For several years you rented a small house but the day finally came that you purchased a new home. You and your family are filled with the traditional wave of excitement and can’t wait to move into the new place. First on the list, however, is a complete and thorough cleaning of your existing abode.
But before you break out the rubber gloves and wash bucket, be sure to read all the way through your tenant agreement to fully understand exactly what condition the house must be in when you move out. Any damage incurred during your stay should be repaired or replaced prior to moving out; if not, your landlord has the right to have repairs done and send you the bill. Typically, these situations are resolved by deducting the repair amount from your deposit, but you can avoid that deduction and receive your full deposit by doing a top to bottom cleaning. You will likely have an inspection checklist to follow, outlining rooms to clean and how to do so.
Here are 5 handy tips to keep in mind on cleaning day:
Conquer the kitchen
To start, remove everything from the cupboards and shelves and dab up crumbs and stains with a damp cloth. Then it’s time to pull out the appliances and thoroughly wipe underneath and behind them. It’s important to give your dishwasher a thorough clean as well, to remove any built-up grime.
Clean the refrigerator inside and out, removing all trays and racks to soak in soapy water and replace when dry. When finished, turn the fridge off at the wall and leave the doors open to prevent mold from taking hold. Don’t forget to give adjacent cabinets and shelves a good cleaning too.
Then it’s on to the oven. Unless you are very dedicated to the cause, the oven will be dirty. You might encounter stubborn deposits of grime, dust, grease and burnt food spills. Give the oven lots of cleaning attention, as it is usually the first item checked during the inspection. This is not an easy or altogether enjoyable job so plan ahead, or hire a pro to take the burden from your to-do list.
Freshen the living room
The living room is usually the largest and time-consuming. The two main targets are carpets and dusting. Rev up the vacuum and make the carpets shine. Running a shampooer through the room is also a great idea to remove stubborn or obvious stains. Keep in mind that if your standard vacuum cleaner doesn’t quite cut it, consider renting an industrial model.
Move on to the cabinetry and shelves next. With everything removed, clean and polish cabinets, coffee tables, cupboards, TV stands, and any similar items.
Beautify the bathroom
Bathrooms and kitchens are high on the list of new homeowners or renters and you’ll want to be sure your bathroom sparkles. Wipe everything in the room to remove stains and polish, especially targeting the sink, bath, toilet, tiles and mirrors.
Move on to make sure drains are clear and water flows free, without blockage. If any globs of grime are in there, clean them out. After that, inspect all metallic surfaces like faucet tapes and showerheads for mold or limescale.
Learn to love windows and walls
If you’ve always been an “I don’t do windows” person, it’s time to change your ways. Gear up with a reputable window cleaner and cloths and spend time spiffing up glass inside and out. If some windows are too high to reach, purchase or rent an extendable cleaner or hire a professional service.
Walls can be especially troublesome, as they often attract scuff marks, dents, and holes. Check all walls and baseboards for scuff marks and try to wash them off. Severe cases might demand repainting the entire room.
Furniture and curtains
Make a point of thoroughly vacuuming furniture that is remaining in the home, and give the dirtiest items a dry wash so no odors or stains are left behind.
Curtains are also big collectors of dirt and dust. Many curtains are machine washable while others must be dry cleaned. Plan ahead to ensure enough time is allowed for this large job. Also be sure to dust curtain rods and any blinds in the house. Remember that most blinds have two sides, and replace any damaged slats.