Cleaning for the Big Day

Cleaning for the Big Day
Cleaning for the Big Day

Consumer Tip Sheet – Cleaning for the Big Day


An inherent part of moving is cleaning, whether you are buying, selling or renting. Not planning for your cleaning tasks leading up to your move can cause a headache when moving day arrives. Prioritizing, scheduling and staying on track will make your move clean and stress-free!


Prepare for Success

Keep all cleaning supplies that you will need out of your moving boxes. These may include:

  • Windex / glass cleaner
  • Magic erasers
  • Cleaning spray / wipes
  • Shower cleaner
  • Floor cleaner / mop / vacuum
  • Duster
  • Trash bags
  • Step ladder
  • Cleaning rags / paper towels
  • Any specialty cleaners for counters / appliances / chrome / etc.


Cleaning Your New Home

While it is easier to clean an empty home in some areas, it is still hard work. Even though there is little to maneuver and clean around, there is still more surface area to clean. Depending on the size, and the routine cleaning habits of the previous owners and tenants, empty rooms can take time to clean properly.

As soon as you have a date, start to plan ahead to tackle your cleaning tasks. With keys in hand, move through your home room by room, and:

  • Empty any garbage
  • Scrub rooms top to bottom
  • Clean interior and exterior of appliances
  • Save your floors for cleaning last

Scheduling any maintenance or carpet cleaning services ahead of time will also ensure that you stay on track for your moving date. The goal is to have your new home or apartment clean and ready for your move-in.


Cleaning to Move Out

Cleaning your current home before your move can be a big task. Whether you are selling or handing keys back to a landlord, it is highly likely that your current home or apartment will have to be cleaned.


Plan Ahead in the Days & Weeks Before Your Move

  • Schedule any cleaning tasks around your moving plans
  • Donate! Clean out items you are no longer using. it means less stuff to move and fewer things to clean
  • Start by cleaning empty rooms. As long as the door can be closed and the room kept clean, these are great to knock off the list early
  • Follow the Move Cleaning Checklist below, room by room
  • Clean areas that are not likely to get dirty throughout your moving plans
  • Dust blinds and clean windows
  • Scrub bathtubs and showers
  • Run the self-clean cycle on your appliances
  • Clean drawers and cabinets (after packing)
  • Dust light fixtures, shelves and baseboards
  • Dust corners and ceilings for cobwebs
  • Do not clean walls and floors just yet; these are best left until after the move
  • Before cleaning commences, complete a thorough check to ensure none of your belongings or household items were missed
  • Check crawl spaces, sheds, garages and other storage areas
  • Load any items into your vehicle
  • Take any trash to the curb
  • Keep cleaning supplies and tools in a box for easy transport
  • Pick a starting point and move room by room
  • Save your floors for the last task


Move Cleaning Checklist

Living areas, bedrooms, play rooms, dining rooms

  • Dust closets
  • Clean mirrors
  • Vacuum / Steam mop floors
  • Take any trash with you!


  • Clean shower and/or tub
  • Clean toilet
  • Dust sills, baseboards, closet and shelves
  • Dust cobwebs
  • Quick clean cabinets and drawers; interior too
  • Clean sinks and chrome
  • Wipe countertops
  • Spot clean walls and doors
  • Dust blinds and clean windows
  • Dust light fixtures
  • Dust closets
  • Vacuum and steam mop floors
  • Remove trash


  • Dust for cobwebs along the tops of cabinets
  • Dust tops of appliances or walls behind appliance areas
  • Dust blinds and clean windows
  • Clean appliances, both interior and exterior
  • Dust light fixtures and shelves
  • Quick clean cabinets and drawers, both interior and exterior
  • Spot clean walls and doors
  • Dust baseboards and sills
  • Wipe counters and backsplash
  • Clean sinks and sink hardware
  • Vacuum and steam mop

Laundry Room

  • Clean exterior of washer and dryer
  • Wipe interior and exterior of cabinets and drawers
  • Dust blinds and sills
  • Clean windows
  • Dust cobwebs
  • Dust shelving, light fixtures and cabinet tops
  • Dust closets
  • Spot clean walls and door
  • Dust baseboards
  • Clean sinks
  • Vacuum and steam mop

Entry Way / Foyers

  • Dust cobwebs
  • Dust sills and baseboards
  • Spot clean walls and doors
  • Clean windows
  • Dust light fixtures, shelving and stair rail
  • Pull up any rugs and discard or pack them
  • Vacuum and steam mop


Thank you to the American Moving & Storage Association.