Guides, Tips & How-To

The Moving Survival Guide: Cleaning & Repairs

TR Moving Guide - Cleaning

Even if you’re on top of packing, transferring utilities, and setting up wifi, moving is a daunting ordeal. We’ve put together a complete Moving Survival Guide (with help from our moving-savvy Taskers) to keep you from getting your couch stuck in the doorway and make sure you get your security deposit back. In part 2, we tackle cleaning and repairs. Read on for tips for leaving your home or rental in pristine condition before your move.

Missed part 1? See here for the Moving Survival Guide: Packing.

Touch up the walls

The rule of thumb is to take everything you own and and clean up what you leave behind. After you’ve taken down mounted TVs, art, and frames, make sure to remove nails, hooks, and screws from the walls and ceilings. Before you repaint, fill nail holes with spackling paste and putty knife, sanding the area level with the rest of the wall once dry. In a pinch, you can also rub a bar of soap over holes or fill them with a mixture of toothpaste and crushed aspirin.


Clean the kitchen

Baking soda is your best friend for removing stubborn grease stains and odors. Just mix 4 tablespoons baking soda with warm water to tackle the inside of the fridge, stovetop, counter, and microwave. Take advantage of your oven’s self-cleaning setting if it has one, otherwise give it a good scrub with a baking soda-vinegar mixture. Don’t forget to empty the garbage disposal!

Scrub the bathroom

While you can use all-purpose cleaners for the medicine cabinet and counters, use specialized cleaning solutions for the toilet, tub, and tiles that tackle grout and mildew.

Wash the windows and curtains

Wash the windows with a multipurpose cleaner and microfiber cloth to avoid streaks. If you don’t have a microfiber cloth, use newsprint instead. Don’t forget the blinds and space between the screens and window panes — notorious for trapping dirt and dust!  

cleaning windows

Dust the nooks and crannies

Once you’ve checked off larger repair and cleaning tasks, pay some attention the spots you usually overlook: ceiling fans, light fixtures, corners, and baseboards. Give them a thorough dusting and wipedown. We like using microfiber cloths for easy cleaning, along with fresh paint rollers to dust harder-to-reach areas.

Vacuum, sweep, and mop floors

Save the floors for last, once you’ve moved everything out. Then sweep and mop with hot water, moving toward the door so you don’t track dirt across a newly-cleaned floor. If you have a carpet or large area rugs, consider getting them deep cleaned.

Tidy outdoor spaces

Once the interior is sparkling clean, head outside. Make sure the lawn is mowed, gutters and paths are cleared, and lawn furniture is removed.   

While we take the stress out of moving day, finding the perfect place to call home can still be a challenge. For a seamless, personalized apartment search, check out our friends at Apartment List.

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