While relocating, it is important that your new house looks and feels brand new. In a perfect world the previous owners should have cleaned up before moving out; in the real world, however, the place ends up dirtier than ever.
In case you haven’t taken stock of what needs cleaning and what needs repair, here’s a quick checklist to help you do that.
You assume that your new home would be a palace of dreams, it is truly heartbreaking when you encounter broken electric sockets, dirty tiles, algae under the kitchen sink, no curtain rods, blocked sewage system, webs on the wall, the works. Time to fix it!
We should begin with cleaning up the place step-by-step.
Some tips before you start the cleanup:
- Wear the dirtiest or the least used clothes that you own, because chances are that after this day, you will never be able to use those clothes.
- Tie your hair into a bun/ put a hair band and then wrap your head with a scarf. This tip is not just for ladies or those who have long hair,it’s a must for anyone who has hair.
- Don’t forget to cover your mouth and nose. Use a scarf or a handkerchief to do that.
- Bring home some cleaning essentials. Here’s a checklist:
- Broom (the regular ones as well as a long one for cleaning spider webs)
- Cleaning or dusting sponges/cloths
- Liquid soap
- Cleaning agents like Harpic, Domex, Colin, Mr. Muscle (Buy your preferred brand)
- Cleaning (hand) gloves
- Some newspapers (to clean or to sit on)
- Ladder/table/stool to reach the roof to clean spider webs or the fans
- A plunger (for clogged drain pipes)
- Toilet cleaning brushes
- Steel scrubber for stubborn stains
- Have some hot water ready for cleaning purposes.
- Start cleaning from the innermost room outwards. Sweep twice and then wash, should be the order.
- Take note of the nearest garbage disposal point in your new residential area – you will need it soon enough.
- Keep some simple readymade food at hand. By the time you finish, you would be so tired and dirty, you would not like to cook or have an elaborate meal.
What you need: A long broom.
Start cleaning the walls using the broom. Do it in top-to-bottom direction. Reach out for the webs and dust on the walls and remove all of it.
NOTE: If required, don’t hesitate to get the entire house whitewashed. If that is planned, start cleaning only once the whitewash is over. A liter of good white paint usually spruces up doors and windows .
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Cupboards, Lamps, Tube lights, Fans, Curtain rods, Pelmets, Drawers, Shelves, Sinks, Wash basins, Doors (wooden or iron), Tiles etc:
The first thing that you need to do is basic dusting. Use the broomsticks and the dusting cloths to clean the dust.
If only dusting is not sufficient, you will have to get your hands dirty. Pour some liquid soap on a wet sponge and rub it on the dirty area. Clean the soap with a wet cloth to make the dirty spot shine.
If the stains are really stubborn, use vinegar or baking soda treatment. Here’s how:
Baking Soda Treatment: Make a thick paste of baking soda powder and water.Allow the paste to dry on the stain and after a few minutes wipe it off with a wet sponge or a damp cloth. If the stain still persists, scrub it with an old toothbrush.
Vinegar Treatment: Mix 3 cups of white vinegar with 1 cup of clean water. Spray this solution on the stain and leave it for 10-15 minutes. Wipe it clean.
If the stain is small, moisten a cotton ball with undiluted vinegar solution. Rub this lightly on the stain to remove it.
Hard water Treatment: Read our blog post on how to get rid of hard water stains.
NOTE: Do not use excessive soap as this can cause stains when dry.
CAUTION: Switch off electrical appliances. Don’t just turn off the appliance switch, switch off the mains and also take out the plug. Remember, safety comes first.
Whether it is window glass, door glass, shower glass or mirrors, all are equally prone to getting scratched if a hard sponge is used. Use soft (cotton) cloth to dust these and then clean them using window cleaning agents like Colin.
Toilets and Toilet seats:
The Toilet seat can be cleaned using a sponge soaked in liquid soap water mixture. Just add disinfectant or an antiseptic along with the liquid soap. For the toilet bowl, use a cleaning agent like Harpic and leave it on for some time. Follow the directions mentioned on the packet.
TIP: To keep your bathroom smelling clean, you could add some naphthalene balls or other (specialized) products to the flush.
Drains and Pipes:
A plunger is a device that consists of a rubber suction cup attached to the end of a stick; it is used to unclog drains and pipes.Use this device on all pipes and drains, even if they don’t appear to be clogged. Check for open drains which permit entry for rats and cockroaches. Place drain covers on such openings. Do not miss:
- Sink drains (kitchen drainage system)
- Bathroom drains (shower, tub, wash basin, toilet)
- Balcony drains
Use strong cleaning agents with care – especially in areas where you plan to store food.
Note presence of pests – especially stubborn cockroaches and tell tale signs of rats. If you spray any pesticides and use rat poison, air the kitchen for a day before unpacking food stuff.
Follow these tips to make your house look like home. Remember, the best cleaning is possible when the house is still empty and before you have unpacked. Hence putting in extra effort at this stage will go a long way in keeping your stay healthy and hygienic.
You can now move in your stuff, unpack and organize, decorate your interiors and throw that much awaited House Warming party or puja.
It is also a good idea to hire professional move in cleaning services to help you out.
P.S. So, if you got a chance to move to a new house again and start afresh, what would you do differently?