August 20, 2021 Posted in How-to
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

How to Clean an Apartment Before Moving In

Relocation-related tasks don’t end the minute you walk into your latest home – there are a few more things needed to be done. Learning how to clean an apartment before moving in could shorten that process and allow you to enjoy the benefits of your move sooner. Follow our instructions, and with just a little effort, your new living area will be nice and polished in no time.

Cleaning supplies on the floor overlay
Polishing your home is an uninspiring, but necessary task

Keep in mind that the amount of work will be different depending on if you are relocating to another state alone if you are relocating with your boyfriend or girlfriend, or with family. When confronted with an empty space, however, you can choose to do everything in one go, which would be a better and safer option. Still, if you are going to be too occupied with your job or anything else, divide the task into several stages for the next few weeks. As long as it’s done, everything will work out just fine.

Note that you will get some extra benefits from tidying your place – keeping your mind focused on one task will help you deal with the relocation stress and overcome anxiety about relocation, especially if these kinds of chores are something that usually calms you down.

What Do You Need to Clean an Apartment – Cleaning Supplies

The empty space you’ll be getting is an excellent opportunity to dust and vacuum the entire place and every hidden surface just before you unpack after the move. And how do you deep clean an apartment? That decision is up to you – you can use chemically-based products, buy more natural ones, or even decide on using homemade cleaning products. According to your preferences, on the day of your relocation, be sure to have:

  • Baking soda,
  • Lemon juice,
  • White vinegar,
  • Furniture and floor polishing products,
  • Grease removing supplies,
  • Bucket, mop, broom, sponges, and rugs,
  • Rubber gloves,
  • Vacuum and duster.

When moving cross country, these products should be on the list of your relocation essentials, which means that it would be best if they could travel in a box close to you during the trip to the new location. Not remembering to bring them with you is actually one of the common relocation mistakes – listen to our relocation day tips and don’t let it happen to you.

You should also know that cleaning products often fall under the category of things that cross-country movers won’t move. Every reliable long-distance moving company will inform you about the rule of not transporting hazardous chemicals. No matter how much long-distance movers want to meet all your needs, they must put their safety and the safety of your belongings first.

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From the Ceiling to the Floors – The Only Right Technique When Cleaning a New Apartment

If you don’t want to dirty up those surfaces you have already cleaned, you must follow the rules of gravity and begin with the highest point of each room. Start with ceilings, lights, chandeliers, and crown molding – wipe away all the cobwebs and dust. If your chandelier has some removable crystal parts, be sure to wash them before putting them back on.

On your way down, parts of the house such as windows and doors should be cleaned, too. Use special products for door and window frames, on the one hand, and ones meant for glass, on the other. And while you are letting fresh air come into your house, let that be the reminder that you need pure air in your environment – change the filters on the air conditioner.

Every surface needs to be vacuumed and disinfected, but if you have hardwood floors, you would usually have to use products meant specifically for them so you won’t damage the wood. That is why different types of floors could demand different approaches. Other surfaces such as laminate or vinyl are not that demanding, for instance, and should be vacuumed first and then mopped and left to dry.

Only after you’re done with the base should you put carpets, but note that they also need to be vacuumed and cleaned. The best way to disinfect them is with a steam cleaner – if you don’t own one, check the stores in your neighborhood where you could get it.

Don’t Forget to Scrub the Walls

You may think that between the ceilings and the ground, there is no surface needed to be cleaned, besides windows and doors, but you would be wrong – your walls also require attention. You need to wipe the dust and remove stains, but don’t forget the baseboards, too – write it down on the checklist of things to do after the move. If the previous tenant left some tiny holes from nails and hooks, ensure to fill them. And of course, if you find enough time, play with colors and paint the place the way you like.

Empty room of a new apartment after the long-distance moving overlay
People often forget about the walls when tidying

Deep-Cleaning the Apartment Before Moving in – Disinfecting the Bathroom, Kitchen, Living Room, and Bedrooms

If you are relocating to a big city, most apartments you find will be available for rent, which, amongst everything else, means that your future living area has probably been home to numerous tenants before you. So when thinking about how do you clean before moving in, the first question you should be asking is how do you disinfect an apartment before moving in. We already mentioned disinfecting the floor, but what should be done next?

Bathroom – The Most Complex Area

It is obvious that you can’t do it all at once, which is why you must keep in mind the areas that are in need of more attention and start with them. The first one on the list is undoubtedly the bathroom – the high humidity typical for this area creates a very suitable atmosphere for the development of bacteria and mold. Get your rubber gloves and start – put the sanitizing cleaner to good use.

When going through the bathroom, make sure that you cover every little nook and scrub the life out of each tile, but don’t forget the place under the sink – it is rarely cleaned but the most suitable for mold and mildew. And while we are on this topic, remember not to pack shower curtains and bathroom rugs if you don’t want to relocate bacteria with you. When everything is over, go to the store and buy new ones, if possible.

Next in line should be your sink and bathtub (shower), which you should scrub until they can no longer remember other people’s body parts. And, of course, the royal throne of every house – the toilet – should also be cleaned appropriately. Bonus points if you decide to buy a new toilet seat. In the end, check the shower drain and pray it is in good condition – if not, pulling a hair or two out of the drain will be inevitable.

Don’t Forget the Small Surfaces in the Home’s Interior

Bathrooms are the largest areas that need to be disinfected appropriately, but what about those small surfaces such as light switches, doorknobs, handles, and the like? Those tiny objects are the ones we often come in contact with the most but rarely wipe. When was the last time you cleaned them in your old house? No one else probably thought to wipe them before you moved in, so make this task one more small item on your relocation to-do list.

A front door lock overlay
Doorknobs are surfaces we are often using but rarely think about when tidying

Make a Plan of Attack When DecidIng How to Clean an Apartment Before Moving In

After you made your living area healthy to live in, it is time to actually move in with all your stuff. It would be best to start with the room-by-room system of unpacking and, therefore, tidying. Pre-organizing and making smaller tasks that should be done each day will help you better manage this part of the relocation process.

Clean the Cabinets, Closets, and Racks Before Unpacking

Using a suitable vacuum attachment could help you with dust accumulated in cabinets and closets, just don’t forget to wipe their top parts, too. Every surface needs to be cleaned first with a damp cloth and then with a dry microfiber one. If you see some stain on racks that can’t be cleaned, consider using decorative paper that could make that problem go away in a minute.

Wipe the Stove, Wash the Pans (If You Haven’t Already)

The same rule goes for your big and small appliances – if they haven’t been cleaned before the relocation to a different home, it must be done after you move. For example, when you are dealing with the washing machine, let one cycle go with baking soda instead of detergent and do it without any laundry. Also, for instance, you should remove all parts you can from the fridge and wash them before putting them back.

Be careful about which chemicals you’re using in the kitchen because some of them can be dangerous if they get in contact with food. Learn which chemicals you can use for each surface. For example, you can’t apply the same product to a regular and flat plate stove – the latter could get severely damaged with certain types of chemicals. Do your homework and read the manuals.

Only when you finish tidying your cabinets should you unpack the items that will go in the cupboards. Note that one of the most common packing tips and tricks is connected to washing your dishes and other items before the relocation. However, if you had a last-minute move and didn’t have enough time, be sure you do it before putting them in their new spot.

If you want to find out more about deep cleaning the entire kitchen, watch the following video

Leave Your Furniture and Individual Items for Last

After you book long-distance moving services, should you disinfect your furniture and belongings? That is the question most people ask themselves nowadays. During these difficult times, every reputable cross-country moving company will make sure that your relocation during coronavirus is as safe as possible. However, you can never be too safe, so after your movers unload the last piece of furniture and leave, go through each furniture piece and disinfect it. Of course, if your cross-country moving services include packing services in order for you to move efficiently, give some of your attention to other individual items, as well.

An apartment living room overlay
Furniture pieces should be the last on your tidying checklist

Relax in Your Sparkly Home

After tidying and unpacking, you may finally be ready to celebrate the end of your relocation to a different state and get to some more enjoyable tasks, such as making friends in a different city or deciding how to decorate your living space and give it more of your personal touch. Whatever you choose to do next, it would be satisfying to know that you’ll be doing it in a completely healthy and freshly polished environment, which is especially important if you are relocating with kids. And remember that the moment you put your cleaning supplies down, you should put a big smile on your face – you will be free from that kind of torture for a significant period of time.


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