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Moving into a new home can often be a frantic, exhausting task. Matters are made worse if the house you are moving into wasn’t cleaned thoroughly after the previous movers left.
However, the best time to clean a house is before you move in. This is due to the fact that cleaning shelves is easier before they’ve been filled, and vacuuming carpets is simpler if the house doesn’t yet have any furniture.
So, in this article we’re going to show you the best way to clean your new home before you move in to avoid having to move objects around once you’ve brought them inside.
Before moving day
The idea moment to clean your new home is before the moving truck arrives. If possible, pick a day after the previous owners have moved out that is close to your move-in date. Bring all of your cleaning supplies with you, including cloths, towels, a duster, vacuum, hardwood floor polish, glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner, and so on.
It might be tempting to just start scrubbing as soon as you’re inside, but first take a moment to walk through the house and make a list of all the cleaning tasks you would like to accomplish before moving in.
Not only will your list help you determine how long you’ll need to clean, but it will also give some organization to your day and keep you on track.
On or after moving day
You don’t always have the luxury of being able to clean your new home beforehand. If you’re moving across states or are on a tight move-in/move-out schedule, you might have to clean your house as you move in.
In this case, the best solution is to organize your boxes and furniture by room. Then, when moving them inside, put them in the corner of a room in a neat pile. This will leave access to most of the room so that you can clean before putting things away.
Make sure you and your family are on the same page in terms of organizing items on moving day. If you have family members who start unpacking boxes, let them know they could be more helpful by picking up a duster or cleaning some windows rather than putting items in their future places.
Room by room cleaning
There are some rooms in your house that require special attention. Let’s start with the kitchen.
When it comes to cleaning your appliances (refrigerator, oven, microwave, etc.), it’s a good idea to spray on some degreaser or baking soda/vinegar solutions in advance to let them soak and loosen up any debris before you start scrubbing them. Soaking them all at once will help you save time cleaning.
The bathroom poses a challenge when moving in for two reasons. Since bathrooms tend to be small and crowded, it can be hard to work inside of them if there are boxes in the way. To avoid this, stack all of your bathroom items outside in the hallway or in the bathroom closet while you clean.
Microfiber cloths have become incredibly popular in recent years. Especially within the “green clean” crowd. And with good reason, while they might look like just another cleaning cloth they are actually in a class of their own.
In fact, you could think of them as the heavyweight champions of the cleaning cloth world. Because of the “micro” in microfiber, these clothes are able to do a lot more of the grunt work without the aid of a cleaning product. And those instances you would pair it up with a cleaner? You would need far less of it than you would if using another cloth material.
I know using less cleaner or even none at all sounds counterintuitive. But here’s why eliminating the need to use cleaning product is a good thing - if you don’t properly clean the surface of cleaning product residue you are going to be creating a dirt magnet. Huh?
Yup! You see it comes down to the chemistry of how cleaning products clean. There are specific molecules inside the cleaner that when combined with water are actually attracted to dirt and grime and able to carry them away. They pick them all up and hold them close. So when they haven't properly cleared away from the surface they keep doing their job! They attract more dirt and more grime, holding on to every last bit they can.
As you can imagine the more product you have to use to clean up, the higher your chance leaving residue behind. This is where microfiber cloths save the day. Their unique two-pronged fibers that are indeed micro are able to pick up and hold onto anything it comes across. All without leaving anything behind it in its tracks.
Use dry for regular dusting and wet for all other uses. And how many there are! Tackle tile, counters, shower walls, and mirrors. All with just water and your microfiber cloth. Seriously, you won’t need glass clean or any sort of cleaning product here.
Use on a Swiffer in lieu of disposables for both dry and wet mopping floors. Keep one on hand in either your bag or car to spot clean any accidental spills on clothes. Yes, they can even tackle clothing stains! Replace germ breeding loofahs out for a microfiber. Store one in the bathroom cabinet for easy access to wipe down the counter and sink each day. And use one to wipe down the shower after use.
The care and keeping is simple. Daily clothes can be rinsed in warm water after use, machine washing weekly. However, avoid bleach and fabric softener as each will damage your cloth and reduce its effectiveness. “Refresh” clothes by boiling them in water with baking soda.
- Scrub grout in the kitchen and bathroom.
- Wash pillow and mattress protectors as well as duvet covers.
- Discard any food in the freezer that has become freezer burnt or is past its time.
- Wax any wood floors your home may have.
- Dust fans you have throughout your home. Don’t forget to do this in the winter when they are not in use to avoid build-up.
- Wipe down and disinfect light switch plates and door knobs.
- Wipe down and disinfect your home phones and your family’s cell phones.
- Flush drains. Try a natural solution by pouring baking soda down drains and allowing to sit overnight to deodorize. In the morning pour hot water down the drain to rinse the baking soda out and flush the drain.
- Wipe down walls, doors and baseboards.
- Check the fire alarms throughout your home and replace any batteries when necessary.
- Dust each room in your home.
- Empty all trash bins throughout your home. Don’t forget smaller, less used baskets like in your child’s room or in the office.
- Clean sinks, toilets, and bath of any soap scum or buildup.
- Vacuum and mop the floors throughout your home.
- Wipe down surfaces like tables and counters.
- Clean mirrors and windows.
- Wash sheets and pillowcases.
- Sort through your mail and email inbox. Pay any upcoming bill and file paperwork as necessary.
- Clean fridge out of any food that has gone past its expiration.
- Wipe down appliances in the kitchen such as the microwave, stove, and toaster.
- Wipe down and deodorize trashcans and recycling bins.
- Put out fresh towels in your bathrooms and kitchen
- Tidy up. Keep on top of clutter by putting items away when they are no longer in use.
- Make the beds and if your children are old enough encourage them to make theirs.
- Sort out mail. File and discard as necessary.
- Clean up as you prepare meals to leave time to relax after dinner time instead of spending another hour in the kitchen.
- Wipe up any spills as they happen to avoid having to use elbow grease to clean up later.
- Sweep the kitchen floor and any other high traffic areas.
- Throw in a load of laundry. If you have a large family make laundry more manageable by doing a load a day.
Children. You love them with all your being. But the mess they can make of the house? Not so much. Keep reading for four tips on how to keep your home clean despite your children’s best efforts. You might even be able to get them to join in on the fun!
1. Cleanup after playtime. Build the habit of cleaning up one set of toys before moving on to the next, this not only keeps the floor from becoming littered in toys but also makes cleaning up more manageable for little ones. A large mess can easily overwhelm small children and by cleaning up along the way you make the task easier for them to participate in.
2. Have an organizational system for corralling toys that works for you and more importantly your children. Make cleanup easy by storing toys in bins and baskets that toys can easily be tossed into. Cleanup is made even easier when you give everything a designated place so there isn’t a chance for toys to end up in organizational limbo. Do a walk through of the house sweep once little ones are in bed to ensure everything has been put in its place.
3. The easiest way to keep things clean is to minimize the amount of stuff you and your children own. Of course, this is harder to implement with little ones but regular clean outs of toys helps to balance the influx of toys that come during holidays and birthdays. Include kiddos in on the process to pick out their favorites and get them excited to donate toys to other children. You can put some toys in storage and swap them out regularly throughout the year to minimize the amount kept in the home and reignite your child’s interest in them as well.
4. Create regular routines around the house to instill clean up habits in your child early on. Create designated areas around the house for play time, quiet time or even homework. This helps children adjust to focus on the task at hand as well as prevent toys from ending up all over the house. By keeping a routine time of day to do a household chore you’ll also teach little ones the importance of having work ethic around the home. You can even involve curious kiddos in the chore by buying them a child-sized broom or vacuum to “help”.
Keeping a tidy home with little ones in the house isn’t the easiest of tasks. But by minimizing the amount of stuff you own and instilling a regular clean up habits you can keep on top of messes. You can even create some fond memories and bonding time with your child by including them in on the fun. Happy cleaning!