The Best Cleaning List for a Move-in Ready Home!

‘Tis the season for families to relocate – the kids are out of school, the days are long and the real estate market is hot! But No Matter what time of year you move, you want to be sure Your new home is summer fresh. Use this cleaning list to make the most of your move-in countdown!
Family poses for selfie among moving boxes.

Moving to a new living space is an exciting journey, and creating a clean and healthy environment for your family is an important stop along the way. Whether it’s a pre-owned house, an apartment, or a renovated home, every space deserves a thorough deep cleaning. Even in freshly renovated homes, dust, debris, and contamination accumulate on high-touch surfaces. How can you get ready for the big day? Start with a detailed cleaning list and you’ll enjoy a much more productive move-in process.

Prioritizing cleanliness ensures a fresh start and a comfortable living space where your family can thrive. The key is to remember that an empty home is a clean-able home! Don’t wait until your moving truck arrives; take action first. At Pro-Care, we’ve prepared a customizable cleaning list to help you tackle those must-do’s and prepare your new nest for the big day.

Should my Cleaning List Start with the Bathroom or the Kitchen?

Wiping down your refridgerator should be at the top of your cleaning list.

When you’re cleaning ahead of your move-in day, prioritizing the “wet” areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms can save you time and hassle. But how do you decide where to start? Here’s a simple trick: consider whether you’ll be cleaning out your old fridge or bringing perishables on moving day. If that’s the case, then it’s best to begin with the refrigerator in your new home.

Kick your cleaning list off with a thorough fridge cleaning. This includes removing shelves, storage boxes, and door bins for a proper wash with warm soapy water. Don’t forget to wipe down the interior walls of your appliance when it’s empty. In the case of a brand new fridge, it might only need a quick wipe down and partial assembly. To ensure your new appliance is ready for use, prep and plug it in as soon as possible, allowing it to reach optimal cooling temperatures for your food items. With this approach, you’ll efficiently tackle one of the key areas in your new home.

When it comes to your new home's cleaning list, it is good to wipe down cabinets, countertops and other high-touch surfaces before moving in.

As you get ready to move into your new kitchen, why not give it a comprehensive wipe-down for a spotless beginning? Starting from the ceiling, follow a high-low strategy. Just work your way from top to bottom and inside to out. This strategy will ensure no corner is overlooked. Begin with any ceiling fan if present, then move on to the upper cabinets (inside and outside), countertops, and appliances, making sure to clean both interiors and exteriors. Finally, don’t forget the lower cabinets and baseboards. Once you’ve cleared away all dust, debris, crumbs, and contaminants, treat your hard-surface flooring to a thorough vacuuming.

Consider scheduling a professional cleaning for your kitchen floors, as this first step can make a significant difference. While regular mopping is great for everyday care, a trained technician can effectively remove ground-in grunge and grout gunk left behind by previous occupants. Whether your kitchen floors are tile and grout or stone, opting for cleaning and sealing services will ensure they shine like new before the movers arrive with all your furnishings.

Make Sure to Tackle all your Bathrooms Before the Big Day

Your cleaning list should include a thorough sanitation of your toilet bowls and replacement of your toilet seats before move-in day.

If your kitchen can wait, it may be more important to clean the bathrooms in your new home first. Previous occupants likely used these spaces before leaving the property. Moreover, during the move-in chaos, you’ll undoubtedly find yourself making multiple visits to the ‘necessary.’ So starting with a thorough bathroom cleaning is a smart choice – and yes, it all begins with the best seat in the house.

While toilet cleaning might not be the most glamorous task on move-in day, you’ll be relieved once it’s done. Make the process smoother by bringing a well-equipped cleaning ‘kit’ with you. Cleaning blogs often recommend a “Moving Essentials” box that contains a variety of common cleaning tools and products. With the right tools at hand, you can swiftly tackle the bathroom cleaning, ensuring a fresh and hygienic space for your family from the get-go.

Professional cleans tile floor in bathroom with commercial-grade tool.

One common suggestion across the blogosphere is to replace all your toilet seats as part of your move-in to-do’s. The ick-factor of sitting where strangers have sat far exceeds the expense of new seats. Luckily, standard-sized toilet seats are readily available at your friendly neighborhood home improvement store, and installation is a breeze.

When it comes to the cleaning list for the rest of the bathroom, a high-low strategy has got you covered. Begin by dusting ceiling light fixtures and fans, then work your way down to the medicine cabinet, fixtures, counters, sinks, and vanity cabinets. A thorough wipe-down of the walls, especially around and behind the toilets, will ensure a fresh and welcoming space. Let’s not forget the tub or shower and surround – these wet areas can be breeding grounds for bacteria and general grunge, and any signs of mold or mildew should be dealt with proactively.

Just like in the kitchen, bathroom floors often feature hard surface flooring, making them ideal candidates for a professional cleaning. Trustworthy and qualified cleaning companies, like ProCare of Nashville, possess specialized equipment and employ multi-step protocols to effectively clean hard surfaces, paying particular attention to grout.

These hard-surface cleaning pointers apply to other high-use areas as well. Consider the laundry room, mudroom, or entryway, where appliances and regular foot traffic may lead to wet conditions. After a thorough deep clean, our experts can seal grout lines and stone surfaces, providing protection against re-contamination.

If you’re interested in learning more about the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting, we recommend checking out this helpful resource. Moreover, if you’re uncertain about selecting the right cleaning company, our article offers valuable insights to help you schedule with confidence.

And That Leaves… the Rest of Your Nest

Homeowners should dust rooms from top to bottom.

Let’s be clear: every room in your home needs to be addressed before move-in day. However, when it comes to cleaning bedrooms, living areas, hallways, and dining rooms, the process is typically less specialized.

To tackle these spaces effectively, use our cleaning list and follow the same high-low strategy. Begin by thoroughly dusting ceiling fans, and here’s a pro hack: use a pillowcase to clean fans efficiently. Move on to those cobwebby corners, light fixtures, and neglected door frames. You’ll find that an extendable dusting tool for your vacuum cleaner is especially useful. Traditional dusters and modern microfiber dust rags are helpful too.

Remember to wipe down light switches, doors, and pay attention to any areas that have experienced high-touch activity – they are usually easy to spot. Don’t overlook window frames and sills either. If you decide to clean the window glass, it’s best to choose a time of day when direct sunlight isn’t hitting the window. That will help you avoid streaking.

Professional carpet cleaners can get the best results before your furniture arrives.

Once you’ve addressed the ceilings and walls, the final part of your cleaning checklist should focus on floors and furnishings. If you’re moving into a furnished rental, keep in mind that upholstery fabric and window treatments can harbor dirt and debris that accumulates over the years. The same applies to your own furniture, area rugs, and accessories. Seize the move-in momentum to clean and protect these soft goods for a fresh start in your new home.

Some residential clients ask us if renting a DIY steam cleaner is a good idea. We generally feel that using this sort of tool requires some experience, and it’s crucial to identify which fabrics can withstand high heat or steam-based methods to avoid any damage. If you prefer a professional touch, consider scheduling upholstery and carpet cleaning services with a reputable local company. Nothing compares to the feeling and fragrance of a fresh and clean home. While it may not be a frequent investment, if your budget allows, enlisting the expertise of professionals can work wonders. Keep in mind that numerous housecleaning companies also offer move-in packages, though hot-water extraction service might not be included.

Some Move-In To-Do’s are Less About Cleaning and More about Liveability

Another popular to-do before the big move-in day is applying a fresh coat of paint to walls and trimwork.

As you follow our cleaning list from room to room, use the opportunity to create a running inventory of any repair or replacement needs. Be on the lookout for holes in walls, cracked outlet plates, loose or broken door and window hardware, malfunctioning fixtures, and any general surface repairs required. This is also a great time to check for any home safety issues, replacing locks and smoke detector batteries, and installing clean air filters. Compile a list to prioritize and tackle these projects gradually over time, ensuring your new home is in excellent condition.

Two additional move-in projects worth considering are scheduling a visit from a pest control company to keep unwanted visitors at bay and painting or patching walls to give your space a personalized touch. Remember, taking care of these tasks first is essential because cleaning, painting, or repairing a room becomes much more challenging once it’s filled with furniture.

Once you've covered all the tasks on your customized cleaning list, it's time to get unpacking.

Finally, the moment has arrived to greet the moving truck at the curb. It’s time to load in those boxes with confidence, knowing that your house or apartment is a clean and safe space. Apartment or house living is an adventure so starting fresh gives you a leg up on the ongoing to-do’s of home ownership.

At Pro-Care, we understand the value of a seamless move-in experience. For more expert advice and comprehensive services, visit our website today and explore our articles on pet odor elimination, how to prepare for your professional cleaning appointment, and the benefits of stain protection for your furnishings.

And remember, whether you already reside in Middle Tennessee or you are relocating to the Nashville area, Pro-Care can be your go-to source for all the cleaning list ‘to-do’s’ during your next big move.

Pro-Care is a premium carpet-rug-upholstery-tile-and-stone care company, serving residential and commercial clients in the Middle Tennessee area since 1995. We are fully licensed, insured and bonded and we guarantee our work 100%.

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