House Cleaning Tips You Need to Know When Moving

House Cleaning Tips You Need to Know When Moving

cleaning supplies

When moving out of a home and when moving into a new one, cleaning is a task you must tackle. Now the question is, where do you start? We are here to help you figure out what needs to be cleaned, where you should start, and most importantly how to do it. In addition, we will give you the inside scoop on some house-cleaning tips.

graphic reading "moving blog: house cleaning tips you need to know when moving"

Save our post to Pinterest!

Cleaning: Moving Out

When moving out of a house or apartment there is often a lot of cleaning that needs to be done. This cleaning ranges from getting your items out of the house to ensuring you leave the home in good condition. Cleaning a house when moving out is very important since it will make the home more livable for the next owner and help ensure that your landlord gives you back your security deposit.

While cleaning is necessary when moving out, it can often be hard to know what needs to be done and where to start. Here’s the basic rundown of how to clean your house when moving out, including some basic house-cleaning tips.

What You Need to Clean

The question a lot of people ask when moving out is, what do I need to clean? This answer is often very simple. You should clean both areas you used daily and the out-of-way places you rarely notice in your home. In other words, you should do your best to make sure everything is cleaned.

Basic Cleaning

In your home, there are some basic areas that you need to clean. These items include places such as countertops, floors, cabinets, tabletops, and shelves. When it comes to cleaning these types of items the easiest way is to use a rag and a disinfectant spray. This ensures that things not only get dusted off but also get germ free. 

The basic cleaning is mainly dusting, which means that it is normally quick and easy to do. While this may seem like a good place to start, it is often one of the last things that should be on your cleaning list. Dust particles can accumulate as fast as 24 to 48 hours, making objects have a layer of dust on them. For this reason, you should try and save the basic dusting for last so that the home will look clean when the new tenants move in.

Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning is cleaning the areas that involve a little more effort, and places that you normally would not clean every day. This often involves cleaning places such as the bathroom, refrigerator, kitchen appliances, carpets, and hard-to-reach places. There are many simple house cleaning tips and tricks to make this deep cleaning easier.


When it comes to deep cleaning, the kitchen often involves a lot of work. The biggest part of cleaning the kitchen is to make sure all of the appliances are clean, including the refrigerator. Cleaning the refrigerator and the microwave is fairly simple. They both can often be cleaned with some warm water and a little soap. The key is to make sure that all the food stains are cleaned up and that everything looks spotless. 

The harder items to clean are the stovetop and the oven. Most modern-day ovens come with a self-cleaning cycle. This will heat the oven to around 800 degrees Fahrenheit and turns all food residue and oil in the oven into ash. When the cycle is complete you can then easily wipe this ash out of the bottom of the oven. You can often just use hot water and soap to wipe it down for the stop top. In some cases for tough stains, you can use a stove top cleaner which has chemicals in it to help break down the hard-to-clean stains.


Deep cleaning of a bathroom involves cleaning a lot of different areas. An easy place to start is the sink area. One of the easiest ways to clean a sink is to sprinkle baking soda on the sides of your sink when it is wet. You then let it sit for a few minutes before taking a sponge and dish soap and scrubbing the sink. This will allow the grime in your sink to break down and be easier to remove. 

Another easier place to clean in your bathroom is the tub or shower. This area is generally fairly clean since you often are running soap and water over the space. One place you want to make sure to clean out is the drain. A lot of drains have hair catchers inside them. These are typically removable, so it makes it easy for you to remove the hair from them.

Finally, you need to clean the toilet. There are many different toilet bowl cleaners out there for you to choose from. Typically you pour some of the cleaners around the inside of the bowl and wait a few minutes before scrubbing the sides of the toilet with a brush. After that, you simply just flush the toilet. You also want to make sure you use a disinfectant solution to clean the seat of the toilet and the outside to ensure it is germ-free for the next house owners. 

Looking to move soon?

Check out UniMovers and save 30-50% on your move as compared with traditional moving!


For deep cleaning, you also want to make sure you clean the general spaces that people do not often clean. This ensures that the house is fully clean when you move out.

This general deep cleaning includes cleaning the carpets and the floors. For the carpets you should at least vacuum them, but you could also rent a carpet cleaning machine. These machines disperse water and soap on the carpet and then on the second pass they suck up all the water and soap, along with all the dirt that was hiding in the carpet. For your non-carpeted floors you should wash them if necessary, or at the minimum sweep them. 

When you are moving out of a house you should also make sure to clean the hard-to-reach areas. This includes ceiling fans, high areas in the house, and low hard-to-reach places. Generally, this just involves using a feather duster to clean ceiling fans and to get the dust and spider webs from high corners in the home. It could also include wiping down areas such as underneath counters and tables. Essentially anywhere dust collects that you may not typically clean on a regular basis.

cleaning chekclist for moving out

Moving Your Items Out

A big part of cleaning is moving all of your items out of the home. Whether you are keeping all of the items in your home or getting rid of some of them it is your responsibility to get them out of your old home before you move out. This includes garbage as well. If you need help with the labor part of moving your items, give UniMovers a try. We are a labor-only moving company that can help you get all of your items loaded and ready for moving.

Security Deposit

If you were renting your home or apartment you most likely put down a security deposit when you first signed your contract. This security deposit was to ensure that if any damages were made to the apartment they would be coming from your pocket, not your landlords. When you move out if there are no damages that need to be repaired you get this deposit back. A good way to ensure you get the full deposit back is to make sure you clean your apartment and leave it in tip-top condition when your landlord comes to check it after you move out.

Cleaning: Moving In

When you are moving into a new home you must do some cleaning, both basic and deep cleaning. This will make your new home look nicer and make it better for you to live in. A lot of this cleaning is similar to what you do when you move out of a home and a lot of it can easily be done when you know some simple house cleaning tips.

Where to Start

Knowing where to start is one of the hardest parts of cleaning your new house. This can be one of the most overwhelming experiences of your move. The easiest thing to do is break the cleaning process into three different steps: priority areas, basic cleaning, and deep cleaning. This will help you get the essentials done and allow you to choose from easier or more time-consuming tasks. You also want to get your cleaning done in the most efficient way possible and we are here to tell you some simple house cleaning tips to get your new house clean.

High Priority Areas

The first thing you need to consider when cleaning your new home is what areas you will be using right away. This is often three places; the refrigerator, the bathroom, and the bedroom. 


The refrigerator is often one of the first places that you want to clean if you traveled with any sort of cold food or drink. When cleaning the refrigerator you first want to throw away any items the previous owners may have left. Then if you can remove the drawers from the refrigerator to make it easiest to clean them. When it comes to cleaning you can either use a disinfectant spray or hot water and soap. You want to scrub the inside of the fridge to ensure it is free of any old spills and stains.


Another area you will want to clean right away is the bathroom. You want to make sure to clean the sink and counter area, the toilet, and the shower or bathtub. These are areas that you know you will be using frequently when you first move into a home. For this, you will follow the same steps that you used when cleaning the bathroom in your old home, which we covered previously. 


Finally, you will want to make sure to clean the bedroom area. If your new home comes with a mattress you first want to check under it and make sure there are no bed bugs or crumbs under it. You can also spray an antibacterial spray on the mattress to help kill any germs that are on it. If you are bringing your own mattress you will want to clean the bed frame, if there is one, and the floor so you can move your mattress in without having to drag it through any grime. This will ensure your sleeping area is ready for you when you are ready to settle in for the night.

Simple Cleaning

Another category of cleaning to consider when moving into a home is the simple places you can clean. These places often just involve dusting and wiping things off to ensure they are clean.

Some simple places you can clean off quickly are countertops, tables, door handles, and shelves. All of these areas can be cleaned using a simple disinfectant spray and then a rag to wipe them down. This will help to get rid of dust and germs. You can do this type of cleaning quickly whenever you have a free moment.

Deep Cleaning

The final category of cleaning is deep cleaning. Deep cleaning is often composed of tasks that will take more time and more effort to complete. This can include cleaning kitchen appliances and hard-to-reach areas. This type of cleaning is the same as deep cleaning when you moved out of your previous home. You want to ensure that you clean the stovetop, oven, and microwave. In addition, you also need to clean places such as ceiling fans, corners in rooms, and under places such as beds and tables.

Moving In Your Belongings

UniMovers lifting couch

After you have done all the basic and deep cleaning it is finally time to move in your belongings. This is the fun part where you get to decorate your new home. To make this process even more fun, you can hire a moving company to do the labor part for you.

What to Clean Last

During all of your cleaning and moving your items in you probably have been in and out of your new home a lot. This means you have probably tracked in a lot of dirt from outside onto your floors. For this reason, you should always save mopping, vacuuming, and sweeping your floors for last. Making this the final step on your cleaning list makes it so you only have to do it once after you have accidentally tracked in a lot of dirt.

House Cleaning Tips

In addition to helping you know what to clean when moving out of a home and into a new one, here are some basic house cleaning tips for you to use.

Tip #1-
The mix of baking soda and white vinegar is your best friend. Combined, these two basic household items make a strong cleaning solution that is great at breaking down tough stains and gunk in drains. Since they are on opposite sides of the PH scale they are also perfectly safe to mix.

Tip #2-
When cleaning windows and mirrors in a home use a microfiber rag instead of paper towels. Paper towels often leave small white fibers when you are wiping down these types of surfaces. Using a microfiber rag instead ensures that your windows are perfectly clean and free of any small debris. 

Tip #3-
Hot water can be an easy way to make stains easier to remove, especially in a microwave. Microwave a bowl of water for 4-5 minutes and then let it sit in the microwave for an additional 5 minutes. This will help soften the baked-on stains in the microwave and make it easy to wipe them away with a paper towel.

These house cleaning tips are simple, but they really can make a difference when cleaning your home.


How do I clean windows without removing the screens?

You will first want to clean the side of your window that does not have the screen in front of it. Next, you can use a product such as Windex Outdoor Concentrated Cleaner to spray through the screen onto the window. Then you can use a light rag to wipe the screen off. You could also use a vacuum with a brush attachment to vacuum the screen to get the dust off of them and to get the debris from between the window and the screen.

What do I do with unwanted stuff when moving?

A good thing to look at when you want to get rid of items before a move is your local second-hand stores such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and any other local thrift shops in your town. These places often take donations and are an easy way to get rid of items you do not want anymore.

How do I clean a dishwasher when moving in?

Cleaning the inside of a dishwasher is very simple. You just place a bowl or cup filled with white vinegar on the top rack of your dishwasher. Then run the dishwasher on its highest setting for one cycle and let it air dry with the door open when it is done. In addition, you should remove the dishwasher filter and wipe off any food debris from it before placing it back in its spot.

Jessica is a students at the University of Northern Iowa. She is majoring in English Education with a creative writing minor. In her free time she loves to read books of every genre, write short stories, and spend time with friends. In the future she hopes to share her love for reading and writing with her future students.