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Posted in How-to on August 26, 2021
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

How to Clean an Apartment Before Moving In

Setting up a new home is exciting and tiring at the same time. And after you’ve finished with the final inspection, repainted the flat, and disinfected the whole space, the very next step is – cleaning. Here is the ultimate guideline on how to clean an apartment before moving in and what not to forget when sprucing up if you want your home to be impeccable!

There are many details to plan when relocating to another city and state— starting from how to get a job in another state to more practical issues, like how to prepare for movers. And once you move into the next living space, the to-do doesn’t get much shorter. Here is how to deal with one of the most laborious tasks when preparing for the next life chapter.

Think of a Cleaning Strategy and Prepare All the Supplies You’ll Need to Make Your New Home Spotless

After you’ve moved efficiently, successfully avoided all relocation mistakes, and survived anxiety about relocating out, the next important question is how do you clean before moving in? Having a cleaning strategy is undoubtedly one of the best ways to prepare the living space. And the first thing related to this task is deciding whether to hire professional cleaners or try doing it by yourself. In case you’re relocating to another state alone, this won’t be that easy to do when on your own. Still, if you decide to tidy up the space all by yourself, it will help you save on relocation costs.

No matter what you decide, disinfection is definitely one of the essential elements you should include in your relocation to-do list. Especially if the previous tenants left some furniture that you’ll continue to use. Not to mention the bathroom, kitchen cabinets, and appliances, like the stove or refrigerator.

How Do You Disinfect an Apartment Before Moving In?

As we said, an essential component to include in your relocating to another state checklist is the disinfection of the flat – this entails painting – which is mandatory, and pest control, which should be done at least one week prior to tidying up. Also, using a steam cleaner on all the floors and other common areas and often touched spaces is a great idea, so ensure to have this piece of equipment once you begin the process.

How Long Does it Take to Spruce Up a New Living Space?

The time you’ll need to spruce up the whole space depends on the square footage and how well the property is maintained. In regular conditions, the average time needed to tidy up a two-bedroom flat is around five hours. However, the general sprucing up requires quite a bit more time, so be ready to deal with it for a couple of days, and be sure to do it before the cross-country movers deliver your belongings.

What Do You Need to Clean an Apartment and  How Do You Deep Clean an Apartment?

Cleaning a flat without proper supplies and disinfectants won’t be possible. So, before starting the process, get all the products you will need to get the future living space in perfect condition. Here are some products you should definitely put on your shopping list:

  • Bathroom and kitchen disinfectants,
  • Alcohol,
  • Furniture polish,
  • Carpet spot cleaner,
  • Glass cleaner,
  • Microfiber cloths,
  • Lint roller,
  • Paper towels,
  • Rubber gloves,
  • Sponges,
  • Step stool,
  • Trash bags,
  • Vacuum,
  • Steam vacuum,
  • Broom/dustpan,
  • Mop/steam mop.

Each room requires different products and equipment. Still, if you’d like to stay away from aggressive products and choose eco-friendly solutions, then good old baking soda and distilled white vinegar will do miracles!

cleaning supplies ready for house cleaning after cross-country moving
Starting the tidying up process without a plan will be time-consuming.

What Should Be the Starting Point When Cleaning the Apartment Before Moving In?

To get the most out of the cleaning process and make it as effective as possible, start from the top down. This means you should begin with the highest furniture pieces first, like closets, upper cabinets, chandeliers, curtains. Also, moving all the furniture pieces from the walls and dusting all the corners and spaces behind the sofas, armchairs, and other furniture pieces is a must if you want to get rid of all the dust and traces of previous tenants. Once you’re finished with those details, it is the right time to start sprucing up all the furniture pieces. Here is what you shouldn’t miss!

Start from the Kitchen, Which Is the Most Demanding Cleaning Spot in Every Home

The room that requires the most time to be cleaned in detail is undoubtedly the kitchen. The cabinets, countertops, stove, refrigerator, and other small appliances are mandatory to disinfect before putting your food and cookware and preparing meals. Make sure that all the cabinets are cleaned from the inside and outside. The best way to do it is to use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. This way, all the unpleasant smells will disappear, and you can be completely sure that everything has been properly disinfected. Once you prepare the cabinets this way, all the packed dishes for relocating can find their way into the kitchen. Unbox the packed pots and pans, take all the packed plates for relocation out of protective materials, and make a real feast for the family and friends who helped you move.

Remove Stove Racks and Scrub Them – Do the Same With Pans If Any Have Been Left There

Ensure to clean the stove in detail. Unplug it and start with scrubbing! For this purpose, you can even use a steam cleaner for traces of grease. Also, take out the oven racks and scrub them until they’re shiny because this is the area where grease can accumulate easily. In case you found any piece of cookware, like pots and pans, apply the same technique and get them ready for cooking!

Wash the Interior of the Refrigerator

To be sure that the refrigerator has been adequately disinfected, first use a sponge, water, and a little bit of baking soda, and after, spray some alcohol on the cloth and go through all the surfaces. No one can tell how the previous tenants maintained it, so this is the best option to get the refrigerator spotless.

The Most Effective Ways to Clean Small Appliances

When it comes to small kitchen appliances such as coffee-makers or kettles, the greatest problem could be the traces of limescale. To get rid of them, put a mixture of baking soda and vinegar and let them boil for a couple of minutes. If necessary, repeat the process, and you’ll make them look like you just bought them!

father and son cleaning the stove in the kitchen after long-distance moving
The kitchen is the most difficult to tackle, so be prepared to dedicate a couple of hours

It’s Time to Shine! Let Your Bathroom Shine!

When relocating to a new home, another critical area is the bathroom. Since it is exposed to different types of bacteria and mold, it has to be cleaned perfectly. As research shows, germs are spread over the whole bathroom. Items like toothbrush holders, soap dispensers, and of course, toilet seats and toilet bowl brushes are full of different bacteria that can negatively affect the hygiene of the place. For that reason, having your bathroom cleaned in detail before you move into the place you’ll call home is non-negotiable.

Begin with the bathtub or shower, then move on to the sink and the cabinet beneath it, and finish with the toilet. Also, don’t forget about the tiles and floor, and ensure to go through every single inch of them. To disinfect the bathroom, use stronger products, and for the final touch, use a steam vacuum. This way, you can be entirely sure you’ve killed all the bacteria. However, when it comes to toilet seats or toilet brushes, don’t waste your time with them. Since both of them are pretty affordable, it’s better to buy new ones. Now that everything is ready, arrange the packed bathroom items and get a hot, relaxing bath!

cleaning the faucet in the bathroom after long-distance moving
Take care of the tiniest detail when disinfecting the bathroom!

Don’t Forget to Spruce Up the Living Room

The things you will mostly deal with in the living room area are furniture pieces like armchairs, sofas, bookshelves, and curtains and rugs. Believe it or not, disinfecting the furniture is absolutely possible! There are specialized companies that exclusively provide furniture cleaning services. The best thing about it is that you won’t need to take them out from the property. Their staff will come directly to your home and take care of everything.

Also, remember to wash the curtains and get the rug washed by a professional service too. Both curtains and carpets are dust collectors. So, if you’re prone to allergies or sensitive to dust, washing the rug this way is the best solution.

Once the furniture, curtains, and rugs are neat, it is the right moment to start with the final preparations such as mopping the floors and vacuuming, and your living room will be all set in a couple of hours!

a man vacuuming the living room after cross-country moving
Using the furniture of previous tenants can be unpleasant, so ensure to get all the pieces disinfected

What Are the Most Common Details People Forget to Take Care of When Cleaning the New Apartment?

When deciding where to live, people are usually not aware of all the tasks they have to manage. Preoccupied with numerous details like finding a reliable long-distance moving company to move their belongings safely to the next location and figuring out how to transfer utilities, there are many things you forget to do when you move. And the same goes for tidying up. Here are the most common things people forget to take care of when relocating into a new flat.

Door Handles and Faucets

Door handles and faucets are the most frequently touched items and most rarely cleaned ones, too. So don’t forget to tackle them. The best solution is to wipe them using some cloth and alcohol – this is the surest way to kill all the germs.

The Air Filter

Another crucial detail to take care of is changing the filter in the air conditioner. Unfortunately, air conditioners can accumulate germs and spread them if the filter is not replaced regularly. The coxsackievirus is one of many examples of how forgetting to replace the air filter can affect health, so put it high on the priority list of final preparations.

The Shower Drain

The last thing you want to deal with after you finally move into a flat is a clogged shower drain, so ensure to take care of that. Let the water run for a couple of minutes, and if you notice that it isn’t going away properly, take a plunger, wire hanger, or Drano and remove all the hair and soap clogging the drain.

Disinfect the Dishwasher and the Washing Machine

Dishwashers and washing machines can accumulate bacteria, too. So, remember to disinfect them properly before putting your dishes in the dishwasher or clothes in the washing machine. The disinfection of these two is quite simple – you just need to put some baking soda in the machines and let the cycle finish, and both will be ready for safe usage!

Don’t Forget About the Walls and Tops of Doors

The best way to be sure that the walls look spotless is to repaint them. However, if your budget is tight and you want to save some money, then wipe all the walls using a dry cloth, and remove cobwebs if any. Also, remember to tackle the tops of doors since this is another dust collector people are usually unaware of.

Want to see what other most common things people forget to take care of in their homes? Take a look at the video below and don’t make the same mistake!

YouTube video

Last But Not Least – Clean the Floors

You have finally reached the final stage – congratulations! You’re so close to finishing up! Tackling floors is the last preparatory step of setting up a flat.  No matter if the floors are laminate, tile, or hardwood, get the needed product(s) and wipe them all. This is necessary to do because it is the only way to remove even the tiniest dust particles, so no matter how tired you are, don’t skip this step!

a person cleaning floors after cross-country moving using a wooden broom
Taking care of flooring means only one thing - you are so close to finishing the whole process!

Relocating to a New Place Is Everything But Easy – Let Long-Distance Movers Make the Whole Experience Easier

Now that you see how many details you should take care of just to ensure the place is spotless, it becomes obvious that using long-distance moving services is a good decision! Let the professional cross-country moving company handle all the details regarding your long-distance move while you’re setting up the flat. Explore what types of packing services they can provide you with and schedule everything on time so you can dedicate yourself to other tasks. Learn how to choose the right movers, check if a moving company is legitimate,  and avoid relocation scams to experience stress-free relocation.

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