Apartment Cleaning Checklist for Before You Unpack

Since you spotted the rental listing, you’ve been thinking about how fantastic your mid-century contemporary coffee table will look in your new apartment.

But, before you charge in with all your possessions, consider this: Your new flat will only be easier to clean when you first get the keys. Take advantage of the vacant space and apply this simple cleaning checklist to make your home tidy for you—and all your cherished belongings.

1. Start from the top.

When cleaning your new home, it’s best to start at the top and work your way down. Because, well, gravity. Begin by dusting the ceiling fan, corners of the ceiling, and above lights. (Globe-shaped light figures are notorious for gathering dust, so make sure you clean them thoroughly.) Then work your way down, first with the walls, then the baseboards, and lastly the floors.

2. Work toward the door.

Another method for organizing cleaning in a room is as follows: Begin at the furthest place away from the entrance. This is especially true when it comes to flooring. You want to avoid walking over newly scrubbed carpet in your dirty housekeeping shoes!

3. Deep clean the closets.

It’s doubtful that you’ll clear out your closets once they’re packed of your odds and ends. Dust the corners and think about lining shelves with vinyl or ornamental paper (make sure it’s not permanent). Shelf liner is attractive, easy to clean, and conceals unexplained marks and unsightly stains left by past tenants. It’s a win-win-win situation.

4. Replace the toilet seat.

You’re bringing your own recliner and couch, which are easier to keep clean. You’ll be spending a lot of time on the toilet in your apartment, and it’s perhaps the most important seat in the house. Give your toilet a fresh start for yourself (and your guests).

5. Disinfect the bathtub.

You’re considerably more likely to enjoy a bath in the tub once you’ve cleansed it and removed all traces of the previous soaker. To clean the bathtub quickly, use dish soap and a sponge—though stubborn stains may necessitate the use of a more conventional cleaner. Do you prefer a more natural approach? in equal pieces Baking soda, borax, and kosher salt form an excellent cleaning scrub that is free of difficult-to-pronounce chemicals.

6. Clean your appliances.

Yes, even your dishwasher requires assistance in cleaning. Begin by running a cycle in the top rack with only a cup of white vinegar, using the hot water setting if your dishwasher has one. After that, add a cup of baking soda to the bottom rack and run another hot cycle.

Disinfect the microwave (inside and out), then place it in the refrigerator. Remove all of the shelves you can and clean them—you can even soak them in the sink or bathtub. A vinegar-water mix works well as a food-safe, all-purpose cleanser.

Finally, there’s the oven. Toss the buttons, racks, and drip pans into the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning. If the racks are caked with black filth, soak them overnight in an ammonia-filled bag. Remember to degrease the oven hood!

7. Make the floors shine.

Your floor will become filthy enough under your own feet. You should absolutely clean up after the last tenant. Steam mops are an efficient way to clean hardwood, laminate, and tile floors. If you use a standard mop on hardwoods, ensure it’s moist rather than sopping, and use a cleaner compatible with the finish.

Carpet cleaners can normally be rented from supermarket and hardware stores, or you can hire a professional if the task is serious. Depending on your lease agreement and the condition of the carpet, you can negotiate a compensation with your landlord.

8. Kill all the germs.

Every surface in your new apartment has been touched thousands of times by former occupants, from the thermostat to the light switch. Play your favorite playlist and spend some time sanitizing anything you come into contact with on a regular basis. Countertops, knobs, dials, buttons, locks, and everything with a handle fall under this category.

9. Don’t forget the cabinets.

You’ll be eating off those platters. Put them in the cabinets only after you’ve eaten off their surfaces. Wipe them off, use baking soda and water to scrape away anything suspicious, then add a liner for good measure.

10. Show your baseboards some respect.

Baseboards are frequently overlooked on monthly cleaning checklists, but if you only do it once, make it move-in. Dust and filth are typically heavy in kitchens and entryways, so clean the baseboards in these areas first. Everything from an all-purpose cleaner to baby wipes can help.

Read more: Tips for buying new construction homes

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