Whether you’re selling up and moving onto your ‘forever home’ or have come to the end of the lease on your rented accommodation, there are a number of tasks that must be ticked off the checklist before you’re able to pack up and move on. From re-directing mail and arranging new home insurance to informing your bank of the big move, the neverending ‘to do’ list can often feel somewhat overwhelming.
While many different tasks must be completed prior to your moving date, one of the final steps will be cleaning the house top to bottom. Cleaning a house before moving out is imperative not only to ensure that you have packed up all items but also, so the next homeowners can enjoy a warm welcome.
A Guide To Cleaning A House Before Moving Out
Always aim to begin cleaning your existing property ahead of the moving date. Similarly to many other of the tasks you’re required to complete, the earlier you start cleaning, the less stressed you will feel as the date approaches. While you are likely to have to give your home a once over after all items have been packed up in a removals van, the last thing you want to do on your moving day is have to clean the entire property from scratch.
Why Deep Clean Before Moving?
For those who are tenants in a rented property, you may be surprised to learn that cleaning the house before moving out may actually be mandatory and stated in your contract. Many landlords opt for incorporating a section in their contract titled “cleaning expectations” that covers tenant requirements before they move out. While some are as simple as ensuring that walls are empty, others require an entire deep clean. Failing to meet expectations may mean that the landlord will enlist a professional cleaning company at your expense or you risk losing your deposit. Always spend time re-reading through your contract ahead of your moving date to ensure that you are fully aware of your expectations. While many landlords do add cleaning as a compulsory task, others may not mention it at all. If it is not specified in your contract, although you do not want to waste hours on the job, it is still recommended to clean the property briefly to be courteous and leave with a good relationship – you never know whether you may need their help in the future. Leaving a rented property unclean and in an unattractive state is a sure way to guarantee that you will never be trusted by the landlord again.
While it is not mandatory, property owners selling their home should still spend time cleaning before they move out, mainly as an act of goodwill. No one wants to arrive at their new home excited for a new chapter to find a property that is filled with dust, dirt and grime. Making an effort to create a welcoming atmosphere for your property’s new occupier will most definitely be appreciated.
Where Should Be Cleaned?
Cleaning an entire property is not going to be a quick and easy job that you can complete in a single afternoon. With this in mind, it is vital to plan your cleaning schedule ahead of time to tackle the task in a strategic manner. Jumping straight into cleaning with no plan of action or goal in mind will do nothing but prolong the job and create more work for you. To keep stress levels at a minimum, aim to give yourself ample time to work your way through each room one by one. Create a countdown to your moving date, delegate days in which you aim to tackle each task and get started as early as possible.
To help begin the planning process, we have created a list of the top cleaning tasks you must complete before moving to help towards completing each job quickly and in an orderly fashion.
You wouldn’t believe how much dirt builds up on walls. The combination of mucky fingerprints and debris from the outdoors can make your walls look a completely different shade!
Cleaning painted or wallpapered walls must be completed carefully and using the correct products to avoid fading the colour or tearing the wallpaper. Latex-painted walls should be cleaned using a combination of water with detergent and distilled white vinegar. Oil-based paint, on the other hand, will also require the addition of a mild degreaser to shift dirt. Today has a fantastic guide on how to make the ideal cleaning solution for each paint type mentioned.
Aim always to use a large soft sponge to clean walls, anything abrasive will risk leaving scratches on the wall. Do not try to clean walls with a sponge dripping with cleaning solution as it will dry leaving lines of dripping water. Instead, ensure that the sponge is wrung out and only damp.
If your little troublemakers have used your walls as a canvas, then not to worry, take a look at Good Housekeeping’s guide to cleaning just about everything from walls!
Windows allow guests, visitors and potential buyers to get a brief glimpse into your home. They are vital in building a positive first impression, yet are often one of the only components homeowners fail to regularly clean. This makes it essential to ensure that all windows are cleaned prior to your moving date.
When scheduling windows into your cleaning schedule, aim to allocate a dry day with cloudier weather. While it may seem strange to avoid cleaning windows on a warm, sunny day, it will make the task considerably more straightforward. If the sun is shining onto the window during cleaning, the water will dry too quickly causing streaks that will prove tricky to remove.
For a full guide on how to clean windows, along with easy to follow tutorial photos, take a look at Family Handyman.
3. Inside and Above Cabinets
Particularly in the kitchen, cabinets can accumulate a considerable amount of dirt and grime. It is a section that is often overlooked when cleaning the home, however, is a component that is likely to be used by your home’s new occupants. It is uncommon for new homeowners to replace fitted cabinets immediately after moving in, which means that arriving to clean surfaces will be appreciated!
One of the easiest ways to remove stubborn dirt from inside and above cabinets is to use a combination of vinegar and warm water. Aim to create a solution using a 50:50 ratio between the two. Washing up liquid can be added if the grime is proving particularly difficult to remove. Cover the surface with the solution using a spray bottle and allow it to sit for a few minutes. You should then be able to wipe the cabinets clean.
For more information on how to clean cabinets, take a look at Molly Maid.
4. The Bathroom
Regardless of whether you are familiar with your property’s new occupants or not, there is nothing worse than an unclean bathroom. Ensure that you thoroughly deep clean the bathroom before moving out. Again, similarly to the cabinets, it is unlikely that the bathroom will be renovated until the new homeowners have settled in.
One of the most common problems in a bathroom is the build-up of limescale. While your home may be perfectly clean, the appearance of limescale can most definitely dampen the aesthetics. While harsh bathroom cleaners are capable of lifting limescale, you are able to achieve just as effective results using white vinegar. Simply add a layer of white vinegar to any limescale-covered surfaces before you go to bed at night and allow the liquid to soak overnight. In the morning, limescale should easily wipe away.
When cleaning the bathroom, you may also want to consider refreshing any dingy-looking grout between tiles. Before spending time regrouting the tiles, give them a quick clean. You may find that this is all that is required to provide the surface with a new lease of life. Bleach remains one of the best ways to clean grout which means that it is imperative to ensure that the bathroom is well ventilated with windows open. A grout brush, available from retailers such as OXO, can be directly dipped in the bleach and used to clean discoloured areas. If this does not prove successful, then you may benefit from entirely regrouting the tiles. Ideal Home has devised a full guide on how to do this.
Due to the constant daily footfall, flooring goes through more wear and tear than any other aspect of the home. Areas nearby to the front door, back entrance and kitchen are likely to accumulate more dirt than any other section. Regardless of whether you have carpet, wooden or laminate flooring, ensuring that the surface is clean before moving is of paramount importance. When scheduling this particular task, we strongly recommend leaving it until last. It is more than likely that when packing up your belongings or cleaning the walls, dirt and debris would have fallen onto the floor. Leaving floor cleaning until the very end means that you do not risk ruining any of your hard work.
It is your choice as to whether you enlist the help of a professional or use DIY methods to clean flooring – cleaning laminate or wooden floor will prove considerably easier than carpet. Carpet can be deep cleaned naturally using baking soda, table salt and a little detergent but it may take a while and a few attempts to gain maximum results. First For Women has put together a super easy guide to cleaning your carpet without the need for a professional or steam cleaner.
Leave Your Property Sparkling Clean!
Ensuring that you leave your property in optimum condition doesn’t have to be a stressful task. Begin preparations as early as possible and use every spare minute to your advantage. Each of the key cleaning jobs mentioned, if done singularly spread over a period of time will take you less than a few hours to complete. Allowing tasks to build up in the last few weeks before moving will dampen the experience.
If you’re in the process of planning your big move and in need of a little helping hand, don’t be afraid to give our fantastic team at Davis & Mac a shout. From removals in Chelsea to man and van in St Johns Wood, we would be more than happy to take the weight off your shoulders!