Congratulations! What a relief that the house had sold, right? But our real estate agents know that as the excitement wears off, you're probably going to look around and suddenly realize that the hardest work lies ahead of you. The longer you've been in your home, the more daunting the task of cleaning before you go. But don't feel too stressed out. We've compiled a few tips to keep the process as simple as possible.
- Start With an Empty House
Packing and cleaning simultaneously can be a nightmare. Before you lift a single rag, make sure you have packed and removed everything but cleaning supplies and equipment. Inspect every inch of the house to ensure no dishes are left in the dishwasher, towels in the linen closet, or goods in any closet. Check basements, attics, garages, and storage sheds for any rarely used items. Don't forget personal items in the bathroom cabinets.
- Make a Plan and Follow It
Work from the top-down, cleaning upstairs before tackling the ground floor. In each room, begin by removing cobwebs and dust from the ceiling, lights, and fans. Dust first, followed by wiping down stains. Move next to blinds, windows, and doors. Always dust before attempting to clean with damp cloths. Wash windows and wipe down the frames. Clean fingerprints and grime from wallplates and light switch covers.
- Deep Clean Appliances
Stoves often require a lot of elbow grease, so it may be helpful to apply oven cleaner and let it sit while you attack the refrigerator and the microwave. Use plenty of hot, soapy water to cut through any spills. Rinse well with clean water to remove soap residue. Sanitize with a solution of an ounce of bleach in a gallon of water in a spray bottle. Unplug the refrigerator and open the door slightly. Prop it open if necessary to ensure that unpleasant odors and mildew can't form.
Move to the stove, starting with the exhaust fan. Wash the stovetop and burners. Clean the oven to remove burned-on grease and debris. Remove racks and wash them in the sink. After rinsing the cleaning solution from the walls and floor of the oven, spray it down with white vinegar. Replace the racks. To clean the microwave, place a bowl of warm water and dishwashing liquid in the unit and run it at high heat for 5 minutes. Let it stand for another few minutes to allow the steam to loosen any debris and wipe it down. Remove the turntable and wash it as necessary. Wipe the floor of the microwave before replacing the turntable.
- Wash It Down
Using plenty of hot soapy water, wash and rinse cabinets and countertops. Wipe them dry to eliminate streaks. Sweep and mop the floor. Make sure the baseboards are free of dust and dirt. Sweep, mop, vacuum, and clean carpets as necessary. Change dirty water frequently to ensure thorough cleansing.
- Tackle the Bathrooms Last
Once again, start at the top and work down, cleaning the insides of medicine cabinets and washing mirrors. Use vinegar on shower doors to remove soap scum buildup. Scrub toilet and sink, finishing up by moping the floor. While we normally recommend taking everything as you vacate, it might be nice to leave a roll of toilet paper, soap, and paper towels for the next resident.
We hope you've found this clean-up plan helpful. If you're in the market for one of the lovely Plymouth homes for sale, be sure to contact us. We'd be happy to help you find the perfect new place.