Whenever you move into a new home, it’s always good to have things fresh before moving your items in.  You may not be able to clean before you move in, but everyone wants to start with things in good condition.  Even though most homes will be clean before you move in, you may want to perform a more thorough cleaning. 

Whether you hire a professional cleaning service or not, before you move in, here is a guide to help you cover all areas of your home.  Many of the same rules apply as a moving out cleaning but moving in cleanings definitely require more detail, and will cost more if you hire a professional cleaning service.


The kitchen is always one of the first places that will be used first, so its best to start your cleaning here.

Refrigerators:  Make sure to unplug the refrigerator, it will help you with the cleaning process before you put your food in there.  Pull the fridge away from the wall cleaning the wall behind, the sides, and underneath.  Make sure to wipe down all drawers and shelves, and make sure they are dry before plugging back in.  An all purpose cleaner can be used on the refrigerator, along with warm water for best results. 

Stoves/Ovens:  Make sure to clean the stove/oven inside and out.  You can use an oven cleaner which will usually take 20-30 minutes, in the mean time focusing on the top part of the stove.  Once again, an all purpose cleaner can be used.  Make sure if there is a hood, to wipe inside the hood, (putting down a towel, or piece of paper so you don’t get everything dirty again, that you have already cleaned), to catch any dirty drippings.  Pull the stove/oven away from the wall, and again, make sure to clean underneath, the sides, and the walls before finishing. 

Cabinets/Drawers:  Clean inside and outside. If wood cabinets, use a wood cleaner such as Murphy’s Oil for the best results.  It’s a good idea to line the cabinets when you are done, a sticky mat, or non sticky mat can be used, and this will help keep your cabinets stay clean where your dishes and utensils will be placed.

Dusting: Make sure to remove all cobwebs, wall stains, etc.

Sinks:  Make sure to clean sinks and polish them with a chrome cleaner, or sink cleaner.

Floors:  Make sure to get the floors swept and mopped, you may have to get on your hands and knees to get hard to reach places and corners.  I always recommend doing the floors last, that way any dirt from the appliances, walls, etc can be swept up and mopped up.  Now you have finished the kitchen.

Walls/Baseboards:  Make sure to wash all walls and baseboards, magic eraser can be used, but make sure you test out the areas first so you are not removing the paint for hard to remove stains or rubs. 


This is the 2nd most used area of the house, so you will want to clean and disinfect right away.  Bleach, lysols, pinesols, bathroom cleaners can all be used in this area.  You want to make sure that you clean out the tub and shower areas, removing any mildew, disinfect the toilets including bases and all around, clean any mirrors, etc, including cleaning out cabinets and drawers, and realigning if necessary.

Utility Closets:

  Make sure, if you have an existing washer and dryer, you pull these out and clean the appliances, floors and walls like with any other appliances.

Cleaning Walls/Doorframes/Lightswitches:

Cleaning walls can be a huge job to tackle.  If the interior walls have been freshly painted, then you do not need to worry about this task.  If you notice there are finger prints, stubborn stains, etc, then you will want to tackle this chore.  It’s a good idea to start with removing cobwebs and dust first.  Take warm water and add some all-purpose soap to the water, and use a sponge to tackle washing down the walls.  Make sure to wipe all molding, baseboards, door frames, and light switches.  Murphy’s Oil can be used for any of the wood work.

Windows/Blinds/Patio Doors:

Make sure to wash the windows with a window cleaner inside and out.  Most windows you will be able to remove the screen, and can spray them down with a hose.  Use a newspaper, or paper towels to dry off the windows to avoid leaving streaks.  As for blinds, you can clean your blinds with an all-purpose cleaner, or dusting spray, with a soft cloth to wipe them off.  Make sure to be careful not to bend the blinds.  For patio doors, make sure that the track of the door is clean, you can use a vacuum cleaner extension to get these hard to reach areas, or a damp cloth to get the dirt and debris out.  If the track gets too dirty, your patio door may not open and close correctly.  For the actual door, you can use a glass/window cleaner with a non streak cloth to get this area clean. Make sure to clean handles, and door knobs to protect from bacteria.

Light Fixtures:

Just like everything else, light fixtures also get dirty and collect dust.  Make sure the lights are off, you may want to turn off the circuit breaker.  Remove the bulbs, and light fixture (if it is easy to get off the ceiling or wall).  If glass fixture, use a glass cleaner, or soapy water to wash all the dust away.  Make sure the fixtures are dry before reinstalling the light bulbs, and turning the circuit breaker and light back on.

Carpet/Hardwood Floors:

Cleaning your floors should be the last project tackled.  If you have hardwood floors, make sure to sweep the floors well before mopping.  Murphy’s Oil works very well with warm water for cleaning your floors.  Use a mop or non scratch cloth to wash the floors, allow enough time to dry before placing furniture back on.  If you have carpet, you may want to consider getting a professional to come and clean the carpets before you move your furniture in.  You can also rent a carpet cleaner for a day (with cleaning solution).  Allow 24-48 hours for carpets to dry. 

Like with any type of cleaning, use your senses, make sure everything is sanitized to your satisfaction before moving in.  Make sure you and your family are protected from dirt, and bacteria, and your new home is in the best shape it can possibly be in.  Cleaning should be done on a weekly basis, and this is a start to help you adapt to your new home.

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