Don’t Forget This Important Step Before You Move In

Posted By Emily Yates on January 24, 2017 at 5:30 pm
Don’t Forget This Important Step Before You Move In

New home? Everyone forgets this important step when moving in: cleaning.

You’ve found your perfect house. You’ve signed the documents. You’ve just spent the day packing boxes and moving everything to your new home. What comes next? You may be thinking, “Time to order a pizza and have an unpacking party.”

Not so fast! There’s a crucial must-do step before you unpack that everyone forgets: Cleaning!

While you can hope that the previous owners did a good job cleaning before they left, unfortunately, that’s just not always the case. There very well may be lingering germs that you’ll definitely want to wipe out before you settle in and set up all of your belongings. Plus, there are certain spots that are just much harder to access – and clean – once you’ve unpacked.

Get rid of germs

The National Sanitation Foundation conducted a study in 2011 to identify the areas throughout the average home with highest concentration of germs. The aptly named “Germiest Places in the Home” study found that, while people surveyed assumed the bathroom would be the dirtiest spot, in reality, the kitchen was the culprit.

In particular, countertops and inside kitchen sinks had the most germs, including Salmonella and E. coli. While it’s highly likely the kitchen countertops have been wiped down before you move in – after all, it’s one of the most obvious cleaning spots in the home – chances are, the inside of the sink hasn’t been cleaned with anything more than water and dish soap. Wash out the inside of the sink with a bleach solution for a deep clean.

Other spots that topped the germy list included bathroom faucet handles, stove knobs, refrigerator and microwave handles, toilet handle, bathroom doorknob, and bathroom light switch.

That’s probably not surprising, considering handles, switches, and doorknobs get the most contact with dirty hands. Thankfully, these can be cleaned easily and quickly – just scrub with a disinfecting wipe.

Hit hard-to-reach-spots

In addition to getting rid of the last owners’ germs, you may want to spend some time cleaning certain hard-to-reach areas of the home before you unpack all of your belongings. Darbi McGlone, a Louisiana-based Realtor®, says you can’t count on the previous owners or tenants to leave the home clean, especially when it comes to the details. A checklist that includes: "GoodCall’s pre-unpacking cleaning recommendations: • Baseboards and crown molding • Behind fridge, washing machine, and dryer • Shower grout • Light fixtures • Inside drawers and cabinets – kitchen and bathrooms • Inside kitchen sink • Stove knobs and range hood • Light switches, doorknobs, and handles throughout"

“Light fixtures are rarely cleaned,” McGlone said in an interview with Most sellers don’t wipe down the insides of cabinets and drawers either, she added.

Other spots that could use a quick wipe or sweep – baseboards and crown molding, behind the refrigerator, washing machine, and dryer, and the tile grout in the shower or tub. Trust us, it will be much easier to wipe down all the baseboards before you have rugs and furniture all laid out.

Doing a bit of cleaning after you’ve spent all day moving may sound a like a chore, but it’s worth it to settle in to a germ-free home.

Just hope that the property you’re moving into isn’t left in a state of total disaster – McGlone has seen it happen: “In a rare case I had someone walk away from the sale because of the condition of the home at the final walk-through,” she said.

Emily Yates
Emily Yates is a freelance writer and public relations coordinator. Her work has appeared in Charlotte Magazine, ContentAsia Magazine, Elite Daily and beyond.

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