We’ve all been there as first-time home owners: it’s our first time out on our own, whether it’s your first time stepping out of your childhood home or taking your first step into adulthood after college – it’s all on you now. So when you move into that new home, you’re suddenly stuck with the realization of, “wow I need to…. clean!”
Truth be told, I’m a victim of this realization. When you’re moving, there are a few thoughts that stick in your mind – how am I going to set up my living room? Should I go with wall decals or paint? I can’t wait to set up my kitchen this way and my dining area this way. It’s all so exciting to have your own space! Space you can decorate yourself and not to argue with anyone about your choices. However, believe it or not, that part comes much, much later. All those thoughts and ideas aren’t around much when you first step in with all the boxes you and your friends are moving in. Instead you are met with – “WHERE IS THE VACCUUM?”
That’s right, when you move into your new place you are met with the former owners’ filth. Shocking, right? So, let’s take a look at the steps we recommend taking when cleaning your new home before unpacking. So pull out an apron and load up with your accessories, that way you’re not driving yourself even more crazy with running back and forth searching for that anti-bacterial spray.
The key is to have a system – move quickly and don’t obsess about one room too much. Once that first room is done, move on. Remember, you can always go back when you are unloading and fix those things that are bothering you, but for now, you really just want to be rid of that last person’s germs, right? Don’t get me wrong, they could have been perfectly neat but it’s like buying a pre-owned car, you just don’t know where it has been. (You’re welcome for that reminder)
First, start with the bedrooms. The truth of the matter is you will already have the most furniture and arrangements for the bedroom. It’s where you sleep, it’s where you keep your clothes, you more than likely kept all your books and movies in there, too! First steps first, clean that dust out because once you move your bed in, you probably won’t be able to move it again without the help. The products we recommend using are microfiber cloths as they will help with cleaning surfaces from back to front; and a vacuum. Start in the back corner of the room and make your way throughout each room. Also, don’t forget the closets!
Here comes the fun part, and probably the most time-consuming. I can’t say it enough… spray. Grab those gloves and that anti-bacterial spray and go nuts. Spray the vanity, sink, toilet, and shower before you even get started. Don’t forget to spray the shower head, too. You really want to clean that tub inch to inch. And get rid of the shower curtain! Getting rid of that eek factor is most important for you to make that bathroom feel like yours. Think about it, what is either the first thing you do every day or the last thing you do every day? Shower. (Uhh, hopefully) You want that space to be perfectly clean. You might even want to use a toothbrush when scrubbing. It seems tedious but you’ll be happy with the outcome when finishing with a damp cloth wipe down.
Then comes the toilet. Spray, scrub, and flush. Again, using an anti-bacterial spray should be your best friend when cleaning, and don’t forget to wipe down the toilet seat and tank. And consider yourself home free when you get to the floor. Like the bedroom, start with the far corner and make your way through the room. While swiffering will probably be your most used tool when cleaning the floors in your home, you’ll want to mop your first time round.
Now to the Kitchen
Find that damp microfiber (just kidding, get another one) and wipe it all down – the counter space, cabinets, sink, stove top, refrigerator… you name it! It really won’t take that long, and once you’re done that you can work on clearing out the clutter. Remember, the less stuff you have on your counters, the cleaner your kitchen will look. Actually, my first kitchen turned out to be my favorite space. There’s just something special about a clean kitchen.
I also invested in cabinet liners. It’s not for everybody, but I mostly like the look of a nice cabinet liner and it adds to the comfort level of any missed cleaning, or crumbs slipping through. Putting in cabinet liners can be time consuming, I know, but you can take your time with them. And then you’re home-free with, you guessed it, finishing with the floor! Sweep, then mop. Again, start with the corner and make your way through the room. More than likely your dining area won’t be far away and you can just work your way into there.
Last but definitely not least – The Living Room
If there are any shelves already up, start with the dusting. You always want to work from the back to the front of these surfaces, and you always, always, always want to work from top to bottom. There is nothing more frustrating than dusting the floor then finding more dust that has fallen. You’ll then want to work on that floor, whether it’s carpet or hard-floor, start from the corner and make your way through. From there you can work on the style of your living room. Declutter, decorate, whatever it is you like to do is all up to you now!
Now if like me, you have dog hair to clean up after… that’s a whole different story. But for now…. comes decorating and organizing! This is the fun part, expensive and time consuming, but definitely most exciting. And hey, at least now you’ll have a fresh feeling in your new home!