Spring is the time of year we start thinking about buying a new house or looking for a nicer apartment on the other side of town. But with any plans to move is also the responsibility of leaving the house you are vacating in broom-clean condition. Having helped a lot of people move over the years, we get the impression that cleaning on moving day is one of the most dreaded tasks in the entire process. That’s unfortunate because cleaning doesn’t have to be that bad.
Cleaning a house on moving day can be either a nightmare or a minimal task, depending on how you approach it. If you wait until every last item is moved out and the truck is pulling away before even thinking about cleaning, you are likely to have a nightmare scenario on your hands. But if you make plans designed around speed and efficiency, you will find you can clean relatively quickly.
Cleaning before You Move
One of the biggest problems faced by those who experience a cleaning nightmare on moving day is that they are trying to clean months, or even years, of accumulated dirt. Take the oven, for example. How many people go for two, three, or even four years without ever cleaning the inside of the oven? Trying to get it clean on moving day could take hours. Wouldn’t it be better to take a look at the oven a few weeks out and, if necessary, spend two or three evenings cleaning it out?
The most important key to a fast and efficient moving day clean is to start working on it as soon as you know you are going to be moving. Take a few hours each week to deal with the dirtiest places in your home, places that have not seen a broom or cleaning rags in a long time.
Good areas of the home to target in this pre-move clean are the basement, attic, and bathrooms. Also consider bedroom and hall closets that may not have been cleaned out in a while. The more you can get done ahead of time, the less you will have to do on moving day.
Cleaning on Moving Day
If you’ve done the appropriate amount of advanced cleaning before your move, the cleaning required on moving day will be as simple as vacuuming the carpets, wet mopping tile and wood floors, and wiping down counter tops and appliances. We have found it is very helpful to do two things:
- Assemble a Team – Assembling a team of three or four people to help clean yields excellent results. Remember, many hands make light work. You can make things even easier by assigning each team member specific tasks. One person can handle all the vacuuming while another tackles windows and sills. Assigning tasks ensure that everything gets done without you having to continually check.
- Room Movement – It is very helpful to start at the back of the house and work your way to the front (assuming the move is going through the front door). As soon as one room is empty, send the team in to clean it. Then close the door and move to the next room. You may have to move some small things the truck crew is not yet ready for closer to the front of the house to make this work. But if it’s done right, you will be cleaning the very last room as the truck crew is getting ready to leave.
Cleaning the house on moving day doesn’t have to be a nightmare. With a little bit of advanced planning and some teamwork, it can be a very manageable task. My Divine Concierge can assist you whether you need help with just the cleaning or the entire moving process.