With the multitude of tasks and responsibilities, cleaning before moving in often falls low on the priority list for many. Cleaning is a crucial task that ranks prominently on the list of essential to-dos. Freshly constructed homes can leave dust and debris in unexpected nooks, whereas purchasing a pre-existing home might entail hidden dirt in various corners. During the cleaning process, you could uncover aspects that require repair or replacement.
In addition to decluttering and packing ahead of time, prioritizing a comprehensive deep clean before you start moving your belongings in is a crucial step to include on your checklist for transitioning into a new home.
As you prepare your belongings for packing, remember to set aside your cleaning essentials. This way, you’ll be well-prepared and ready as soon as you receive your keys. At the very least, we suggest having the following tools and equipment on hand:
- mop and bucket
- vacuum cleaner
- broom and dustpan
- rubber gloves
- all-purpose clearner
- grout brush
- paper towels
- microfiber cloths
Clean at the Top First
Dust doesn’t solely accumulate on floors and countertops. Ceiling fans, overhead light fixtures, shelves, and other elements near the ceiling are equally susceptible to gathering grime. Commence cleaning from the highest point of the area and work your way downwards. Begin by using a duster to remove cobwebs, dust, and dander from the ceiling, corners, vents, fans, and light fixtures. Use the telescopic wand of your vacuum to access elevated and hard-to-reach spots.
Sanitize Your Fridge First
If you’re cleaning after moving, start by cleaning the refrigerator first. While you can delay certain tasks during the cleaning process, storing your perishable food shouldn’t be one of them. Prioritize sanitizing your new refrigerator before attending to everything else. As it’s devoid of any food, this task should take no more than 20 minutes. If possible, take out the shelves and drawers and clean them separately using soap and warm water. For the interior of the fridge, create a solution with equal parts water and white vinegar. Use a clean cloth to thoroughly clean all surfaces. If there are any stubborn residues to tackle, allow the water and vinegar solution to sit for a while. Ensure that the shelves are completely dry before placing them back in the fridge. Repeat these steps for the freezer as well.
Work in the Kitchen
Considering the high foot traffic, kitchens tend to accumulate a significant amount of dirt and grime, which can feel quite overwhelming, especially when dealing with someone else’s mess. To tackle this effectively, it’s advisable to approach kitchen cleaning by breaking it down into manageable sections.
- Start from the top: dust off light fixtures, eliminate cobwebs from corners, and wipe down the upper surfaces of wall-mounted cabinets and the refrigerator.
- Proceed to the appliances. Acquaint yourself with proper techniques for cleaning an oven (as well as stove burners, if applicable), a microwave, range hood, and a dishwasher – remember to clean the filters. Whenever possible, safely move appliances away from the wall to clean beneath and behind them.
- Third, kitchen cabinets. Make sure to clean both the interiors and exteriors. Wipe down walls, shelves, doors, and knobs from top to bottom. Extend the same process to drawers. Clean the kitchen sink and wipe down countertops before finishing by thoroughly vacuuming and mopping the floor.
- Clean the sink area. Cleanse the sink and fixtures with non-abrasive cleaning agents. Employ an old toothbrush to reach into seams and crevices. Polish the faucet until dry using a fresh cloth. Use glass cleaner to wipe down the bathroom mirror.
- Clean the walls. Inspect for fingerprints near light switches and in corners. For cleaning walls with a flat paint finish, apply a solution of liquid dish detergent and water using a sponge, scrub the surface, then rinse and dry it with a towel. For wallpapered walls, use a microfiber cloth to eliminate surface dust, followed by wiping them down using a mixture of liquid dishwashing soap and water.
- Sweep and mop the floor. When you clean the kitchen floor, you might discover concealed crumbs and sticky spills that were left behind by previous occupants or movers. If the floor is in good condition, a general sweep followed by a damp mopping will be sufficient to revitalize it. However, a soiled or marked stone, vinyl, linoleum, or hardwood kitchen floor will require more effort to restore its cleanliness.
The ultimate goal is to effectively eliminate food residues, grease, water marks, and splatters.
Wipe Down Windows and Mirrors
Apply window cleaner to the glass surfaces and utilize a general-purpose cleaner for the windowsills. Address any mold or mildew you encounter on the window sills or around the window frame with a bleach-based cleanser. Alternatively, you can create a solution by mixing one part chlorine bleach with three parts warm water and use an old toothbrush or an abrasive sponge to scrub away the mold. After cleaning the mold, place the brush in a plastic bag and dispose of it to prevent spores from spreading.
For window coverings like roller shades or blinds, begin by vacuuming them to remove dust. Then, sponge them with a mixture of liquid dish detergent and water to effectively clean off any remaining dirt.
Clean the Bathroom
Prior to introducing water or cleaning solutions, begin by wiping down fixtures and fittings with a microfiber cloth to remove dust. When it comes to thorough disinfection, allowing the cleaning product ample time to work is crucial.
Give your cleaning products a few minutes to sit before wiping them away, and use that time to tackle other tasks. This waiting period aids in breaking down dirt and grime, making the cleaning process easier.
The method for cleaning a bathroom sink and bathtub depends on their respective materials, so check if there are specific products recommended. As with the other rooms, commence from the highest points, including cleaning ventilation fans, light fixtures, and cabinet tops. Spritz tiled walls and wipe down sanitary ware, paying extra attention to faucets.
When cleaning the shower, concentrate on cleaning the showerhead and don’t overlook the shower screen glass. A mixture of vinegar and water in a 50:50 ratio works effectively and is also handy for streak-free mirror cleaning. Conclude by sweeping and mopping the floor.
Change the Air Filters
You certainly wouldn’t want layers of dust to cloud your freshly cleaned home, which is getting new filters is a wise move. Make sure to label them with the installation date and set a reminder in your calendar to ensure timely and regular replacements.
Clean the Rest of the House
In the remaining stages of the cleaning process, opt for an item-by-item approach instead of tackling rooms as a whole. As reiterated in the first step, maintain a top-down sequence, commencing with the ceiling. Remember to address easily neglected surfaces, including the upper parts of doors, windows and their treatments, light switches, and the insides of closets. A reliable vacuum attachment will prove helpful for most of these areas, allowing you to extract dirt and dust, followed by a thorough wipe-down with clean damp cloths.
Finish with the Floors
Conclude by working your way downward. When dealing with wood, tile, and linoleum floors, kick off by utilizing a vacuum attachment to clean corners and edges. Follow this by sweeping to clear away any remaining debris. Refrain from vacuuming the entire surface unless your vacuum is specifically designed for such tasks. Complete the process with a thorough mopping, ensuring the product you use is suitable for the specific surface.
For a truly effective carpet cleaning, using a steam cleaner is recommended. If you don’t possess one, consider hiring a professional service or renting one from a nearby hardware store. While vacuuming on its own might improve the carpet’s appearance, it won’t significantly eliminate allergens or enhance air quality.
If you’re considering a deep cleaning session at some point, doing it before you move in is truly the ideal timing. With fewer furniture pieces and belongings to maneuver, the task becomes simpler, allowing for a more comprehensive and thorough cleaning.