Whatever your reason for moving, it is important to completely clean your former residence before relocating. Maybe the house is going on the real estate market to be sold, or it is a rental property and you hope to get your full security deposit back? Leaving your old space in pristine condition should be a part of any moving checklist.
Here are a few cleaning tips to help ensure your old residence looks top notch for a potential home buyer or possibly a landlord looking for any reason to withhold your security deposit. Let’s take a closer look.
Get Rid of any Unwanted Items before you Clean
Make it a point to peruse everything you own with an eye towards getting rid of any items you no longer use or need. A trip to the Salvation Army or Goodwill lets you donate still usable items with potential tax benefits as well. Consider calling a bulk pickup service to remove any larger pieces of furniture, as it saves you a trip to a dump; many larger cities offer a free service to pickup these kinds of items, so check first before using a private service.
This is a necessary step before you clean, because it makes the process easier without furniture, other large items, and any unwanted junk getting in the way.
Pick Up Every Cleaning Item you’ll Need
When doing your packing, make sure to leave out any equipment normally used for cleaning — pack these after you clean, unless you are planning on trashing them and getting new supplies after you move. As an aside, many professional movers won’t transport cleaning solvents that may be dangerous. You need a robust supply of rubber gloves, along with specific cleaners for the bathroom, carpet (if needed), tile, glass, and floor — some bleach helps as well.
A standard array of cleaning tools, like a vacuum cleaner, mop, broom and dustpan, sponges, paper towels and dust rags will likely be needed; an old toothbrush or two can also be helpful. Hopefully, most of these items are already on hand, but a quick trip to the store may be necessary.
Concentrate on One Room at a Time
Clean one room at a time; starting off with the bedrooms makes the most sense. If everyone is pitching in, make sure the focus stays on one room at a time and that no-one gets to move on to the next room until the current room is pristine and can be crossed off the list.
Start towards the outside of your residence, gradually working your way towards the middle and finally to the entry-way. Save the especially heavy work — all bathrooms, laundry room, and the kitchen — until the bedrooms, living room, finished basement, and home offices are all fully cleaned. If you are lucky enough to have a half-bath or more than one bathroom, choose one to be the last room to clean, considering it probably gets used throughout the cleaning process.
When cleaning the kitchen, make sure the refrigerator, sink, oven, and cabinets are all spotless. It’s easy to miss spots in the oven and cabinets. Use bleach to disinfect any smells, as well as in the bathroom.
Deal with the floors as the last item on the checklist. When considering the amount of traipsing around that happens during a full household cleaning session, doing it any earlier in the process just means they’ll need to be cleaned again. If your carpets are especially dirty, consider renting an industrial power carpet cleaning system to get the job done.
A Professional Cleaning Service makes Sense if you don’t have the Time to Clean
If your work life or the other aspects of relocation limits the time you have for housecleaning, paying a professional cleaning service to do the job remains a valid option. Of course, you’ll spend more money, but the pros probably end up doing a better job.
A professional service especially makes sense when you’ve already moved and it isn’t convenient to return to clean your former residence. Your realtor probably knows a few services that will do a good job, and they have a vested interest in making sure it gets done right before your house hits the market.
Following these easy cleaning tips helps ensure your house sells quickly, or you receive any security deposit back if you previously lived in a rental. It is important not to skimp on this part of the moving process.