Cleaning Your Home Before Moving: Six Helpful Tips

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Like it or not, when it’s time to move, it’s also time to clean. Whether it’s good manners, good karma or a matter of getting the security deposit back on a rental, sprucing up your former space before move day is always the right thing to do. After all, move day is already stressful enough without dealing with a mess besides – and let’s be honest, you’d like the space you’re moving into to be cleaned up, too.  

For this article, let’s first make a distinction between a deep clean and a move clean. As the term implies deep cleaning goes well beyond just light dusting and vacuuming. It’s all about tackling deep-seated dirt and grime that accumulates over time – under furniture, in closets and storage spaces and other areas often overlooked during regular cleaning.  

Move-out cleaning really focuses on making the place look refreshed – and often involves minor repair work, wall cleaning, basic yardwork and painting. Hint: A move clean is best done a day or so after the scheduled move day. This way large furniture and other obstacles have been removed, making the entire process easier. 

Here are six basic tips to help you orchestrate a “move clean” efficiently: 

1 – Make a Plan a Schedule and a Supply List 

Begin well in advance. Create a detailed checklist of all the areas that need to be cleaned so you can allocate sufficient time. Walk through your space and inspect the walls, floors, windows, fixtures, appliances, and cabinets and note what needs to be done. Remember, high-traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms will most likely require extra attention.  

Then make sure you’re well stocked with cleaning supplies like multi-surface cleaners, disinfectants, sponges, scrub brushes, vacuum cleaner bags, a mop, and other essentials. This will let you better focus on the tasks at hand and reduce multiple trips back and forth to the store. Before you get started, check out these additional tips and tricks

2 – Organize as You Clean 

As you clean each area, make sure to open drawers, cabinets, and closets in your bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. This will serve as a visual clue that you’ve “been there.” Go room by room and resist the temptation to tackle random “bits” of cleaning in multiple locations throughout your home. Focus on one space at a time until the job is done. It will make the project seem less daunting. 

3 – Repair the Small Stuff 

No, this isn’t the time to fix the roof or remodel a bathroom. However, if there are any minor scuffs or damage such as nail holes or holes or chipped paint, get them fixed. If you’ve added things like a wall-mounted coat rack in the entrance hall or towel hooks in the bathroom, make sure they’re in good shape, too. Another thing that’s often overlooked: The TV mount. Be sure you have the materials on hand to fill in any holes and touch up the paint.  

And speaking of paint, here’s a special note to renters: Many leases require that the walls in a rental unit be the same color and condition as when you first moved in. Often this means it originally was a sort of bland off-white which you may have painted over soon after you arrived. Unfortunately, you must paint over any color choices you’ve made — trim included — or lose your deposit. 

4 – Deal With the Details 

If you’ve ever had a vehicle professionally detailed, you know what a difference it makes in terms of visual and olfactory appeal. It’ the same way with a home. Small details such as thoroughly dusted ceiling light fixtures and fans, sparkling door handles, freshly washed baseboards and smudge-free switches are a sign that a home was well taken care of, respected and yes, loved. And isn’t that exactly how you’d want your home’s new occupants to feel?  

5 – Don’t Put Out of Sight Out of Mind 

Basements and garages are often the last places many people think about when doing a move clean. Take inspiration from the old saying “Anything worth doing is worth doing well,” and don’t overlook these areas. Sweep away cobwebs and dust, working top to bottom. Wipe down storage shelving, sweep concrete floors and take out all trash and recycling. If you’re leaving larger appliances like a washer dryer combination or deep freeze behind, give them a once-over, too. You may also want to get rid of items like an old swing set or rusty outdoor furniture to give the place better curb appeal.  

6 – Do a Final Walk-Through 

Once you’ve completed the cleaning, walk through the cleaned-up space and double down on anything you may have missed. Then take a deep breath and congratulate yourself on a job well done. You’ve earned it. 

Moving or About to Move?  

Whether you move yourself or use the services of a reputable professional mover like Mayflower, we hope your journey to Finding Home is smooth and successful. 

Get a no-obligation quote from Mayflower. Need tips on packing specific types of items? Check out our comprehensive tips and guides. And for more tips and advice, be sure to check out our state and city guides, decorating ideas and a wealth of other helpful, time-saving information.   

Oh, and did you know Mayflower has a channel on Spotify? Move and groove to tunes that get you to your new place — and settled in — in style.  

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