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30 May 2022

Cleaning Your Home Before Moving Out

Cleaning your home before moving out is something the vast majority of us try to do as best we can.

It is not a legal requirement, but nonetheless, it is a polite thing to do for the new owners.

Cleaning your home before moving out is often one of the last jobs which need your attention on what will already be a busy day, there is much you can do in advance.

It needs to be approached in an orderly manner.

Forward planning will lessen the inevitable stresses and strains which go hand in hand with moving.

Although not a definitive list, these are some helpful guidelines you may want to implement.

Have a Good Clear-out

The average person moves around 11 times during their lifetime. However, many move a lot less than this.

It is incredible the amount of “stuff” we collect over a number of years.

We so often say to ourselves, I must go through the attic and get rid of anything I don’t use, or is damaged, or just doesn’t work anymore.

The same can be said for the garage and the garden shed, but rarely do we actually take the time to do it.

That is why moving home after many years in one place can be so incredibly stressful, there is so much to do.

Before any attempt is made to clean your home before moving out, you need to spend time weeks before the move date getting rid of everything you no longer need.

Sell it, give it to charity or just take it to the local recycling center whatever you decide to do, this job must be done as soon as possible and well in advance of the move.

A major clear-out makes cleaning at the last minute so much easier.

The more organised you are the more time will be saved on moving day.

Hire a Skip

Your removal quotation is based on the volume of goods being transported to the new home.

There is absolutely no point paying to move anything that is of no further use to you.

Chances are, if you haven’t used it in the old house, you wont in the new one either.

Hiring a skip is a fantastic way to get rid of large quantities of rubbish quickly.

Skips come in several sizes and you will find there are lots of skip hire companies in Bedford.

It does mean spending more money; however, they are incredible time savers negating the need for backward and forwarding to the recycling centre.

Plus, most centres restrict users to one load per week so it could take months to get rid of all your rubbish.

Once the “big clear-out” has been done, you can then concentrate on the cleaning and start some of the packing too.

Cleaning products

What Cleaning Products Might I Need?

In order to make a success of your endeavors, it is a good idea to have all the cleaning materials, products, and equipment you might need close to hand.

Here is a list of items you will need:

  • Hoover
  • Dusters (including a feather duster to reach the high spots)
  • Kitchen roll
  • Gloves (for the really dirty work)
  • Sponges
  • Several washing up cloths
  • Washing up liquid
  • Window cleaner
  • Polish
  • Cream cleaner
  • Disinfectant
  • Bucket
  • Floor mop
  • Limescale remover
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Selection of cleaning brushes (a toothbrush is helpful for those hard-to-reach areas)
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Marker pen
  • Packing tape

Let’s Get Started

It is never too early to start cleaning your home before moving out.

As you go along, much of what is only use occasionally can be packed well before the move date.

Be methodical in your approach. Clean on a room-by-room basis starting with the least used one in the house.

Have several boxes ready so that anything you will not be using before the move can be packed immediately.

Use your marker pen to list exactly what you are packing on the outside of each box.

Many of the work will be the same in each room such as sorting through what has been stuffed in cupboards and storage areas or left scattered across surfaces, floors, and things lurking under beds.

Pull everything out, and make three piles; a keep pile, a sell/give to charity pile, and a pile of all the rubbish you are going to throw away.

Before replacing the “keeps” back into cupboards, vacuum them out, dust and wipe with a clean damp cloth.

Things you need up until you move out can be placed back inside the cupboards, the rest can go in the box you prepared already, clearly labelled with a list of contents and which room they came from.

Once you have completed the sorting of all the cupboards and storage spaces in the house, you can get underway with the cleaning.

Kitchen Cleaning

Cleaning the Kitchen

This can be started around a week before the move.

Open all food cupboards and empty the contents onto kitchen surfaces and bin anything which is out of date or has been open for a while.

Start to pack into boxes what you won’t be using over the next few days.

Replace as little as you can back in the cupboards, just enough to keep you going for the remainder of your stay.

When it comes to white goods, many of us now have built-in kitchen appliances and almost always they are sold with the house. But they will still require a good clean.

Try and run the freezer and fridge down. It is a great way to save money by making do and using up what you can.

When empty, give the interiors a good wipe down, particularly in the hard-to-reach corners.

Other white goods which will require attention and cleaning are the washing machine, dishwasher, tumble drier, microwave, oven and hob.

All need slightly different approaches, particularly the oven and hob.

You can clean these appliances yourself with a specialised oven cleaning product or opt to have a professional oven cleaner do the job for you.

All other appliances can be treated as the fridge and wiped with a clean cloth to remove any obvious mess.

Wipe all working surfaces, backsplashes, and tiles to remove grease and dirt.

The kitchen floor will be the very last job before you go.

NOTE: fridges and freezers will need to be empty and defrosted by move day. The removal team will not transport them full of food.

Cleaning the Lounge/Dining Room

This room is used by everyone so can sometimes be the most cluttered.

You can use the three-pile approach here too, and then you can give the room the once over.

Start at the top and vacuum any pesky cobwebs.

Vacuum light fittings, curtains, and or blinds.

Clean the inside windows and wipe down the sills.

Check the walls and wipe off any dirty marks as best you can.

Give skirting boards a clean, sugar soap is a good product to use for this job.

Vacuum under and behind the TV, furniture, cupboards, and tables.

Move any loose rugs, shake and hoover them and they can be rolled up and packed.

Again, pack as much as you can into boxes that you won’t need until after your move and label clearly.

At this point, you may want to give the lounge carpet a good steam clean or have them cleaned thoroughly by a professional carpet cleaning company.

TrustATrader is an excellent place to search for a reputable carpet cleaning company.

Cleaning the Bedrooms

Not the nicest of jobs, especially if you have teenagers!

Yes, the old “three-pile method” comes into play here too.

Once done, many of the contents of wardrobes and drawers can be packed immediately, leaving enough clothing for the rest of your stay.

As with the lounge, start from the ceiling and work your way down.

Remove any cobwebs from the ceiling and vacuum light fittings.

Window dressings (blinds or curtains) can also be vacuumed.

Wipe window ledges and give the windows a good wash.

Vacuum under beds, behind cupboards etc.

Remove any dirty linen and remake beds with a clean set.

This can be done a few days before you move out so that the bedding is still relatively clean and ready for the first night in your new home.

Lastly hoover the floors.

If carpeted, again, you may want to have them cleaned by the professionals.

Cleaning the Bathroom and Toilets

Perhaps the least liked of all the household jobs, but definitely one of the most important.

To ensure you have eliminated all germs these room requires extra attention.

Wipe all surfaces with disinfectant wipes or use a bucket of disinfectant water and a clean cloth.

Apply a spritz of lime scale remover to taps, sinks, the bath, shower door, and tray, leave for ten minutes, and rinse. This should be enough to make them sparkle.

It is a dirty job but ensure all plug holes and overflow holes are cleared of debris or mould. A little bleach used sparingly should do the trick.

The loo is next. Wipe the whole thing with disinfectant first. Let it dry to ensure all germs are eradicated. (Wash the walls and floor directly around the loo as splashes can reach everywhere).

Harpic or a similar product is excellent for removing limescale from toilets, leave it to soak for a while to give it a chance to work.

Use glass cleaner to clean the mirrors or glass surfaces.

Empty all cupboards and surfaces of toiletries, leaving just enough to keep you going for a few days then pack the rest into your pre-prepared bathroom box.

Garage cleaning

Other Areas to Bear in Mind

When you are preparing to move out, it is not just your home that requires attention.

Don’t forget that it is also good form to clear everything out of the loft, shed and garage and leave the garden tidy.

Just like the inside of the house, this is the perfect opportunity to de-clutter and get rid of rubbish from these most used storage areas.

The last thing the new owners don’t need is to be faced with a stack of your unwanted items.

It is also good etiquette to give the lawn a final mow and clear the garden of old or broken children’s toys and play equipment or garden furniture.

Removal Team

On the Last Day

When the removal team arrives, make sure they don’t pack all your cleaning equipment!

Hold back a few items such as the hoover, a dustpan and brush, a couple of bin bags, broom, and disinfectant wipes, these will come in handy for those last-minute jobs.

When all the rooms are totally empty, you can give them one last once over before you shut the front door for the last time.

Professional Cleaners

Using a Professional House Cleaning Company

There is something to be said for using a cleaning company.

They know exactly what to do, they have all the heavy-duty cleaning equipment and experience to get the job done with minimal fuss.

They are able to provide you with a cleaning package that is specifically designed for your move.

Obviously it means paying for the service, but you could save a little money by having them do some of the cleaning rather than all of it.

It doesn’t cost anything to get a quotation and there are plenty of professional companies in Bedford to choose from.

Cleaning Rental Properties

One final point to mention is end of tenancy cleaning.

If you are vacating a rented home, it is very important to ensure you leave it exactly as it was when you moved in.

A thorough cleaning should be a top priority. The prompt return of your deposit could depend on it.

Though there are no hard and fast rules, you must read your rental contract and your inventory carefully so there are no nasty surprises on the last day.

This is where taking photos on the “move-in” day will be invaluable. You can prove exactly what the place looked like pre your occupancy. You don’t want to be blamed for damage that was already there.

Being present when the owner/manager does a final inspection means you are there to explain, with evidence if necessary that you were not responsible for damages should this situation arise.

There are some great rental cleaning companies in Bedford  they know how important this job can be.

The advantage of giving your rental a top notch clean is you may need your landlord to provide references when you move into your next property.

A glowing reference (and house) could give you the edge!


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