What Should I Clean First When Moving Out?

27September 2023

Moving out can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. When it comes to cleaning your old home before you leave, it’s important to have a strategy in place. So, what should you clean first when moving out? In this article, we will explore some key areas to prioritize when it comes to cleaning before you bid your old place farewell. From tackling the kitchen to giving the bathrooms a thorough scrub, we’ll guide you through the process, ensuring you leave your old home spotless for the next occupants. Moving out of a home can be an exciting yet challenging task. As you prepare to hand over the keys to your old place, it’s important to leave it in pristine condition. But where do you even start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this comprehensive article, we will guide you through the cleaning process, room by room, so you can ensure every nook and cranny is spick and span. Let’s begin with one of the most important areas of any home – the kitchen.

What Should I Clean First When Moving Out?


The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, and it’s no wonder why. It’s where meals are prepped, memories are made, and delicious aromas fill the air. When cleaning your kitchen, start with the refrigerator. Begin by emptying out all of the contents and giving the shelves a thorough wipe down. Check for any expired food items and dispose of them properly. Next, move on to the oven. Remove any burnt-on food, grease, or grime using a suitable cleaner or natural solutions like baking soda and vinegar. Don’t forget to clean the stovetop, knobs, and oven racks as well.

After tackling the refrigerator and oven, turn your attention to the microwave. Wipe down the interior and exterior surfaces, ensuring to remove any food splatters or residue. Pay special attention to the turntable and the area around it. Moving on to the countertops, use a gentle cleaner to remove any stains or spills. Take care not to scratch the surface if you have a delicate countertop material like marble. Next, clean the cabinets by wiping them down, both inside and out, to remove any dust or food particles. Finish off by cleaning the sink thoroughly, removing any stains or build-up.

Lastly, don’t forget to give the kitchen floor a good sweep or vacuum to remove any loose dirt or debris. Mop the floor using a suitable cleaner, paying attention to any stubborn stains. Once you’ve completed all the steps, stand back and admire your sparkling kitchen. Great job!


Moving on to the bathroom, this space requires special attention to ensure it is meticulously cleaned. Start with the toilet, as it often requires the most thorough cleaning. Use a toilet brush and a disinfectant cleaner to scrub the bowl, including under the rim and around the edges. Don’t forget to clean the seat, lid, and the exterior of the toilet as well. Moving to the shower/tub, remove any soap scum or build-up using a suitable cleaner and a scrub brush. Rinse thoroughly to reveal a fresh and clean surface.

Next, clean the sink by wiping it down and removing any toothpaste residue or stains. Don’t forget to clean the faucet and handles. After that, address the mirrors by using a glass cleaner to remove any fingerprints or smudges. Wipe down the cabinets, both inside and out, removing any dust or grime that may have accumulated. Lastly, sweep or vacuum the bathroom floor, paying close attention to corners and crevices. Mop the floor with a suitable cleaner, leaving behind a clean and fresh scent.


As you make your way through the house, it’s time to focus on the bedrooms. Start by wiping down the walls, paying attention to any scuff marks or stains. If necessary, touch up the paint to ensure a seamless finish. Move on to the windows, cleaning the glass inside and out. Don’t forget to dust the window sills and tracks as well. Next, clean any ceiling fans or light fixtures, removing any dust or dirt that may have accumulated. If you have carpets, consider steam cleaning them or vacuuming thoroughly to remove any dust or allergens.

Lastly, organize and clean the closets. Remove any clothing or items that you no longer need or want, and neatly fold or hang up the remaining items. Wipe down the closet shelves and vacuum any carpet or flooring inside the closet. With these steps completed, your bedrooms will look tidy and inviting.

Living Room

Moving to the central gathering space of your home, it’s time to give the living room a thorough cleaning. Start by wiping down the walls, paying attention to any marks or stains. Depending on the type of paint or wallpaper, you may need to spot clean or touch up certain areas. Clean the windows, both inside and out, to let the natural light shine through. Dust any ceiling fans or light fixtures, ensuring that they are free of any dirt or grime. If you have carpet or flooring in the living room, give it a good vacuuming or steam cleaning to remove any dirt or debris.

Lastly, clean the furniture. Vacuum or use a lint roller to remove any dust or pet hair from upholstered furniture. For leather or wood furniture, use appropriate cleaners to remove any stains or spills. Don’t forget to fluff and arrange any throw pillows or blankets for a cozy touch. With the living room cleaned, you’ll be ready to relax in your new space.

What Should I Clean First When Moving Out?

Dining Area

Moving on to the dining area, it’s important to have a clean and inviting space for meals and gatherings. Start by cleaning the walls, focusing on any visible stains or marks. Clean the windows, both inside and out, to let the natural light flow in. Dust any ceiling fans or light fixtures, ensuring they are free of any build-up. If you have carpet or flooring in the dining area, vacuum or steam clean it to remove any dirt or stains.

Next, clean the dining table and chairs. Wipe down the table surface, removing any food crumbs or spills. Pay attention to the chair seats and backs, removing any dirt or stains. If necessary, use a furniture cleaner or upholstery brush to freshen up the chairs. With the dining area sparkling clean, you’ll be ready to enjoy your meals in style.


Hallways and staircases often act as the connecting pathways between different areas of your home. Start by wiping down the walls, focusing on any visible marks or scuffs. Clean the windows, both inside and out, to maintain a clear view. Dust any ceiling fans or light fixtures, ensuring they are free of any dust or dirt. If you have carpet or flooring in these areas, give it a thorough vacuuming or steam cleaning to remove any dirt or debris.

Utility Areas

While utility areas may not be the most glamorous spaces, it’s important to ensure they are clean and well-maintained. In the laundry room, wipe down any surfaces, including countertops and the inside of the washer and dryer. Remove lint from the dryer filter and clean the sink, if applicable. In the basement, sweep or vacuum the floors, removing any dust or debris. Check for any leaks or signs of moisture that may require attention. In the garage, declutter and organize any items, wiping down surfaces and sweeping the floor.


The exterior of your home is the first impression that guests or potential buyers will have. Start with the front porch or entryway, sweeping away any dirt or debris. Clean any windows or glass surfaces to enhance curb appeal. Pay attention to your yard, removing any weeds or overgrown plants. Keep your garage tidy by organizing any tools or items. Remember to close all windows, lock all doors, and turn off any outside lights.

Other Areas

In addition to these main areas of your home, there are a few smaller areas that require attention. Wipe down the front door, removing any dirt or fingerprints. Clean all windows, both inside and out, for a clear view. Dust any light fixtures or chandeliers to ensure they are free of any cobwebs or dust. Organize storage spaces, removing any unnecessary items. Finally, clean curtains or blinds, either by vacuuming or washing them, depending on the material.

Final Checklist

Before you say your final goodbyes to your old home, make sure you check off these important tasks. Run water in all sinks and flush all toilets to ensure proper functionality. Turn off all lights and appliances, saving energy and preventing any accidents. Lock all doors and windows to secure the property. Collect all keys and remotes, leaving them in a designated spot for the new occupants. Lastly, take pictures of each room for proof of cleanliness, should any questions arise.

With these steps completed, you can rest easy knowing you’ve left your old home in the best possible condition. Moving out is never easy, but with a comprehensive cleaning plan in place, you’ll be able to tackle each room with ease. Good luck with your move, and may your new home be filled with happiness and new memories!

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