Here it is, the time when all of your belongings are packed and traveling to your new home. You are probably exhausted, having spent the past couple of weeks in preparation for this, calling service providers, family, organizing the movers, booking storage and who knows what else. However, your tasks are not over yet. Whether you have been renting or just sold your old home, you will be expected to perform a certain degree of cleaning. Many people are confused at this point, how much is enough and if you have yet to receive your deposit or finalize a selling deal, this may make a big difference. It’s understandable that you will be tired after all the moving preparations, so here are the key places you can concentrate on to really make a difference.
Read the Fine Print
First thing you have to do is read the contract under which you were renting/are selling the property. Different real estate companies and states have different legal obligations. You will often see the term “broom clean”, which can be really ambiguous. But the rule of thumb is don’t leave the property in any less of a state you found it in. If you are preoccupied with the current moving or simply too tired from running errands, consider hiring professional cleaning help.
However, if you are ready to tackle the dirt and grime in your past home, then here are a few tips on what can really stand out.
- Floors. Vacuuming and mopping is only the bare minimum you can do here. If you have pets or young children, then prepare yourself for some hard stains. Are there any strong pee odors or dirt that cannot be removed just by vacuuming? Unfortunately these do not go under the wear and tear policy, and you will be accountable for them, so make sure your floors are sparkling clean as you can never hide a carpet stain.
- Clean hard-water and mold buildup. No matter for how short you have lived in your past home, your tabs, shower, tub and tiles are more than likely showing signs of buildup. Having a small grey mold spot in the corner of your bathtub screams dirt to anyone visiting your home, including a potential buyer or landlord. Getting rid of these is not that hard but make sure you take the time to.
- Wash inside the refrigerator and oven. People are particularly observant in the kitchen, especially where their food is stored or made. Making sure you remove all grime and burnt food can really make a difference in an inspection with your landlord or a tour with a buyer. And let’s be honest here, this is all yourfood leftovers, so put the rubber gloves on and get scrubbing.
- Wipe down interior cabinets and shelves. These shouldn’t take much effort to clean, unless you have been neglecting the task while living there.
- Dispose of all toxic items properly. It is easy to forget in the midst of all the packing and transportation of your whole home, so an easy trick is to pack hazardous materials in a bright red container of sorts, maybe write on it that it is for recycling and put it somewhere where you will easily spot it.
- Walls can be easily forgotten. You don’t necessarily wash walls on monthly basis, but once you are leaving your home you have to consider all the dust, tooth paste, various spills and dirt they have accumulated through the years. To begin with remove all staples and nails you have put and fill the holes in. You can quickly wash the walls with a solution of water and dishwasher liquid, which you can make stronger by adding vinegar, washing soda and ammonia.
Take into Account the Full Picture
This is just a very basic rundown of what your main chores may be, but don’t forget to add any storage and garage areas to the picture. One very important tip from me, make sure you are present at the inspection of your past home and get a copy of the records. That way you can dispute any unexpected cleaning fees later.
Another suggestion you may want to consider is hiring a professional company personally. If you think your landlord may hire cleaning help and hold your deposit because of that then it might be best if you do it instead. That way you can call for on-site estimations, plan the cleaning budget and possibly save money. A reputable company will guarantee high quality and will redo their service if you are unsatisfied, ensuring that you will receive your deposit in the end. Good luck with your moving and hopefully the place you are moving to has been cleaned as well as you cleaned yours.
Posted on May 28, 2013; Last updated: Jun 6, 2013
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