Let’s face it, day-to-day life makes it difficult to keep your home clean and the thought of busting out the mop and bucket to tackle deep cleaning projects makes most of us tired just thinking about it. But when you are gearing up to sell your home, deep cleaning is the number one way to attract buyers and sell your home quickly. Follow this deep cleaning checklist and your home will be polished and ready to sell.
Control the Clutter
No matter how much you scrub surfaces and wash windows, your home will never look clean until it is decluttered. All the excess knick-knacks and everyday items that have collected space on your shelves, tables, countertops, walls, desks and dresser tops need to be removed. While you may come across several items you want to throw away, other items can be packaged and stored for later use. Extra clutter isn’t just found on shelves and counters. Your furniture can also be a source of clutter. Old furniture that is ripped or worn will make your home look dirty. So will useless furniture like extra chairs and random foot rests that do not coordinate with the main furniture pieces. Remove extra furniture and just like your knick knacks, if you are desperate to keep that ragged old recliner you can put it in storage until your home has sold.
Remove Excess from Storage Areas
Any closet or cabinet that comes with your property will be viewed during an open house. This means you don’t want your walk-in pantry or entryway closet overflowing with excess clutter. Again, you don’t need to throw away excess items. Box up items that you are removing and store them neatly in either the basement or attic. If you happen to come across items that you are willing to part with you can donate or dispose of the items. When you have removed the excess, wipe down the storage areas to really make them shine. You can replace a few items in the storage areas, but do so neatly. Fold towels, sheets, blankets, etc. and stack them neatly.
The kitchen is by far the most used room in the home. Everything from food prep to entertaining goes on in the kitchen and can lead to years of build up in areas that are rarely remembered. A deep clean in the kitchen should start with the appliances. Using a multi-surface antibacterial spray will loosen any sticky stains. Don’t skip far away corners such as the back of the refrigerator, the oven, dishwasher and the cabinets. Next focus on the stovetop and oven. The oven can be cleaned with its automated setting or you can opt to scrub it yourself with an oven cleaning solution and a non-scratch sponge. Finally, wipe down the cabinet hardware and countertops. Take care with any specialty cleaning materials you may need if you have marble or granite countertops.
Much like the kitchen, the bathroom has quite a few hidden nooks and crannies that will need extra attention. Bathrooms hold quite a bit of moisture which can lead to mold and mildew especially around the bathtub and shower. Any signs of mold or mildew will most likely be seen as spots on the caulk or a general chipping and peeling away of caulk from the tub. Remove the old layer of caulk and dispose of it. Next, clean the area with a mold and mildew cleaner, taking care to let the solution sit for as long the directions require. When the area is wiped and dried you can reapply a new layer of caulk. Another overlooked area to clean in the bathroom is behind and around the toilet. Use a disinfecting spray behind and around the base of the toilet before wiping clean. The final step to tackle a dirty bathroom is to clean the vanity and sink as well as the mirrors, glass, and faucets.
Whole House Deep Clean
You’ve sanitized, disinfected, polished and shined your kitchen and bathroom. Now it’s time to focus on the rest of the house. First, it’s time to scrub the walls. Yes, all of the walls. Not just the main walls of the living room and entryway. Every wall in your house. Including the baseboards, door and window frames. This isn’t an easy job, but it is worth your time. Plus, all you need is a bucket of soapy water and a large sponge. Next, you can move on to dusting. Multi-surface dusting cleaner and microfiber cloths make dusting much easier since you can use both on all surfaces except unsealed woods. Start up high with ceiling fans and light fixtures before you move on to shelves and vents where dust can linger. After every last dust bunny has been removed you can focus on your floors. Sweep all of your floors, even the hard surface floors to suck up any dust and dirt that may have fallen. Lastly it’s time to mop. Move from the living spaces, to the kitchen, and lastly the bathroom.
Now that your home is sparkling clean you can put the finishing touches on your rooms. Extra touches such as straightening throw pillows and making the beds will keep your home looking polished. While you’re at it wipe down the surfaces in your bathrooms and kitchen then finish by vacuuming over the carpets and rugs. Deep cleaning might have been a tough chore to tackle but your sparkling home will be sure to wow potential buyers.