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  • Writer's pictureMaren

The Ultimate Moving House Checklist

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

We welcome guest blogger Michael Walters from McCaw Property Management in McKinney:

Moving house is one of the most tasking endeavors you will ever have to endure, due to the different dimensions involved in a house move. On one hand, you have to worry about getting all your belongings from the old home to the new one in one piece and without spending too much money. But before you ever get to that point, you must first figure out how to pack your stuff and move it.

After you have sorted out the packing and transporting of your belongings, you must grapple with unpacking them at your destination and setting up your home in a new location. But this is not all.

There is yet one apparently minor aspect, which if forgotten can come to haunt you later. You must do thorough move-out cleaning of your old home. This is besides the fact that you must also clean your new place before moving into it.

The result is that throughout the move, you may struggle to keep tabs on all aspects of the project. And because you will probably be more engrossed with making sure that your things don’t get lost, broken, or stolen, cleaning will be the last thing on your mind. The result is that when you eventually get around to cleaning your old home, you will do it hurriedly in a tired daze. But if you do this, you risk losing all or part of your security deposit, warns McCaw Management in McKinney.

But is there a way to competently manage the different elements of the move and still do a good job of cleaning your old home? Yes, there is.

You can do this when you have a cleaning checklist to guide the cleaning process. With a checklist, you won’t need to rely on your tired mind to remind you of what to clean; you eliminate the risk of costly omissions that cost you the security deposit.

To save you the additional trouble of creating this checklist, we offer you our very own tested and trusted moving house cleaning checklist for free.

Preliminary tips

  • Get everything you need ready; you need a long list of cleaning supplies, so prepare early.

  • Cleaning supplies list: dusting cloths, cloths for wiping (preferably, microfiber), white vinegar, disinfecting cleaners, mop, broom, buckets, dustpan, vacuum cleaner, step stool, plastic/nylon bristled soft scrubbers, rubber gloves, fabric protectors, furniture polish, baking soda, glass cleaners, and more.

  • Keep all cleaning supplies separate to make sure they don’t get loaded into the truck. Store them in a box with a bold “DO NOT LOAD” label on it.

  • Start cleaning before moving day by first cleaning your things. You don’t want to transport dirt and dust to the new home and compound your cleaning efforts.

  • Work in stages by breaking the home into sections and dedicate chunks of time for cleaning. Start days before the move-out day and begin with least-used areas.

  • Plan for last minute cleaning on moving day.

  • Make sure all your belongings have been loaded into the truck before you start cleaning. You will do a more thorough and quick job if you don’t have to deal with clutter.

  • Always clean from top to bottom. That way you won’t dirty already-cleaned areas.

  • Do dry cleaning tasks before you wash, mop or wipe surfaces; you cannot do these properly with dust on surfaces.

  • Arrange your cleaning room-by-room or by task.

A comprehensive cleaning checklist

Prep work for the entire home

  • Vacuum all rooms and mop floors. If necessary, apply oil treatment to wood flooring and clean the carpet with a rented carpet cleaner.

  • Remove nails, hooks, and similar attachments from the walls. Fill the holes with spackle and repaint the spot.

  • Fix all broken wall and lighting fixtures.

  • Wipe down doors, trim, baseboards, and crown molding.

  • Clean the windows and the polish glass, inside and outside, with a streak-free glass cleaner.

Bathroom cleaning checklist

  • Work grout cleaner into tiled areas, leave on for some time, and clean thoroughly.

  • Dust and wipe the exhaust fan.

  • Clean the toilet with bleaching agents, after you have left it on the toilet surface for a while.

  • Remove scum from the shower and bathtub with soap scum fighting cleaner.

  • Clean storage areas, countertops, towel racks, lights, and sinks.

  • Polish the mirrors with streak-free glass cleaner.

Kitchen cleaning checklist

  • Empty appliances that are staying and clean them inside and outside. Use the oven’s self-cleaning feature.

  • Move appliances and clean around/beneath them.

  • Pull out drawers completely; empty and clean inside drawer, shelves and cabinets, before replacing drawers.

  • Disinfect and wipe countertops, sinks and backsplash

  • Dust and clean exhaust fan

Living room/bedroom cleaning checklist

  • Dust and wipe down ceiling fans, lightings, and other fixtures.

  • Clean out the chimney and fireplace.

  • Clean the window sills and wipe the glass with streak-free glass cleaner, and dust the window blinds.

  • Replace air filters and clean out air vents.

Outdoor cleaning checklist

And, finally, if this seems like a lot to add on top of the other things you have to take care of, that is because it indeed is a lot. But there is an easier way to have the old house thoroughly cleaned, while you focus your time and attention to your new home. You can hire a professional move-out cleaner. A professional cleaner already knows where the problem spots are in your old home and how best to clean a house. They will do this in record time, for less than you think, and the results will be so much better than if you did it yourself.

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