Detailing a home is just as important as detailing a car before selling it. Hire a professional or follow these tips to get your home market ready and sparkling clean. Yes, it’s a lot of work but the return on investment to properly prepare your home for sale is huge!
Basic Deep Cleaning Tips
- Put all your cleaning supplies in a tote so you can carry it with you.
- Clean left to right, back to front, and top to bottom for maximum efficiency.
- Focus on the job at hand. You are cleaning the house- distractions will drag out the job.
Eliminate Clutter before You Start
Organizing and decluttering will make it much easier to clean and maintain your home
- Go through closets and cabinets and drawers to identify items that you no longer need or use.
- Donate old clothes, appliances and furniture to charity.
- Keep an organizer for important papers and car keys so that they’re always in the same place.
- Sort mail at the door and put all unwanted items directly into the trash
Even the most-cared-for home needs an occasional deep-cleaning and especially before putting the home on the market. Here’s a simple and exhaustive list to help you get your home in tip-top shape:
□ Wash all windows, sills and screens inside and out
□ Clean all light fixtures and light bulbs and replace burnt out bulbs
□ Clean all light switches
□ Clean ceiling fan blades and light
□ Dust cobwebs from the corners of the ceilings
□ Dust the tops of doors, cabinets and all horizontal surfaces
□ Move all furniture to clean under and behind
□ Remove all knick knacks to clean underneath
□ Polish all furniture
□ Wash all rugs and mats
□ Clean all switch plate covers, door knobs and telephones
□ Spot clean walls
□ Empty all trash receptacles, clean and disinfect
□ Vacuum lamp shades
□ Vacuum upholstery
□ Hose down entry above and around door and light fixture
□ Polish exterior light fixtures and door hardware
□ Clear yard of all unnecessary items
□ Scrub countertops, sinks and faucets and polish faucets
□ Clean cabinets inside and out and on top
□ Detail inside of refrigerator/freezer plus exterior and bottom grill
□ Take stove top apart, remove knobs and clean thoroughly.
□ Clean the inside of the stove and open oven door and broiler/drawer to clean ledges
□ Clean the inside and the outside of the microwave.
□ Wipe and polish chairs and/or bar stools, table tops, hutches, etc.
□ Wipe the cabinets inside and out and change shelf paper
□ Wash the baseboards
□ Vacuum, mop and wax wood floors.
□ Vacuum and mop linoleum or vinyl floors.
□ Wash the walls and tile
□ Clean towel racks and toilet paper holders
□ Scrub bathtub, sinks, countertops, all tile and grout
□ Bleach shower pan if necessary and remove drain cover and scrub clean
□ Polish glass shower doors
□ Remove hard water ring and scrub and disinfect every surface of toilet
□ Wash and polish all mirrors
□ Wash and polish all faucets and shower head
□ Clean all items on counter
□ Refold towels and replace with clean ones
□ Wash area rugs
□ Scrub floors and baseboards
□ Change the bed linens
□ Flip the mattresses
□ Detail clean washer and dryer removing lint and knobs and wipe down inside and out
□ Containerize all products
□ Scrub floors and baseboards
□ Make sure everything is well lit, well organized and clean
□ Vacuum the floors.
□ Dust the walls and the shelves.
□ Place cedar blocks in the closet to freshen the air and prevent moths.
□ Remove and clean the screens
□ Clean window tracks and sills
□ Clean the windows
□ Vacuum or dust the draperies.
□ Wash or dry clean the blinds.
□ Polish the wood furniture.
□ Vacuum cloth upholstery.
□ Clean and condition leather upholstery.
□ Vacuum under and in between cushions
Extra Tips and Miracle Products
Cleaning Base Boards:
- Grab a clean absorbent rag and dampen it in a soapy solution, wringing it as dry as possible.
- Start at one end of the baseboard and wipe all the way along the top and the sides. Go around the room.
Floors and Carpets:
- Buy floor mats for every entrance to help reduce tracked in dirt
- Sprinkle baking soda on your carpets to absorb stale or musty odors. Vacuum after 1 hour
- Restore luster to hardwoods with a product called HOPE’S Floor Revive*
- For detailed information on cleaning vinyl, slate, and linoleum, just Google it!
- Have carpets professionally cleaned before showing home
Note on Air Fresheners
The best smell is CLEAN! Don’t try to cover up odors with heavy scents, sprays, plug-in’s, ect. Fabreeze is a good product that effectively reduces odor but the goal is to eliminate it instead of trying to disguise it. PureAyre and AtmosKlear are also good products that can be found on the internet.
If there is smoke damage, besides cleaning every surface and cleaning all drapery and upholstery, you
will need to paint all interior walls.
Scuffed Wood work
Restore-A-Finish is a wonderful product for restoring color and luster to cabinets, doors, trim and furniture and can be found at most hardware stores
Hard Water and Soap Scum build up
Believe it or not, dryer sheets work great; just dampen and scrub. Also, try lemon juice or make a paste of baking soda and water let these sit on the surface for 5 minutes or so and wipe off.
Microfiber Cloths are far superior to regular cleaning rags. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning to keep them working well.
Mr. Clean Magic Erasures work wonders getting all kinds of stains of all kinds of surfaces. Try them for spots on walls, floor scuffs, shower door build up, stove top grime and lots of other things.