So, the time has come for you to move, hopefully to greener pastures. The moving process can be incredibly stressful and disruptive.
Often included in this process is the requirement to clean out your old home, especially if you’re renting and want to get as much of your deposit back as possible.
This can make things even more overwhelming, but don’t worry. This guide should help you figure out what to do and how to do it.
There will be a checklist after the more detailed guide, it may be helpful to print this out and keep it with you for when the time comes to do the cleaning.
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Things That May Help
The process of cleaning out your old home can seem like an added burden, as sometimes you don’t know where to start and what you need to focus on. However, this doesn’t have to be a massive task. Overall, it may take several hours to get done.
If you can have someone help you, that could cut down on that time considerably. However, if you tend to get easily distracted, you may have to choose your helper carefully, otherwise you’ll find it actually takes longer to get the place cleaned up.
Also, make it worth their while. If you can’t afford to pay your friend, at least treat them to a takeout as a thank you.
Otherwise, listen to some music that will hope you focus and work through the rooms logically. This will help you get done more quickly and more efficiently.
If you’re unsure of the order to get things done, or what to look out for, it can be incredibly helpful to have a checklist to follow and make sure nothing gets missed.
Tackling the Kitchen
Because your furniture will largely go with you, most of the house will be empty and relatively simple to clean. This makes the kitchen the biggest job of the house, because of the cupboards and the large appliances that will likely be remaining. It’s recommended to get this job out of the way.
Like every other room, you’ll want to start from the ceiling. Check the light bulbs and replace as needed, then dust the light fixtures and the ceiling. If the ceiling, light fixtures, and walls are greasy, use white vinegar and a cloth to clean them. You may need to rinse this cloth often. Don’t neglect the light switch.
Next, move onto the cabinets, drawers, and cupboards. Ensure that they are empty and clean the insides, letting any debris fall. Wipe down the cabinet doors and the outside of the drawers with a clean cloth. After this, clean the windows, windowsills, and tracks.
The next thing down is the range hood, clean this and get rid of any grease. You can use either vinegar, or just soapy water for this. Remove the range filter, if you can, and clean.
Related: 10 Steps to a Sparkling Kitchen
Now wipe down all the countertops and sink, including the faucet. Once you’ve done this, clean the range. If you can, remove the grates and clean them separately. Use a non-abrasive cleaning agent to ensure that you don’t damage the stovetop.
Once that’s done, you’ll have to tackle the appliances. Depending on where you’re renting, this may include a microwave and a dishwasher. It will most likely include at least an oven and a fridge.
As it’s often the scariest appliance, clean the oven first, removing the racks and boiler pan to clean them separately. Clean inside the oven, using an oven cleaner if you can. Be sure to clean the oven doors as well. Dry and replace the oven racks and broiler pan.
You’ll also likely need to clean the refrigerator and freezer. The best way to do this is to remove all of the drawers and shelves in both and wash and dry them separately. Wipe down the interiors of the refrigerator and freezer, and make sure the drain hole is clear. Replace the shelves and drawers.
Once the interiors of the large appliances are clean, wipe down the outsides of each one. Finally, you can move onto cleaning the floor. If you can move the appliances, it’s best to do so and clean underneath each one.
This can be a surprisingly nasty job, as spillages tend to hide underneath the appliances and a lot of dust can form. Use a vacuum cleaner and plenty of soapy water, it should scrub away. Finally, sweep and mop the floor.
Related: 10 Easy Steps to a Clean Bathroom
Download your FREE 6 page moving out cleaning checklist here
The Rest of the Interior
Now that you’ve done the kitchen, everything else will seem a breeze. The bathroom will need similar treatment, so move onto that next. Again, start at the ceiling and dust the light fixtures and corners.
Next, clean the bathtub and shower, making sure to clean the tiles around the tub and the grouting. You’ll also need to clean the toilet inside and out, as well as the sink and faucet. Use a clean cloth and all-purpose cleaner for all of these, cleaning the toilet last.
Use a glass cleaner to wash the mirror and windows. Also, clean the inside and outside of cabinets, cupboards, and drawers. Sweep and mop the floor. Finally, as with every room, replace any dead lightbulbs and wipe down the switch.
The rest of the house is relatively simple. Dust the ceilings and light fixtures, clean the windows, wipe the baseboards, clean the interior of any cupboard, dust and wipe surfaces, and then vacuum or sweep the floor. If there are any other messes or dead lightbulbs, sort them out.
Once all this is done, do a final check and make sure that the place is spotless. This can mean dusting the water tank and washing or dusting the interior doors and doorframes. If you have a fireplace, make sure it’s cleaned out.
Remember that your landlord likely wants someone to be able to move right in, and it’s best to facilitate that as much as you can. It may well be cleaner now than it ever has been, but this is the best way to make sure there can be no doubt about your security deposit.
Unfortunately, you might not be quite done yet. Don’t worry, there isn’t much else to go. If you have a patio or backyard, that needs to be spotless as well. Sweep and get rid of any debris from your outside space. Once this is done, wash the front and back doors inside and out.
Hopefully, the place should be ready for someone else to move into. It’s always best to go through and check everything. Every large appliance that is staying should be spotless, as well as the blinds, the walls, and floors.
Hopefully, if you do all this in a logical order, it should be done both thoroughly and efficiently. It’s a big job, but it’s achievable. With this checklist, you can have some added peace of mind.
Use the checklist to make sure that nothing has been missed out.
Download your FREE 6 page moving out cleaning checklist here