Two of the most dreaded hassles of a move are packing and cleaning. No one wants to spend time cleaning up for landlords or new owners when they could be reminiscing about their new space. However, there are benefits to taking some time to deep clean your space before a move.
Should I clean my apartment before I move?
If you’re a renter who is moving to a new residence, you’ll want to take some time to do one final deep clean after you’ve moved all of your belongings out of the space. While it’s not the most enjoyable way to spend your Saturday, you’ll be glad you invested the time and energy to do so when you don’t get slammed with hundreds of dollars in cleaning fees.
Think of it this way: Your landlord will want the apartment to be clean one way or the other, and he may even stipulate it be clean upon moving out in your rental agreement. But would you rather pay exorbitant prices to have someone else clean or just do a deep clean yourself?
What to Do Before Listing Your House for Sale
Deep cleaning is also beneficial for homeowners who intend to sell their home. In addition to looking less cluttered, which helps potential homeowners touring your home imagine what it would be like to live there, a clean space can also add value to your home. An appraiser will take into consideration the state of your home as well as the appearance of it, so deep cleaning before listing your home for sale can add money to your pocket or help you walk away with a larger down payment for your next home.
What should you clean before a move?
Wondering where to start and what to clean? Here’s a room-by-room guide to deep cleaning your home before a move.
In Every Room
Every room will have common areas which need attention, such as floors, baseboards, and walls. These are the spaces that will draw the eye when potential buyers are viewing your home, so it’s a good idea to make sure they are clean and well-maintained leading up to and throughout the selling process.
FLOORS + WALLS
Floors and walls are two of the areas you’ll want to make a priority when it’s time for a deep clean. Nothing devalues the interior of your home like dirty floors and walls. Whether your home has carpet, tile, hardwood flooring, or a mixture of each, take some time to deep clean the floors in each room. This includes:
- Removing / Treating Carpet Stains
- Steaming Hardwood Floors
- Cleaning Grout Between Tiles
If your home has stains on the walls, consider painting over any unsightly spots or using paint-friendly stain remover wipes which can be purchased from a hardware or home improvement store. Also keep in mind that it’s recommended homeowners paint using neutral tones if repainting to allow potential home buyers to focus on the layout and features of the home rather than the color.
Baseboards are tricky little spots which can appear to be clean, but upon further inspection, typically are not. Dust bunnies, dirt, and other debris can collect on baseboards, and this can be very unsightly for potential homebuyers, particularly if the baseboards are white and do not easily conceal stains. If you’ll be painting the interior of your home, consider giving your baseboards a touchup as well.
Bathrooms are a particularly personal space which should be left as clean and tidy as possible for new residents. You may even consider leaving behind a couple of small toiletries and extra toilet paper as a courtesy. Don’t forget to:
- Clean Mirrors
- Clean Shower Doors
- Clean Countertops and Surfaces
- Sweep and Mop Floors
SHOWERS + TILE
Clean showers and bathtubs to prevent mildew, and clean grout between floor and shower tiles to leave your bathroom squeaky clean. If you’re leaving behind a shower curtain or shower curtain liner, be sure it’s clean and free of mildew. It’s also a good idea to use a draining gel such as Drano to ensure sinks, showers, and bathtubs are draining water efficiently.
This one probably goes without saying, but it’s pretty rude not to clean the toilets before moving out of your home or apartment. Do the new residents the courtesy of deep cleaning the toilets, and consider using an extended release toilet bowl cleaner if there will be a period of time between your move out and their move in to prevent mold and stain buildup.
If you don’t have time to deep clean your entire home before a move, but have some time to dedicate to tidying up, make the bathrooms and kitchen your number one priority. If left in a dingy and dirty state, a kitchen can not only turn off potential buyers, but it can cause problems with insects and pests who will be excited to discover an empty home for roaming with leftovers in the kitchen. Clean countertops, appliances, floors, and baseboards well to prevent roaches, spiders, ants, and other pests.
If your appliances are staying with your home or rental space, clean inside, outside, behind, and underneath to get rid of dust, dirt, debris, and other unwanted messiness which may have accumulated during your stay. Pay special attention to drawers and shelves in refrigerators and freezers which can attract mold as well as glass on microwave and stove doors which can become dirty and dingy. Self-cleaning ovens can help ensure your oven is ready for use, but oven cleaner can also help cut through grime and grit left behind.
CABINETS + PANTRIES
Again, you’ll want to deep clean any areas where food was or is being stored to prevent pests from making their way into your home. If there will be a period of time when your home will be empty between moving out day and move in day for the new residents, you may even want to consider hiring a pest control company to spray inside and outside monthly.
While it may seem like a good idea to leave rat traps, roach repellents, and other insect repellent products, this may cause concern for new residents who will be unsure whether this is a precautionary measure or if there is a concerning pest problem.
Just as much attention should be paid to outside areas as interior areas. After all, curb appeal adds value to your home, and it’s the first space potential buyers and friends and family will see when stopping by or viewing your home. Here are a few places to clean and tidy.
Mailboxes may not seem like an obvious place to clean before a move, but you’d be surprised how dirty they can get. From spider webs to ants, mailboxes can attract unwanted pests and debris you don’t want others to see if they’re considering buying your home.
The list of ways to deep clean patios and other outdoor entertaining spaces includes:
- Power-washing Concrete and Other
- Mowing Lawns and Trimming Edges
- Cleaning Outdoor Cushions, Pillows, and Fabrics
- Maintaining Flower Beds and Gardens
STORAGE SPACES + GARAGES
Just about everyone has that catch all storage space which hardly ever gets opened until you need Christmas decorations. For many people, this includes a garage, attic, or outdoor storage space. This is one area you’ll want to tackle before selling your home. While you can certainly organize your clutter to make it more visually appealing if this area is not used as often as other spaces, it’s also a good idea to declutter and organize so you’ll have less items to move when it’s time to relocate to your new space.
MOVING GUIDE: WHAT TO PACK AND WHEN →
How can you prepare for a move?
In addition to a deep clean, decluttering and donating anything you don’t want or need is one way to help relieve the stress of a big move. After all, the less you have to move, the better. Here are a few more ways to prepare for an upcoming move.
Plan in Advance
Planning is essential for ensuring a move goes smoothly. Coordinating with movers, packing by type or room, and organizing your space can go a long way in preventing last minute changes and catastrophes.