One of the busiest times in your life is when you sell your home, move out, and move into a new one. There are many things to think about and do from hiring a realtor to getting everything in boxes and ready to move. One of the things we don’t think about right away is giving our home a deep clean to prepare for buyers to see it and to prepare to have to deep clean again before moving all of your belongings into your new home.
Deep cleaning is an important part of both selling and purchasing a new home. We have compiled both a move-out and a move-in cleaning checklist to help you make both processes a little less overwhelming so you can move on to other tasks in the moving process.
Move-Out Cleaning Checklist
- Drawers and Cabinets: remove anything you don’t use on a daily basis from cupboards, especially the pantry (buyers want to see how big it is and if it will fit their things). Cluttered cupboards give a feeling of not enough space. Wipe down shelves and consider putting in neutral shelf paper if the shelves are scratched up.
- Stove/Oven: Do the self-clean on the oven and wipe it down once it is over. Clean up any crusty baked-on bits from the stovetop.
- Fridge/Freezer: Take everything out and wipe down the shelves. Defrost the freezer if it is needed and then wipe down the inside of the freezer as well.
- Counters: Make sure to stay diligent with wiping down the counters until the home is sold. Get in the habit of wiping the kitchen down after every meal, and do another quick wipe down if possible, before buyers arrive.
- Sink: Clean the garbage disposal and make the whole kitchen smell nice by grinding up a citrus peel in there. The last thing you want is to have a yucky smell coming from the sink. Wipe down the sink.
- Floors: Stay on top of sweeping the floors daily, don’t forget under the appliances. Make sure to mop every few days during showings. Consider a professional deep cleaning if you have tile floors to make your grout look like new.
- Shower and Tub: Make a scrubbing paste out of baking soda and water and go to town on all of the surfaces paying special attention to corners and crevices like around the drain. When finished scrubbing leave the baking soda there and spray down with vinegar. Allow this to sit until it stops fizzing, scrub a second time, and then rinse.
- Toilet: Mix together ½ cup of vinegar and a tablespoon of baking soda for a tough toilet cleaning bomb. Pour this in the toilet bowl and let it sit for 30 min. then scrub all the gunk away.
- Sink: Sprinkle some baking soda into the sink and rub it in gently with a soft cloth then rinse with cold water.
- Mirrors: Wipe down all mirrors, faucets, lights, and other fixtures with glass cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water.
- Floor: Sweep, vacuum, or dust mop the floor really well then follow up with a very detailed mopping effort. To save time and give the bathroom(s) an extra fresh look and feel have a professional tile and natural stone cleaning done.
Other Living Spaces
- Walls: Takedown any pictures (except for maybe one piece of focal art if you have one) spackle holes, clean dust and cobwebs, and touch up or give the walls a new coat of paint dependent on their condition.
- Doors, Window Sills, and Baseboards: These are all areas that don’t commonly get a lot of daily attention on most homes. Make sure to give them all a good wipe down to remove all dust and dingy grey areas.
- Windows: Natural light is a huge selling point in many homes so you want to make sure it shows through without any gunk from the windows because it won’t go unnoticed.
- Hardwood Floors/ Carpet/ Tile Floors: Make an investment in professional cleaning to get these highly scrutinized areas of the home their truest clean and show them off in their best light. A beautifully clean floor goes a long way in a home sale.
- Vents: don’t forget about these guys. Remove all vent covers and give them a good cleaning.
- Wipe everything down with disinfectant. Don’t forget hard to reach areas like the very back corners of cabinets and under and around the fridge.
- Natural Stone: If your new kitchen has natural stone counters or tiles have them professionally cleaned and sealed before you move in. This way you know they are ready to go.
- Stove and Fridge: hit the self-clean on the oven, defrost the freezer, remove all the removable parts like shelves and burners and place them in a tub of warm soapy water to soak then wipe clean and replace.
- Dishwasher: Grab a dishwasher safe bowl and fill it with white vinegar and place it on the top rack of the dishwasher then run a dishwasher cycle.
- Toilet: Invest in a brand new toilet seat, it is the best way to ensure cleanliness.
- Shelves, Counters, and Other Surfaces: Wipe down everything with a disinfectant wipe.
- Shower/Tub Tile and Floor Tiles: Have these professionally cleaned and sealed if the previous owner has not communicated that they have just done so.
- Floors: Have carpets and hardwoods professionally cleaned before moving all the heavy furniture in.
- Paint: take this time when the only prep work is taping moldings and covering the floors to freshen up the walls and make them a color that works for you.
Great tips for buyers and sellers:
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