Moving into a new place is hard work. Not only do you have to leave your old house or apartment clean enough for the next people—whether you’re looking to get your deposit back or sell the place—there’s still the fact that you also have to clean the new house before moving in. After packing and unpacking, carrying boxes and boxes all over the home, dealing with contracts, and moving everything you own, who could blame you for not having a cleaning plan laid out?
Well, we want to help you out. If you just don’t know where to start with your move-in/out cleaning, follow this extensive and detailed checklist that you can customize however you want. This is also a great move-out cleaning guide for tenants who don’t want to lose their deposit. Not only will you do an excellent job, but you’ll also be done in no time!
There are a couple of things you have to consider before getting your hands dirty. These tips will help you make your work more effective, and you won’t end up causing more trouble for yourself or the people helping you move.
- Cleaning is the first thing you have to do before the movers arrive at your old house and then leave your new one.
- Make sure that you have every tool and supply you need before you begin. You are moving after all, so you might have already packed in your mop, or all your soaps, and you’ll have to either run to the store or go through your boxes all over again.
- Save a day of the week to devote it entirely to the cleaning, or get an extra pair of hands to help you do it. These projects tend to be a little more challenging than regular cleaning because you will be facing old grime and dust.
Now, onto the checklist proper:
AROUND THE HOUSE
- Take out all the nails and screws that are sticking from the walls and ceiling (unless you have a use for them) and fill the holes with putty to smooth them over. Finally, paint over them.
- Dust EVERYWHERE around the house, and we do mean everywhere. Focus on getting all the dust out of corners, windows, ledges, blinds, baseboards, fans, and light fixtures, then get rid of all cobwebs.
- Clean every carpet in the house by vacuuming and removing any stains. You can also get it professionally cleaned.
- Wipe and disinfect all the doorknobs in the house. Do the same for all the light switches and even the outlets if you have already cut the power.
- Mop the floors where there is no carpet. Be careful to use the appropriate technique depending on whether it’s a wooden or tile floor because of their special requirements.
- Scrub the soap scum off of the tiles, sink, and tub/shower. Use bleach on the grout to get rid of the grime that builds there.
- Wipe the mirror very well until it is perfectly clear. That means no splash or soap stains.
- Clean out the exhaust fan. You can do this easily by using a vacuum right next to it while it’s turned on.
- Give the toilet a very, very thorough cleaning. That means heavy wiping and disinfectant use. If it’s still too ugly to just leave as is, replace it.
- Clean out the drawers by removing all the debris and loose hairs out of it.
- Either clean or throw out the shower rack and soap dishes. If you’re going to clean, use an all-purpose cleaner for it, then move on to the walls and ceiling.
- While it’s not recommended that you use it regularly, a move is a perfect time to use the self-cleaning option on your oven. Clean the burners, grills, exhaust fan, and hood.
- Empty the garbage disposal, and make sure it doesn’t give out a bad smell. If it does, you can solve it by putting in some lemon halves and turning it on.
- Vacuum and mop the floors.
- Take everything that’s left inside the cabinets, shelves, and drawers, including the liners. Wipe them down both inside and out.
- Clean the inside of the fridge and freezer, then move onto the microwave (both should be unplugged long before you started cleaning). Remember to clean behind and under them, so you might need a little help. Be careful when doing so.
- Wipe and scrub the countertops with a powerful cleaner. Be particularly thorough around the stove, as that’s where many stains tend to be.
- Make sure they are absolutely empty.
- Leave all windows closed and clean them from the inside.
- Clear the garage completely. Make sure that you’re not forgetting anything that’s not nailed to the floor or walls.
- Sweep away all the dirt. If there are any grease or oil stains, you can try removing them with a strong detergent, degreaser and a stiff brush. Do so only when the room is properly ventilated.
- Fix any permanent wall furniture, such as racks.
- Wipe down the outside of your washing machine, and clean the inside using baking soda.
- Pull out weeds and trim the grass so it doesn’t look unkempt.
- Remove decorations and other objects such as bird feeders and houses, clothesline, and others.
- If there is cement around the garden, remove the grass stains using a stiff brush.
We told you it was a pretty tough job! If you’re already dreading the thought of doing all this, you can take the easy way out—there’s no shame in it—and calling a professional to handle the heavy lifting. After all the stress that moving out brings, we’re sure you’re ready to relax.