How to Clean a Home Before You Move In or Out - Move Central
cleaning a home before moving in

How to Clean a Home Before You Move In – Or Move Out!

A new home is a chance to start from scratch. Clean floors, dust-free corners and sparkling baseboards should greet you on the big moving day. Surely you’ll find the house just as clean as it was during your initial walkthrough, right? Not necessarily. Dust, soot and dirt accumulate when families move out of a house or perform renovations. Knowing how to clean a house before you move in starts you off on the right foot before you bring anything into your space.

Are you required to deep clean your space before you move out? Our cleaning guide works just the same. Follow these easy steps for tackling ever corner of your new or old home to make it look fresh and clean.

1. Gather your cleaning supplies

This basic list of cleaning supplies for a new home ensures that you can tackle your endeavor from start-to-finish without having to run out to the store.

  1. Upright vacuum
  2. Hand-held vacuum
  3. Broom
  4. Brush and dustpan
  5. Collection of reusable cleaning rags or soft cloths
  6. Paper towels
  7. Bucket
  8. Rubber gloves
  9. Swiffer or dust mop
  10. Your choice of cleaning products
  11. For the natural route: white vinegar, baking soda and mild dish soap

2. Plan out your room-by-room game plan

The best way to clean a new house depends on your circumstances. If you’re cleaning a new home, start with the kitchen and bathroom. When you begin transitioning boxes from your old space, food in the fridge will come first. If you’re leaving your space, work backward, leaving the kitchen and bathroom until the very end.

Follow the same tactics in each room for efficiency:

Start from the top

Always follow one basic rule when cleaning an entire room: work top to bottom. As you brush off ceiling fans, railings and walls, dust will trickle down to the counters and floors below. By the time you reach the floor, sweep up everything that accumulated in the process.

Always ventilate

Whether you use store-bought cleaning supplies or a natural solution of vinegar and baking soda, always tackle your new house cleaning on a day when you can open the windows. Air flow will both protect you from inhaling fumes and dry floors and surfaces more quickly.

Tackle big projects first

How do you deep clean a new house? Start with any major issues. Before you get scrubbing, wander through the space and look for any major issues — a super-dirty dishwasher, a lingering pet smell or even cracked walls that need extra care. Attend to trickier projects before you deep clean your new home to avoid making an additional mess down the line.

Gather a crew

No need to tackle cleaning a new house all by yourself. Break up the duties by room, cleaning phase or project. It’s easy to run out of steam when doing such physically demanding work. Set yourself up for success, especially if you’re on a tight timeframe.

3. Go room-by-room

Unlike cleaning a home full of your items, cleaning out a new house has far fewer distractions. This makes it easier to go slowly, room-by-room from top to bottom. As mentioned above, start with large issues, move onto broad strokes from the top of the room to the bottom and then move onto cleaning the details such as medicine cabinets, shower doors and closets.


  1. Always tackle the largest projects when you’re fresh and full of energy. Begin with large appliances, such as by deep cleaning the stove and oven. Leave difficult spots to soak under boiling water or cleaning solution before scrubbing if they don’t come off after the first attempt.
  2. Empty and wipe down the inside of the refrigerator, using a gentle solution to clean out the crisper drawers, shelves and base of the fridge. Be sure it’s ready for the moment your boxes of food arrive.
  3. Start with the top of the room: wipe off ceiling fans and along the edges of the ceilings, using a microfiber cloth to dust the walls as you move down. Delicately wipe off lighting fixtures as well.
  4. Clean the windows, inside and out if possible. Remove the screens and blinds to throughout rinse or wipe so they can dry out as you work.
  5. Rinse and sanitize counters, honing in on hard-to-reach corners or spots formerly covered up by appliances.
  6. Finish up with the floors, cleaning up all dry dust and grit before moving onto a wet mop.


Outside of the kitchen, the bathroom requires the deepest cleaning when moving into a new house.

  1. Start with the top of the room, above the medicine cabinet, throughout lighting fixtures and over the tops of windows and door frames.
  2. Moving onto the sink, tub, shower and toilet, finish off each with an antibacterial cleaner. If built-up grime, mold or general gunk has found its way into tiles and faucets, leave the cleaning solution to sit and move on to a different part of the bathroom as you wait.
  3. Remove any leftover materials or stored items under the sink or in the medicine cabinet and dust off the inside of each with a wet towel.


Cleaning the bedroom should be next on your list. After your move, you’ll need a place to collapse after a long day. If you need a break from cleaning and packing, a clean bedroom is a great surprise.

  1. Begin with the closets, working from top to bottom. Remove any remaining items or debris, dust the top of shelves and hooks and vacuum or sweep the base of the closet. Be sure to remove dust from any light fixtures in the closet as well.
  2. Break out the additional nozzles of your vacuum cleaner to get into the hard-to-reach corners of closets and ceilings.
  3. Use mild and unscented cleaning solutions on walls and floors such as Murphy’s Soap. If the room is carpeted, consider renting a carpet cleaner for the day and leaving the room to dry as you move on to the living room and dining room.

Living and dining room

Follow the same routine in the living room and dining room as you did in the bedroom. Move from top to bottom, making sure to focus on any decorative molding or mantles.

  1. Carefully wipe off ceiling fans with a dry cloth (or an old pillowcase!) before anything else. Use the small nozzle of your vacuum to grab any dust bunnies hiding in the fixture.
  2. Wet a damp cloth with a mild solution and wipe off the length of all crown, chair and floor moldings.
  3. If you have a working fireplace, carefully sweep up debris any debris and soot and collect it separately so that it doesn’t travel onto the rug or surrounding floor.
  4. Wondering how to clean exposed brick? Grab some rubber gloves and follow the dish-soap-and-salt method to avoid damaging the brick’s natural look or risk fading.

Outdoor space

Don’t forget about your porch or patio when tackling a new house cleaning. A clean outdoor lounging area means you can take in your outdoor area as soon as you arrive.

  • If your porch is covered, attach a soft cloth to a long mop handle and remove any cobwebs or dirt from the corners of the ceiling.
  • Open up any retractable awnings to shake out loose grit as well.
  • Remove and natural debris such as leaves, sticks or acorns with an outdoor or sturdy broom from the base on your patio.
  • Address mildew with a mild, one-to-three solution of bleach to warm water. Use a deck brush and rubber gloves to lightly clean.

Cleaning your new home: a review

All of these tips also work well for cleaning a new house after renovations. Construction loosens dust and paint onto floors and counters, so it’s always good to start fresh before returning your furniture.

To recap, always stick to the following when completing your new house cleaning list:

  1. Start with the kitchen and bathroom, the room you will need immediately
  2. Gather everything need before you start, including protecting material like rubber gloves.
  3. Clean each room from top to bottom, always checking ceiling fans and fixtures for hidden dust.
  4. When in doubt, use a mild soap solution or specific wood cleaners for delicate surfaces.

All in all, the best way to clean a new house is with the help of friends. The moving process is a big transition. Our team at Move Central can simplify your transition, handing packing, furniture assembly and relocation needs. Transform your moving experience into an exciting time to start fresh and celebrate.

Stan Caramalac

Stan Caramalac started his moving company because he truly believed that moving could be simple as long as it was done efficiently. He wanted to help people make their moves smoother and less stressful. Stan and his team proudly serve San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles and the Bay Area. If you are looking for professional commercial or residential movers then Move Central is the perfect company for you.