, if you have a firearms licence.

☐  Any other government or local authorities for any additional licences you may have (e.g. hunting licence, business licence, etc.)

☐  Passport:  Did you know that you don’t have to inform anybody official to change the address on your passport?  Passport Canada says:  “A change of address does not invalidate a passport. Please cross out the old address on page 4 and write the new one in the space above the old address. Do not use correction fluid. If the space in the passport is insufficient, write the new information on a separate piece of paper and insert it into the passport.”

Utilities & Home Services

☐  Electric

☐  Gas

☐  Water

☐  Garbage, recycling

☐  Telephone / Mobile

☐  Cable, satellite

☐  Internet

☐  Newspaper delivery

☐  Water delivery / Water treatment

☐  Housecleaning services

☐  Lawn / Garden services

☐  Pool services

☐  Snow removal services

☐  Alarm or security company

Health Care & Personal Services

☐  Doctors / Health clinics

☐  Dentist, orthodontist, etc.

☐  Chiropractor, physical therapist, massage therapist, personal trainer, etc.

☐  Optometrist, optician, etc.

☐  Pharmacy

☐  Babysitter, day care

☐  Diaper service

☐  Barber / Hairstylist

☐  Veterinarian, pet care providers (kennels, groomers, etc.) (Tip: Get vet to check that the address attached to your pet’s microchip is up-to-date)

Financial & Legal

☐  Accountant

☐  Banks (transfer accounts to a branch near your new home, order new cheques, re-direct automatic deposits and payments)

☐  Lenders and loan companies (mortgage, auto, student loan, home equity)

☐  Credit card companies, department store credit card companies (Tip:  Put a “travel notification” on your credit cards when leaving home, especially if moving across country or out of the country.)

☐  Financial advisor, investment firms, broker

☐  Retirement plan holders

☐  Insurance companies (home, life, health, auto.  Tip: Check on your property insurance coverage for the time your possessions are on the move)

☐  Lawyer

Employment & Education

☐  Old employers

☐  New employers

☐  Alumni associations

☐  Your children’s schools, colleges, private lessons or extracurricular activities (sports, scouting, etc.)

☐  Public library, if you are a member

Clubs & Organizations

☐  Social

☐  Athletic (gym memberships)

☐  Religious (churches)

☐  Civic & political (community associations, political parties)

☐  Business & professional


☐  Magazines, newspapers

☐  Mail order houses, catalogues

☐  Book, music clubs

☐  Loyalty programs (AirMiles, etc.)

☐  Charities

☐  Memberships with benefit plans (such as AMA/CAA, CARP, etc.)

☐  Museums, theaters, etc. (seasons tickets)

☐  Holders of warranties (auto, home equipment, etc.)


And of course, don’t forget to pass on your new address to family and friendsTip:  Give a neighbor or your landlord a printed card with your new address so they can forward information and mail on to you.

TipIn the months leading up to your move, keep track of who sends you mail regularly and collect any change of address forms that come with your subscriptions.  You can then customize your own change of address list.

Tip:  You probably know already that if you are moving to study or work, many things may be tax deductible such as:  fees for the sale of your house (real estate agents’ commissions), lawyers’ fees for the purchase of your new house, mortgage penalty fees for selling your house before the end of the mortgage term, cancellation fees for ending the lease prematurely at your rented residence, moving fees or storage fees, subsistence fees (meals and lodging) near your former or new residence, etc.  Check with your accountant or income tax preparer.

The above works for your physical address, but what about your online presence?

  • Change the postal code or city you’ve programmed into web-based services you subscribe to, such as weather reports, local news reports, coupon services like Groupon and the like.
  • Once you’ve settled into your new home, let your online correspondents know you’ve arrived by posting a quick Facebook or Twitter message, or sending out a short email.
  • If you’ll be changing your email address, keep track of who sends you emails so that you can pass on your new one.

Need more help with moving?  Check out my Moving Guide for a detailed checklist of everything you need to do.

I welcome your comments and questions!  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at or contact me here.

Barry Twynam, Realty Executives Leading
#1 14 McLeod Avenue, Spruce Grove, Alberta, T7X 3X3
Tel: 780-962-9696 Cell: 780-910-9669 Fax: 780-962-9699
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