With the flexibility of remote work, low mortgage interest rates, and the consequently crazy housing market, lots of families are on the move these days. But as exciting as moving can be, the logistics involved are anything but. When you finally pack everything into boxes and look around at your empty house, you might ask yourself, “Do I really need to clean, too?”
The answer is yes.
It might seem like a waste of time to clean a house you’re no longer living in, but there are several reasons you should clean before you move out:
Reasons to Clean Before You Move
- Be a Courteous Seller: Most people spruce up their home to sell it, and it can be tempting to lower your sparkling standards once the papers are signed. (That’s partially why some real estate contracts require a house be cleaned before the sellers move out—although just how clean varies.) So if you’re selling your home, you need to meet the agreements of your contract, but more importantly, remember that your buyers are people, too—ones who are probably every bit as stressed as you are—and they deserve to move into a clean house, just like you do.
- Get Your Money Back: If you’re moving out of a rental property, cleaning the house gives you a much better chance of getting back your deposit (if any part of the deposit is refundable). It might take a little extra energy and elbow grease to clean after you pack, but sometimes the money is worth it during a move!
- Find Your Lost Things: Sometimes that final drawer clean-out or closet-shelf-dusting is the only chance you’ll have of finding your long-lost bracelet or journal. If you lost something years ago in your home, keep your fingers crossed and you might find it during your final cleaning session—you never know!
That said, we know cleaning an empty house can be overwhelming, so we created a three-phased cleaning checklist to make your home move-out ready. If you’re still in the early phases of packing, try this organization tip to kickstart your cleaning process:
Sort & Purge
When you empty your closet, spend some time removing the clothes you no longer wear—that way, you don’t waste time or space packing them (because on moving day, every box counts!). The same goes for other areas of your home—kids’ rooms, bookshelves, linen closets—the months and weeks before you move are the perfect time to take stock of your belongings and determine what’s really worth keeping.
As you sort, make piles or designate containers for these categories: Pack/Keep, Donate, and Trash. (You can add a pile for “Sell,” too, but only if you have time to sell the items before you move!) As you pack your bathroom, kitchen, and closets, make sure you leave out your cleaning supplies so you can use them in the final days before your move. We recommend designating a box for paper towels, dusting rags, trash bags, and other supplies you’ll need to accomplish your move-out cleaning.
Once you’re done sorting, take everything but your “Keep” items to a donation center, recycling center, or dumpster.
If your move is still several weeks away, now is the perfect time to start cleaning—by tackling larger projects in advance, you can spend less time scrubbing and scouring in the final hectic days before your move. Check out our blog with our complete Move-Out Cleaning Checklist to get started.
If you want to make your move-out cleaning even easier, let us help you! You can give us a call or click here to request a quote.