When getting ready to sell your home, you’ll want to be sure that it shows well once it is listed for sale. Your moving house cleaning should be as methodical as purging and packing and can be accomplished in conjunction with these other tasks.
These are areas that you need to focus on so that once your household is packed and loaded on the moving van, you won’t have a lot of last-minute cleaning chores to complete. We’ve put together some tips that use common baking soda and/or vinegar as cleaning agents that will leave your home clean and fresh without the need for harsh chemicals.
Buyers look closely at the kitchen and every appliance and countertop in it. Kitchens are very important to prospective buyers and need to be cleaned carefully before and after the sale.
Stovetop and Oven.
Brush off any debris with a brush and sprinkle the surface with baking soda. Then spray with hydrogen peroxide. Wipe clean with a sponge and cool water after the solution sits for several minutes. Your oven can be cleaned with a paste you make from equal parts baking soda and water. Let this sit overnight and then wipe the paste away with a damp cloth. If there is residue of baking soda, spray with vinegar, which will make the paste fizz up. You should be able to wipe it away easily. If your oven has a self-cleaning option, use it to remove burned-on food. Don’t forget to clean exhaust fans.
Drawers and Cabinets.
Remove drawer and shelf liners and sprinkle surfaces with a little baking soda, wiping with a damp sponge. Stains or caked-on foods on cabinet doors can be removed with Murphy’s Oil Soap, an all-natural cleaner.
When ready to move, clear out everything and spray all surfaces inside and out with a solution of equal parts water and vinegar. Wipe with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly with a clean towel. Defrost the freezer, if needed, and clean in the same manner as the refrigerator. Move the appliance out a bit and clean behind, under, and around it. Last minute: unplug the unit and leave the door ajar.
Clean by using a recommended product while running the dishwasher. Repair or replace any broken utensil holders or racks.
Fill a spray bottle with water and white vinegar (equal parts). Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil and wipe down the counters.
Use the same solution you mixed up for the counters and wipe out the sink. If you have a garbage disposal, pour ½ cup baking soda into the disposal drain, followed by 1 cup of white vinegar. Let the solution soak for a few minutes. Then rinse with water while turning on the disposal for a few seconds.
Sweep floors, being sure to go under appliances. Then do a quick mop with warm water. If floors need a more thorough cleaning, use a product recommended for your specific flooring. When selling the home, floors need to sparkle. When moving, a quick sweep and mop is sufficient.
Shower and Tub.
Here again, the baking soda and water paste will do the trick to clean out soap and dirt residue. Apply the paste, scrub the surfaces, and then follow with a spritz of vinegar until it fizzes. Scrub again when the fizzing stops. Finish with a final rinse with water.
Sprinkle baking soda onto the sink and rub it in with a soft cloth. Then rinse with cool water.
Mix 1part vinegar and 4 parts water to wipe all mirrors and fixtures.
Pour a mixture of ½ cup vinegar and 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Let it sit for 30 minutes and then scrub with a toilet brush.
Sweep and mop with a solution of ¼ cup vinegar, 1 tablespoon of dish soap, and 2 gallons water. Use a towel to wipe down floors with this mixture.
Remove any nails or screws and plaster the holes using spackling paste with a putty knife. When dry, lightly sand and touch up paint. Remove any scuff marks with a Magic Eraser. Cover a broom with a towel and wipe the walls from ceiling to baseboard to catch any cobwebs. Don’t forget to dust and wipe windowsills clean too.
Wipe down doors and knobs with a few drops of dish soap in water. You can add ½ cup vinegar (to 3 cups of water) and mix in a few drops of dish soap and essential oil.
Light Fixtures, Ceiling Fans, Switches, Outlets. Dust and use a microfiber cloth sprayed with your cleaning solution (see Doors).
Use a vacuum attachment to vacuum up any dust, dog hair or dirt. Wipe with the microfiber cloth and the same spray used to clean light fixtures.
Use an upholstery brush and crevice tool to vacuum drapery to rid it of dust and dirt. If more cleaning is needed, consider dry cleaning and re-installing.
Use 1part vinegar mixed with 2 parts water. Dip a rag in the mixture and then place it over the stain. Heat an iron to the steam setting and iron on top of the rag for about 30 seconds. If the stain doesn’t come up, you may need a commercial carpet stain remover.
Clean any ceiling fans, lighting fixtures, and any built-in shelving or cabinets. Vacuum or sweep out the area. Clean garage floor stains by scrubbing with a stiff brush, detergent, and degreaser. Be sure to leave the garage completely empty unless other arrangements have been made with the buyers.
If you’ve taken care of all this beforehand, when the movers have loaded the van, you can do a quick dusting, vacuum, and mop to greet the new owners with a clean home.
Once you are on the road to your new home, you can turn your attention to what needs to be done to make it ready to welcome you and your family in comfort. The amount of cleaning you’ll need to do will depend on whether your new home is a newly built house or one that is a resale.
Cabinets, Drawers, Counters. Wipe down all surfaces with a disinfectant spray and add lining where desired.
Pour a cup of white vinegar into a dishwasher-safe container and place it on the top rack of your dishwasher while running it through one cycle.
Refrigerator and Stove.
Remove all stove-top grills and refrigerator shelves and drawers. Soak them for an hour in a tub of warm, soapy water. Remove, dry, and put back in place. Prevent odors in the refrigerator by placing an open box of baking soda or a tray of fresh or used coffee grounds in the back corner. Replace every two- to four-weeks.
Toilets. If desired, replace toilet seats and covers to ensure a clean, fresh start. Otherwise, wipe down surfaces with a disinfectant. Do the same for all other surfaces.
Sweep, dust, vacuum, and/or mop as needed throughout the home to your satisfaction.
Hopefully, the former owners of your new home have done as good a job cleaning before they left as you did. Now that you’ve done your move-in cleaning, you are ready to celebrate being in your new home and are ready to tackle the next job: unpacking!