Thursday, November 14, 2013

Move Out Cleaning Tips

One of the most time-consuming task of moving, besides packing, is cleaning.  Whether you are renting or selling, you will need to clean up your empty space before handing over the keys to the new occupants.  Breaking up the cleaning across multiple days makes it much less boring and chore-like, so here are some tips on how to clean up your space when moving out. 

Cleaning Basics - 

For cleaning, Hydrogen Peroxide or White Vinegar will be your best friend - it can be used on practically everything and is very effective.  Using microfiber cloths will help in your cleaning, as they leave little dust and can be rinsed in the sink, and ultimately washed in the washing machine instead of thrown out and replaced by another paper towel.

Take advantage of space and time. Choose one or two rooms in your house that you do not use on a daily basis, like a spare bedroom or a dining room, and when you have a box packed, put it in that space. Keeping all of your packed items in one location will help you be organized and keep most of your house in working order and not overwhelmed with boxes and out-of-place furniture.  Once you have emptied and finished cleaning a room, close the door and don't go in it again so that you are sure that it is as clean as possible for your move-out.

Break up your cleaning across multiple days, especially since it will take you some time to pack up and get your belongings out of the space.  For example, put some cleaner/bleach in the toilets and let them sit for about a half hour while you go clean something else. Multi-tasking will really help you get things done quicker.  And if there is someone else helping, split up the work.  Work in different spaces so you aren't crowding each other, and set goals or make it a competition so that you have motivation to work harder and faster.

Once you have started packing items that you don't use very much, consolidate your other items into one space. For example, if you have packed up some extra kitchen utensils and appliances, move the rest of your kitchen items to different drawers and cabinets so you can begin wiping down the inside of the empty cabinets.  If you have multiple bathrooms in your home, try to make it a point to use only one bathroom the week of your move, that way you can clean one of the bathrooms fully, taking one less thing off your final list.

Whole House -

Clean the things that have the least likelihood of getting dirty while you are moving out. Wiping down windowsills, moulding, baseboards, and washing the windows are things that can be done a few days or even a week or so in advance. If you have pets that push their noses up against specific windows or the doors, save those for closer to move out so you don't have to clean them a second time.  Dust off light fixtures and replace all of the non-working light bulbs.  

Sweep and vacuum all floors, but make sure that you leave the carpet shampooing and floor mopping for the very end, as you don't want to walk over your newly washed carpets or floors.

If you have a washing machine and a dryer, run a hot water cycle in the washer with some white vinegar to get rid of any smells and soap residue.  Vacuum out the dryer vent and wipe up any laundry detergent spills in the laundry area.

Wipe down the tops of cabinets, baseboards, and door frames, and sweep and vacuum out any fireplaces that you may have.  Patch the holes in the walls and give them a day for the plaster to dry that way you can then paint over it with some touch-up paint.

Kitchen - 

Go through the freezer, refrigerator, and pantry to get rid of items that you will not be using before your move.  Pantry items can be packed in a box and be transported to your next home, however, refrigerated and freezer items may not be transportable if the distance you are moving is too great.  Decide what items you want to keep, and give away unopened foods that you do not want to keep.  For those items that you will be getting rid of, dump the food or liquid into your garbage disposal or into a trash bag, and then rinse and recycle the containers.

Don't use the self-cleaning option on the oven - it never works well, it smells, and it makes your space very very hot since it heats the over to over 500 degrees.  A Brillo-pad or a tough scrub brush will be much better and faster for you.  Remove the stove-top grates and range hood vent, and soak in soap and hot water to remove dust, and grease build-up. 

Remove all of the shelves in your refrigerator to wash them, and don't forget to empty out the ice maker as well.  When you leave, be sure to set your refrigerator and the freezer to the least cold option so as not to waste additional power and over-freeze the unit.  

Run your garbage disposal with a half of a lemon to remove any food debris and smell that may be remaining.  

Bathroom - 

Clean the inside and the outside of the toilet using some sort of bleach solution. Clean the countertops and the sink, wash the mirror down, and wash out the shower and/or the bathtub.  Snake the drains to remove any hair and soap residue and then pour a cleaner down the drains to take care of any potential clogs further down the pipes.

Remove the ventilation fan from the ceiling, and rinse the cover under hot water to remove the dust and build-up.  

Garage - 

Sweep out the garage, if you have one, making sure that you get all of the cobwebs in the corners. Make sure that the garage door opener is working and the light bulb is not out.  

If there are any wet oil spots on the floor of the garage, treat them with sawdust or cat litter, and then scrub them with dawn dish soap.  

Exterior - 

If you are responsible for the upkeep of the exterior of your property, be sure to cut the grass one last time before you move out, and rake the clippings or leaves that may be in the yard.  Sweep the walkways and the driveway, and any porch or deck that you have.  

If you have animals that use your backyard, make sure you pick up all of their toys and "waste" so that the backyard is clean and can be used by the new occupant.  

While some of the things on this list may need to happen during your last day at the property, a lot of these items can be accomplished during the few weeks before you move. To help with making sure you get everything you need to done in a timely manner, you may want to consider making yourself a cleaning calendar so that you stay on top of the tasks and you don't overwhelm yourself with the amount of work that needs to be done on top of packing and unpacking.

Good luck with your move!


Julia said...

Those are fantastic ideas! Very helpful and simple. It makes it alot easier to be organized when moving out.

Chris said...

The move out cleaning needs a special care than the other type of cleaning. In this, we need to clean all area around us. All the information given in this post states the same. Thanks for sharing these information with the readers.

Tiffany Maids said...

I have used Hydrogen Peroxide for cleaning purpose. As we all know Hydrogen Peroxide have strong cleaning capabilities. Find Domestic Cleaning Services at the best price from

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Anonymous said...

The average move-out cleaning costs $360. Hiring a professional for an apartment usually runs between $110 and $350; a house up to 3,500 square feet costs from $450 to $650 or higher. Prices depend on the amount and level of cleaning needed, as well as the size of the home.

Anonymous said...

Many real estate contracts require sellers to leave a home in “broom-clean condition.” That means that sellers should sweep up after themselves, clear out closets, shelves and cabinets, take everything out of the refrigerator, throw out all the garbage and leave the home presentable.

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