Your old home is empty but before you say goodbye, you want to do one last clean-up so you can increase the likelihood you will get your security deposit back, or perhaps just want your last memory of your old home to be spotless like the day you moved in. Whatever the case may be, here are some tips on where to start.
The first thing to consider is what cleaning supplies you will need – the basics will do. A vacuum, broom, mop, bucket, a few rags, and sanitizing sprays. And don’t forget the gloves if you will be dealing with particularly dirty areas. Depending on the height of your rooms, you may also need a step ladder to reach ceiling fans or high surfaces.
Sometimes it just isn’t possible to clean each room as they get emptied due to the high volume of activity throughout the house on move day, or you may be needed elsewhere during the process. If it isn’t going to inconvenience the movers, however, consider cleaning each room as they are cleared. Movers usually have a load order in accordance per room, rearranging things as needed once out on the truck. So, once they clear a room, grab the broom – even if it’s carpeted! Your first priority shouldn’t be the floor, but instead the walls! Use the broom to brush down hair and dust that has collected on the walls to the floor. Give special attention to corners as this is where cobwebs and dust collect the most on vertical surfaces. Then take your dusting tool (a duster, handheld broom, rag, or even a sock) and wipe the horizontal surfaces such as window sills or shelves that are staying. Remember to wipe the ceiling fans and room vents too – these items are often overlooked while living in the space and tend to collect the most build-up of dust and hair. Floorboards may also require a special wipe down, so don’t overlook these surfaces.
Once all of the dust is on the ground, then proceed to vacuum, or sweep and mop. The general idea is to start furthest from the entrance/exit way to clean your shoe prints and any dirt they may leave behind as you go, making your way to the exit. Give special attention to the spaces where furniture edges ended, as lots of build-ups can occur here but may be missed during routine cleaning if you were not able to get precisely into the corner of the furniture and the floor. Furthermore, sometimes dirt and dust get pushed under the furniture edge. If you kept up with routine cleaning, the general walkway space shouldn’t be too bad, save for some excess dust or hair floating around from when the furniture was moved, or just grubbles of various things from moving the smaller items.
Close the door in that room so nothing else gets tracked in and move to the next one. Repeat this process with each room, giving special rooms like the kitchen or bathrooms their own sanitizing attention needed. Although it slightly prolongs your move out, it will be worth it in the end for you and helps the next family moving in behind you to enjoy their new home as much as you did.