Whether you’re moving into a newly constructed home or a pre-loved one, it’s essential that you give the property a thorough cleaning to really make it your own. You don’t want to have to sweep or mop around your furniture after setting them up so it’s best to do this before you start bringing in your things. Here are a few guidelines that’ll get your new home ready for move-in day.
If moving into a new construction
1. Before getting started, make sure the paint and wood varnishes in every part of the house have completely dried. Open the windows to let out the paint and finishing fumes, as well as the odor from the adhesive used in the wallpaper, or wall-to-wall carpeting or vinyl. You’re going to be working in there for a while and you don’t want to pass out from the fumes while you do.
2. One of the peskiest issues when cleaning a brand new house is the construction dust. Sweeping will only disturb them and cause them to float up in the air again, so use a vacuum to remove as much dust, dirt and shavings as you can. Follow this with moist rags on tables, countertops and windowsills, and a damp mop on the floor. (Dust usually takes days to settle, so you’ll find yourself having to do this even days after you move in.)
3. Check the walls, light fixtures and anything reflective for fingerprints and smears of dirt and use a damp cloth to wipe them off. Want to clean dirty mirrors and window panes without using chemicals? Wipe them with a damp scrunched-up sheet of newspaper, and then finish with a dry one.
4. Look closely at the window panes, floors or any surface where paint was accidentally splattered or smeared. Find out what kind of paint these smears are to determine the best way to remove them without damaging the surface underneath.
5. Just before you move in, get to cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, as well as wiping the inside of the closets, drawers, cabinets, and other storage places. Walk around and look for any masking tape or newspaper left behind from painting. Look in the backyard or the garage for neglected bags or sacks from materials used during construction.
If moving into an existing house or a rental
1. Find out beforehand what kind of cleaning has been done to the property before you proceed. This way, you know which cleaning supplies you’re going to need.
2. Pre-owned homes always have that distinct smell that lingers long after the previous owners or renters move out. To get a little bit of the "new home smell" back, let the property air out as you're cleaning it, and spritz some air freshener when you're done. If the last resident left up some curtains, which can absorb smells, take them down. Carpets also retain odors and stains that don't completely wash off. If you don't mind walking on bare floors, it might be better to just pull them out too.
3. Look for signs of any infestation like dead pests, cobwebs and insect eggs or droppings. If you find them, call in an exterminator to do an even more thorough inspection so they can eradicate the pests effectively.
4. If the previous occupants took cake of the property well, the kind of mess that you’ll probably have to deal with are just dirt and stains. Use a broom, a vacuum cleaner and a mop to tidy up. For stains in the carpets or rugs, use disinfectants or stain remover to get them out. Wipe all the shelves clean before storing your things in them. If the home comes furnished, make sure you also clean the areas behind and underneath them.
5. Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms, as these are the most heavily used parts of the home. After scrubbing away the stains, make sure you apply disinfectant as well for hygienic purposes.
6. Check the basement and attic, as well as closets and cabinets for things that were left behind. You don't want them taking up space that's yours now. Besides, in a mountain of stuff that's been left untouched for a long time, little critters are almost always lurking about.
To many people, moving to a new home signifies the beginning of a new phase in their life. Make sure you start yours right by cleaning the place spotless before you settle in.