Moving houses is a huge task! You must pack everything carefully and be sure you can find everything once you get to your new home. You make decisions on what to take with you, what things to donate, and what items to go to the trash. After all that you must clean! Deep clean – everything! How do you clean when you are getting ready to move house? How clean does that house need to be? Let me give you some basic guidelines, and then some more in-depth information on how to get that house sparkling clean!
Basic Guidelines for Cleaning your House when Moving Out
- Remove everything from your house. Don’t leave random items for the new residents to clean up. Either pack it to take it with you, donate it, give it away, or throw it out. When you leave the house for the last time, that house should be empty!
- Clean as you go. Try not to save all the cleaning to do at the last minute. That could be overwhelming! As soon as you have everything packed in a room, clean it.
- Remove things like stickers and decals from the walls.
- Leave the house the way you would like to find it if you were the one moving in.
Room by Room Suggestions
Let’s take a look at some of the key things that need cleaning in each room. Maybe these suggestions will help you focus better as you clean.
If your kitchen is like mine, it gets a lot of use! Things in the kitchen always need cleaning.
As you empty your cabinets and pantry, go ahead and wash them. Just some dish soap and water usually work well to clean cabinets, both inside and out.
Your kitchen appliances need a good cleaning also. Clean them both inside and outside. Defrost the freezer and refrigerator, wipe them clean and then wipe them dry. Be sure to clean out any filters or traps in the dishwasher. Don’t forget about cleaning the inside of your oven. Range hoods or fans and their filters accumulate grease and need a thorough cleaning. If your microwave stays with the house you need to clean it also. Here is a helpful trick for cleaning microwaves: heat a cup of water in the microwave for a couple of minutes until it steams. The steam will loosen the grime inside the microwave. Then you should be able to just wipe down the inside of the microwave.
Leave your kitchen looking clean. Sweep and mop the floors. Kitchen walls attract dirt, I think! A good washing will brighten up your kitchen walls. And remember the grout between any of the wall tiles. Also, don’t forget to look up when cleaning your kitchen. Clean any stray cobwebs or dust off the ceilings and light fixtures. Finish off your kitchen cleaning by washing the windows and sliding glass doors. Dust off the window ledges and clean any dirt from the tracks of the sliding doors.
It is very important to leave a clean bathroom when you move from your home. New residents will need immediate access to a clean bathroom.
Be sure to empty all cabinets, drawers, closets, and the medicine cabinet. Give each of those a good clean with soap and water. Clean any mirrors and windows. Don’t forget the tops of medicine cabinets and cabinets.
Give all the bathroom fixtures a thorough scrubbing – toilet, sink and counter, bathtub, and the shower. Pay attention to the tile grout and also shower surrounds. Clean shower/tub doors and tracks.
Clean/dust any fan and air vent coverings. Be sure the light fixtures are dusted. Wipe down the walls and clean the floor. Pay special attention to the floor around the base of the toilet.
Just a little tip – be nice to the new residents and leave them a roll of toilet paper.
It will be much easier to thoroughly clean bedrooms once everything is packed and all the furniture is removed. Be sure you have completely emptied the closets. Have the carpets been cleaned recently? What about any curtains or drapes? Dust/clean all the corners from ceiling to floor. Wipe down walls, dust the ceiling, clean ceiling light fixtures. Wash the windows and window frames.
Dining Room/Living Room/Family Room
These rooms probably don’t get as dirty as the kitchen, but they still need a good cleaning before you move out. Again, be sure you have emptied every closet, every built-in storage or shelving unit. Clean windows and window coverings (if possible). Remove any cobwebs or dust from ceilings, walls, or corners. Clean all light fixtures. Wipe down the walls and clean the floors.
Do any of these rooms have a popcorn ceiling? How do you clean that? You can use a broom to gently “sweep” over the ceiling to clean dust or cobwebs. Or you can try using a brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner on the ceiling.
Laundry Room/Mud Room
Please don’t neglect these areas. Laundry rooms accumulate dirt and soap residues. Clean both the insides and outsides of washing machines and dryers. Be sure to clean any seals or gaskets on front-load washing machines. Leave washing machine doors open to prevent a build-up of mold. Empty the lint trap of your dryer. Clean out and wash all cabinets, cupboards, and shelving in your laundry room. Again, sweep out all cobwebs, wipe down walls, wash the floor.
Don’t Forget These Areas
Some areas of our homes may not get used very often. Or we may not think about them when we talk about cleaning the house. Here is a list to help you remember:
- Attic – Do you have an attic? What’s in it? Be sure it is all cleaned out before you move! Sweep it out; don’t leave anything behind.
- Porch/Patio/Deck – Double-check any outdoor storage on your decks, porches, or patio. Don’t forget to look under your deck for anything that might be hiding there. Clean it all out! Then, be sure to sweep all these areas clean.
- Garage – What is hiding in your garage? Clean it all out! Don’t forget to check in any garage cabinets or storage areas. When you have emptied it, give your garage a good sweeping.
- Sheds – Completely clean out and sweep out any sheds or outdoor storage structures.
- Lawn and Garden – How do your lawn and garden look? Walk around your outdoor areas and clean up any garbage you find. Look behind and under trees and shrubs for hidden garbage. What about pet areas? Have you cleaned up everywhere after your dog? Don’t have any “surprises” for the new residents to find.
Getting ready to move house is hard work! Hopefully, these suggestions will help you leave your home with everything clean and ready for new people to move in. Remember, try not to save all the cleaning until the day you move. Work ahead, be thorough, and leave your old house looking ready for new owners.