When you are transitioning from rental to ownership, you have more cleaning to do. You can hire a crew to do all of this to ensure you get your deposit back, or you can do it yourself. Here’s our list staring with the everywhere items.
- Take all nails and screws out of the walls and ceiling and putty them smoothly. A little goes a long way, don’t be clumpy.
- Dust the ceiling fixtures.
- Dust all ledges.
- Clean the windows and vacuum out the window sills.
- Clean the door knobs and doors.
- Clean all light switches and outlets.
- Clean the walls and baseboards.
- Vacuum (get any stains out of the carpet, or get the carpet professionally cleaned).
- Get rid of all cobwebs. Those pole things with the fuzzy ends are great for this. You’ll find it handy in your new home, too. Great thing to do while on a conference call.
- Get soap scum off the bathroom tiles and tub/shower and bleach the grout. The corners are the worst. But remember to get the TOP of the shower tiles too if you have wall above tiles. That gets really grimy over time.
- Clean out the bathroom drawers and vanity, making sure you get all the hair out (and remove any liners). I’m a fan of the ShopVac for this part.
- Clean the toilet, sink, countertop and finally the floor (sweep and mop). If the toilet seat is unsavory looking, replace it.
- Clean the mirror and if there is a cabinet behind the mirror, clean those shelves, too.
- Vacuum out the surface of the exhaust fan if super dusty.
- Clean out all cabinets and liners. This is a good time to check expired dates on packaged foods. May be time for a do-over.
- Wash the front of the cabinets and the tops of the drawers and cabinets – edges get gross.
- Clean and disinfect all counter-tops and back splash area.
- Clean and shine up the sink and faucet.
- Pour something down the sink for old smells to be polite. Pine Sol is great for this or grind up a lemon in disposer.
- Scrub the refrigerator inside and out. Remove all shelves and clean separately if necessary.
- Don’t forget the freezer – the icemaker should be a do over – empty it all and let them make fresh ice.
- Scrub the oven inside and out. Remove shelving, drip pans and burners. You can use steel wool or an oven cleaner if you have the time. The combination is best.
- Clean out the dishwasher if you have one. The sides of these are disgusting – you may be shocked that you trusted the dishes that came out of it after looking at the edges of your dishwasher.
- Clean exhaust fan if needed.
- Remove all appliances and sweep behind them.
- Dust, sweep, vacuum and mop these empty rooms.
- Be kind and make sure bulbs are working. They worked when you moved in. Check lights.
- Should be completely empty and swept.
- If the attic is connected, check that too.
- If you have a parking spot with cabinet storage – check that and outside sheds.
- Cut the grass.
- Pull the weeds.
- Remove all of your stuff that might be stuck in the ground or hanging in trees.
- Be kind and make the pathways safe from moss, slime, mud and overgrowth.
This is a great opportunity to bribe friends, hire a crew or teach your kids how to clean properly so they understand what you put into getting a new home for them.