Cleaning After a Move
Whether you are looking to get back a security deposit or just want to leave a nice place for the next homeowners, cleaning up after a move is a crucial step. This is especially true for renters who may lose a hefty security deposit if they leave a rental unit dirty or in disrepair when a lease ends. The following tips can make cleaning easier for a rental or an old home.
When to Clean Your Old Place
Once you have moved all of your possessions out of your old place and into the new one, you may only have limited time to clean the old place. It’s much easier to see the dust and build up after all your belongings are out.
Tips for Move-Out Cleaning
The extra effort you put in to cleaning out your old place could help you retain your security deposit. The following tips can make move-out cleaning much easier.
- Start up high and work your way down. If you’re deep cleaning an entire room, start by brushing cobwebs and dust out of the corners of the ceiling, then clean ceiling fixtures like lights and fans. Next, work your way down the walls and save the floor for last.
- When you clean your walls, try your best to clean away dirt and darkened spots with nonabrasive cleaners that won’t damage the paint. If you had any artwork or posters hanging on the walls with nails or tacks, make sure you remove them and fill in the remaining holes if you can do so without making them too obvious. For example, some drywall sealant can blend in perfectly with most off-white wall paints.
- For the floors, don’t settle for a quick sweep and a single pass with a mop. Consider cleanings specific to the floors – wood oil cleaners for hardwood and vinyl polish for vinyl floors. For carpets, start with thorough vacuuming to remove dirt and dry debris. You can rent a carpet cleaner or arrange for professional carpet cleaning services once you’ve moved everything off the carpeted surfaces to make them look like new again. For hardwood and tile floors, make sure they’re cleaned to a polished shine and don’t neglect the baseboards and toe-kicks around the house.
- Clean windows inside and out with streak-free cleaner. You may want to power-wash your windows’ exteriors to clear away accumulated dirt and mildew. Take time to clean inside the tracks of each window so they’re not full of dust and other debris for the next occupant.
- Bathrooms should look the way you would hope your new bathroom will look when you move. Clean them from top to bottom, paying close attention to the water fixtures, toilet, shower, and floors.
All this cleaning may sound like a lot to do, but you’ll be surprised at how fast it can go after you’ve already moved all your stuff out of the place. Every house and rental property is different, and some rental agreements may have specific move-out procedures you will need to follow. Make sure to allow adequate time to handle your responsibilities and tackle deep cleaning before your move-out date arrives.