Before you can unpack and display your collection of books or diecast cars in your new pad, you owe it to yourself to give it a thorough scrub first. Even if you buy a new-build, construction crews aren’t noted for their janitorial skills, and you have no idea what kind of mess previous occupants left if you buy an older home or rent. You’ll never have such an ideal opportunity again once your belongings are inside, so follow this 5-point checklist for how to clean your new home.
1. Start With a Thorough Inspection
Once you place your couch against it, you can’t see visible water damage to walls, which could spell big trouble for your drywall, insulation, and wiring. If you rent, it’s wise to inspect the property before you sign your lease so that you can address issues like mold with your landlord before signing the dotted line.
Once you determine what you need to do, you’ll need to choose whether to hire a professional crew or DIY. While the latter option is less costly, pros pay attention to details like window seals that you might overlook.
2. Work From the Top
The two cardinal rules of life are don’t eat the yellow snow and don’t mop and seal your floor before dusting your ceiling fans. When you start your cleaning, work from the top.
Wipe down ceilings and walls — cobwebs can arise seemingly overnight. While you’re at it, consider swapping out any incandescent ceiling fan and overhead lights you see with compact fluorescents or LEDs. You’ll go longer without having to buy new bulbs, and you’ll save both cash and the planet.
3. Get Behind Appliances
Are you a bit phobic about creepy crawlies? Now’s the time to clean and treat behind appliances with boric acid to keep pests like cockroaches at bay.
If you bought a pre-owned home or rent, who knows? You might discover a treasure that the last occupant left behind — although it’s more likely that you’ll find nothing but a pile of unmated socks behind the dryer.
4. Organize One Closet at a Time
If you have to move in a jiffy, it’s tempting to throw your things anywhere with the promise that you’ll organize them later. Pro-tip: that approach rarely works.
Instead, start with one closet at a time and organize your belongings as you go so that there’s a place for everything. If time is a factor, stack your boxes along a wall and work at the project a little at a time. The cardboard will serve as a perpetual reminder to get to work, whereas out-of-sight often becomes out-of-mind.
5. Finish With the Flooring
Remember discovering all those furniture outlines on your dirty carpet when you moved out? Now’s the time to shampoo before you place your couch — choose a sustainable product if you worry about chemicals in your home.
If you plan on refinishing your flooring, you want to do so before move-in, too — unless you enjoy straining your back moving furniture. You could save money if you get lucky. Many homeowners have discovered gorgeous hardwood flooring after ripping up linoleum.
Learn How to Clean a New Home With These Tips
Before you move into your pad, you owe it to yourself to scrub it before move-in. Follow this five-point guide for how to clean your new home.