Moving can be an exhausting, stressful and busy time. Aside from packing your entire life into boxes only to then transport them into a new chapter in your life, you also have to clean up your past. Your home has to be thoroughly cleaned, top to bottom and even in the nooks and crannies before you close the front door for the last time. While cleaning is very rarely a ‘favorite’ thing to do, it’s imperative. Leaving your current home in poor condition for the new homeowners’ arrival is simply poor moving etiquette.

As a rule of thumb, you want your home to be left the same way you expect your new home to be when you move in. Fortunately, you don’t have to do all the cleaning at once. With this weekly breakdown of the final clean-up, you can strategically prepare your home for its new owners.

Four Weeks Prior to The Move

The final clean-up should begin approximately a month prior to moving day. This gives you an ample amount of time to prepare for the big day by making proper arrangements for storage and movers, while also getting rid of your belongings and old furniture that don’t need to make the move. This will clear up the space and give you some wiggle room to start cleaning. Here are some tasks to get you started:

  • Book a moving truck
  • Schedule movers
  • Start sorting through belongings and getting rid of the things you don’t need
  • Plan what furniture will be moving to the new house, and sell or donate the items that won’t be making the move
  • Purchase all of your packing materials such as boxes, tape, packing peanuts, etc.
  • Purchase all of your cleaning materials

Three Weeks Prior to The Move

One week down, three more to go. The move is fast approaching, and it’s time to kick your moving day preparation into high gear. Doing the following things three weeks prior to the move keeps things copacetic up until moving day and beyond. You’ll also free up space, so you can start cleaning.

  • Start packing non-essential items
  • Remove (pack or toss) belongings in the attic, basement and other storage areas and clean them thoroughly
  • Remove photos and art from the wall, and patch the holes as needed, then give the walls a scrub
  • Clean behind appliances
  • Empty, replace and/or scrub vents, fans, radiators

Two Weeks Prior to The Move

Before you know it, moving day will be here. The idea is to complete as many cleaning tasks as possible during this week. If you can start on the “one week prior to the move” cleaning list, even better! Some things will need to have a quick scrub down again next week, but for the most part, this is where the thorough cleaning comes in.

  • Clean baseboards and moldings
  • Vacuum cobwebs and dust from the ceiling, corners, banister, ceilings fans etc.
  • Wash doors, door handles, light switches, hardware, etc.
  • Clean garbage disposal unit
  • Clean the windows
  • Wash the front of kitchen cabinets and drawers
  • Remove soap scum from bathroom
  • Clean out bathroom drawers and place new liners
  • Clean all major appliances from top to bottom, inside and out.
  • Start on the next week’s cleaning if possible

One Week Prior to The Move

This is likely going to be the busiest week prior to the move. So, if you can start this moving day cleaning list earlier, ideally during the previous week, the process will be less stressful and exhausting. Whatever you do, just be sure to get these crucial cleans in.

  • Clean inside cupboards
  • Scrub down the baths, showers, toilets and sinks
  • Dust and wash all ledges and countertops
  • Vacuum, sweep and mop all surfaces
  • Clean mirrors
  • Empty garage and sweep it

With this strategic final clean-up timeline, your moving etiquette is going to be as on point as the interior of your current home.

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