Everyone wants their new home to be pristine on the day they move in. There’s something wonderful about walking into an empty home for the first time and smelling how clean it is. You’ll soon be placing your furniture on those empty floors and making new memories between those blank walls. However, looking and smelling clean isn’t enough for families moving into a new home these days. Standards have changed over the past year and looking clean just isn’t enough. Let’s dive into the three in-depth steps every family should take before moving into a new home.
1. Deep Clean the House
Sanitized Peace of Mind
Step one, a deep cleaning of your home. We mean more than just a quick sweep and vacuum to remove settled dust. In the wake of COVID, a deep cleaning provides peace of mind. Cleaning an empty house allows you or your cleaning company to access every inch from floor to ceiling.
Clean from Top to Bottom
To save time, start at the highest areas and work your way down. This will prevent you from having to go back and clean areas that might get dirty again as a result of starting at the bottom and working your way up.
Ceilings and Light Fixtures
Begin with the ceilings. Use a duster or specialized broom to clear away cobwebs and get rid of ceiling dust. Pay special attention to the corners and to light fixtures where dust gathers most heavily. If your home has ceiling fans or beams, be sure to clean them during your ceiling dusting and wipe them down.
Windows and Permanent Blinds
Next, pay attention to your windows. Clean the windows with a sanitizing streak-free cleaner. Be sure to also clean any permanently installed blinds. Mini-blinds are a common place for dust and other particles to accumulate, unnoticed. You can use a sock on your hand, soaked in cleaner, to get each individual slat.
Counters and Shelves
Your home’s counters should be cleaned next. Take sanitizing surface cleaner to every countertop, shelf, bathtub, and toilet lid in the house. Find any horizontal surface to clean, including window sills and door frames. While you’re at it, wipe down and sanitize every doorknob and handle in the house as well.
Baseboards are often the dirtiest parts of homes, sporting years of scuffs and accumulated dirt. With your walls already cleaned, take a sponge or cloth and wipe down your baseboards with paint-safe cleaner.
Carpets and Hard Floors
Last but not least, finish up with the floors. Vacuum and steam-clean the carpets. Sweep, mop, and then re-mop the hardwood and tile. For wood, finalize the process with a coat of wax or oil soap to protect the boards.
Wipe Out the Insides of Drawers, Cabinets, and Shelves
In addition to the usual surfaces, seek out interiors as well. Dirt, dust, and viral particles can hide inside your drawers and inside the shelves of closed cabinets. Open cabinets, closets, and drawers through the house, then wipe them out with a sanitizing cleaner.
Cleaning Unfinished Utility Spaces
When you’re finished with the spaces that are regularly accessed by the family, don’t forget the utility spaces. Find your basement, garage, and utility closet areas that see less use, and be sure to clean them as well. Wipe down the large household appliances, then sweep out and sanitize the space where they are installed.
Consider an Insured Sanitation Service for Guaranteed Clean
Of course, if you’re worried about your personal time, energy, or ability to reach every nook & cranny, you can rely on professionals to make sure the house is clean. Should you hire a sanitation service to clean your home before moving in, make certain that your team is insured with a strong local reputation for pristine and satisfactory service.
2. Replace Air Filters
Air filters are an important part of maintaining a healthy home. Luckily, they are inexpensive and easy to install. To do this, find the air intake and filter locations within your home. Intakes are usually part of your home’s HVAC system and are often found near the thermostat. Wear a mask when removing old air filters, as they might be full of old pet dander, pollen, mold spores, and worse. Bag the filter immediately and then throw that closed bag into your trash to best contain the dust-caked to it. Then, install a new filter of the same size. It is always worth upgrading a little to a filter with a higher filtration rating. Let the HVAC run for a few hours to cycle the ventilation and get your home filled with freshly filtered air.
Consider an Air Filter Subscription
You will need to change your air filter about once every three months to maintain good air quality and avoid clogging your HVAC. This can be a hassle, and easy to forget when you are leading a busy life. The best solution is often to subscribe to an air-filter service. An air filter subscription service, like Second Nature, will deliver new air filters at the correct time interval, serving as both a reminder and a handy supply of new filters.
3. Safety Check the House
Your final pre-move-in step is to perform a full safety check throughout your home. Walk every room from the front door to the back patio, checking things that might become dangerous over time after your family moves in.
Clear Excess Lint from Dryer Trap & Duct
If your home comes with a washer and dryer, check the dryer. Lint buildup is one of the leading causes of residential fires. Clear the lint trap, if necessary. Then detach the flexible duct at the back of the dryer and clear it of lint as well. Make sure your dryer’s external vent is not clogged so there is a clear path from dryer-to-outdoors for lint and hot, moist air to travel down.
Replace Batteries on Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Check every detector in the house, and add more if necessary. Make sure your smoke detectors have fresh batteries and are placed above doorways and near bedrooms. Place new batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors, placed near the floor, or ensure they are plugged into a near-floor outlet. Remember that smoke rises, but carbon monoxide falls.
Clean and Inspect the Chimney and Flue
If your home has a fireplace, clean out the fireplace, then the chimney, and inspect the flue. Make sure the chimney is safe (not crumbling) and arrange for repairs if necessary. If you plan to use the fireplace, ensure the flue both opens and closes smoothly so there’s no risk of trapping smoke indoors or letting the cold in when the fire is out.
Replace Light Bulbs Throughout the House
Replace lightbulbs with new LED bulbs throughout the house. This will save energy for years as a resident and will give you a chance to inspect the light fixtures for any scorch marks or loose wires.
Check Attic & Utility Spaces for Protruding Nails
Attics often have sharp nails that stick down from the roof overhead, and other utility spaces can be similarly unsafe due to their unfinished nature. Check your attic and utility spaces for dangerous protrusions, old pest traps, and other potential hazards.
Check Your Home Address Visibility
Make sure your address is visible from the street. Repaint the curb, put numbers on your mailbox, or add a decorative house number sign to the front of your home. This will make it easier for both deliveries and, if needed, emergency services to find your house.
Pet Proof the Yard
Finally, if you have pets (or small children) in the family, be sure to pet-proof the yard. Secure the fence so there are no underneath or in-between escape routes. Make sure your gates close fully and lock safely with a key or combination only available to you. If you have a pool or other yard features, make sure they are safe for small, unaware creatures to play near.
Moving into a new home is a big responsibility, both for your own safety and the safety of your family or household. Now more than ever, it’s important to make sure your home is sanitized and well-maintained before your moving truck arrives to fill the house with your furniture and possessions. If you want to make your next movie the easiest of your life, get in touch with Utility Concierge today.