A new home brings with it so many hopes and dreams. You get to start with an empty space, free of clutter, and a blank canvas. But before you begin moving everything into your new home, and setting everything up, it’s time to give your new home a deep clean.
Whether you are buying a home, renting, moving down the street, to the country, or even interstate, cleaning when you move in is essential. The previous occupant of your home, even with the best intentions, surely left behind dust, dirt, and grime which you need to take care of before you can settle in, and feel clean in your new home.
Ideally, you should clean your new home prior to moving in. That way you don’t need to try and work around and navigate furniture and piles of boxes making your home feel like a construction zone. If it’s not possible to clean your home until after the move, that’s ok too – just make sure you do it right away and don’t put it off.
With a few days of hard work (and hopefully some helping hands), you can have your new home shining and sparkling clean! Here are tips for cleaning your new home before you move in:
Clean High To Low
Dust doesn’t only cover counter surfaces and floors. Ceiling fans, shelving, overhead lighting fixtures and anything else which is close to the ceiling is likely to receive its fair share of dust. It’s also likely the previous occupant didn’t clean these out of sight areas.
When you clean these parts of the home, it tends to make dust and dirt fall onto the areas below. Since when you clean areas high up, it will cause the space below them to get dirty, you should always start up high and work downward in each room. Otherwise, you are only going to have to clean the same space twice.
Expert Tip: The worst offender for making dust sprinkle onto your floor is ceiling fan blades. To reduce the dust avalanche, take an old pillowcase and put it over each blade one at a time. Then take the top layer of the pillowcase, and wipe from the centre of the fan fixture.
The majority of the dust will end up inside the pillowcase. Repeat this for each blade. After you’re finished, you can then either throw out the pillowcase or clean it.
Clean The Fridge
For post-move cleaning, the very first item you should clean is your fridge. While there are things you can delay cleaning if needed, it’s crucial to have a clean fridge. Where else can you store any perishable food and cool beverages? Sanitise and set up your fridge before you tackle anything else. As it’s empty, it should only take about 15 or 20 minutes to clean. First, remove all of the drawers and shelves. Clean them individually in your sink using warm water and soap.
Now, to clean inside the fridge, a trick is to use white vinegar for a deep clean. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water into a solution, and take a cloth to wipe all the surfaces of the fridge thoroughly. If you find any gunk stuck on any of the surfaces, let the vinegar/water solution soak for a bit before scrubbing it. Before you put the shelves back in the fridge, make sure they are thoroughly dry first. Lastly, go through these steps again for your freezer.
Expert Tip: If you’ve discovered some sticky and nasty grime in your fridge which won’t come off no matter how hard you scrub it, boil some water, then pour it over the grime. Leave it to do it’s magic until the water has cooled down. Then get back to work scrubbing. The grime should come straight off.
Rest Of The Kitchen
After the fridge is sparkling clean, it’s time to move onto tackling the other areas of the kitchen. Start with cleaning all of the light fixtures, above any cabinets, and the corners of the ceiling. Next, it’s time to clean the kitchen appliances. Clean the dishwasher, oven, sink, microwave, and then lastly the countertops.
Now it’s time to wash the cabinets and drawers next. Clean them thoroughly inside and out, and especially give the handles a good scrubbing. Wait until later before you clean the floor.
Expert Tip: Trying to get rid of stubborn stove top stains? Mix hydrogen peroxide and baking soda for a strong solution which gets rid of even the most difficult stains. First, fill a small bowl with baking soda. Then add ample hydrogen peroxide to create a paste. Apply the paste all over the stove. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. Lastly, vigorously scrub.
Clean The Bathrooms
The key to a clean bathroom is disinfecting everything, as well as having sparkling clean surfaces. First, take a sponge with dish soap for an initial scrub of all the surfaces. Next, to get rid of the rest of the germs, use an antibacterial spray.
For any toilet seats, replace them. This way you will feel like you have a new clean toilet in your home, and it’s the best way to make sure it’s immaculately clean. Don’t forget to clean surfaces usually overlooked such as to clean and sanitise light switches, taps, the toilet paper holder as well as door handles.
Expert Tip: It can be difficult to remove water stains on metal hardware such as shower heads and taps. Use juice from a fresh lemon to rub them down and remove any stains. The acid breaks down stains and has metal surfaces looking showroom new.
For additional information on cleaning your bathroom, visit the Department of Health website.
The Other Areas Of The Home
For the other areas of your home, move through and clean them one room at a time. Start from the top and work your way done. Don’t forget to clean surfaces like windows, door tops, window treatments, closet interiors, and light switches. To reach most of these places, use a vacuum with an attachment to get rid of the initial dust and dirt. Then finish the job using a damp rag.
Expert Tip: Wait until the evening to wash your windows. If you wash them while the sun is shining it will be hard to notice any streaks or grime. If you need to wash them during the day, start with the ones in the shade first.
Time For The Floors
Now you’re near the finish line! It’s time to move to the bottom of your home, the floors. For tile, linoleum or wood floors, first, use a vacuum attachment to get those hard to reach edges and corners. Next, sweep up any debris which remains.
Unless your vacuum has been designed to do so, you should avoid vacuuming the entire surface. Lastly, it’s time to mop. Check the product you use is safe for the surface you are cleaning. For a deep carpet clean, use a steam cleaner. It’s probably a good idea to hire a professional cleaner. Otherwise, you can rent one from a hardware store.
Vacuuming may take off the top layer of dust, but it won’t remove any allergens from your carpet. This is crucial to improve the air quality. Make sure not to skip this step. Otherwise, your carpets will only be half clean.
Expert Tip: To clean any grime or grout, combine bleach with water in equal parts in a bowl. Use a toothbrush to scour the affected area. First let the solution rest on the surface for about an hour, then vigorously rub it until it’s clean.
Now you’re finished, that wasn’t as difficult as it seems!