Selling a home can be a major pain, but cleaning it before you sell is probably an even bigger pain! It is much easier (albeit more daunting, initially) to clean an empty house than a full one. Whether your home is going on the market empty, with you still in it, or staged to sell, clean-up duty is a must. Here are the top 10 ways to take the dirty out of your home, quick!
1. Clean from top to bottom in every way- start at the top floor, working your way down, and begin with ceilings/fans/lights and finish with sweeping and vacuuming floors. After all, gravity takes hold of everything, even dust!
2. If the home is not empty and if possible, move all furniture and items into a hall or adjacent space so that you can clean each room completely. This will allow you to remove cobwebs and dust from behind everything, remove scuffs, and rub out carpet dents. It will also help you to re-evaluate the items you want to put back into each room, if you are living in the home while it’s on the market.
3. Your best friends for cleaning are: Magic Eraser, sweeper, vacuum, all-purpose cleaner, and glass cleaner. Almost all of your spaces can be cleaned with these products, and they will give an instant face-lift to your space.
4. Mini-blinds (aluminum or plastic) can get really, really dirty without you catching on. Take them down and soak them in the tub with hot water and dish soap, wipe them down gently. Air-dry them outside, or rinse and wipe dry with an old towel. Don’t forget to clean the windows, too!
5. Replace light bulbs with CFL’s (compact fluorescent bulbs) for brighter spaces, and to save energy. The last thing a new homeowner wants to do is change burned out light bulbs.
6. Remember those vacuum attachments that you never used? Get ‘em out! Using vacuum attachments to reach dusty carpet corners, crumbs inside drawers, and cobwebs on your 10 foot ceiling will make you wonder why you never used them before!
7. Oxygen cleaner works wonders on carpet stains! Mix a product like OxiClean powder with warm water and use for almost any carpet stain to spot clean. If you realize just how dirty your carpet is after spot cleaning, you may need to decide to do a full steam-clean. Rentals are available from many retailers.
8. Clean your kitchen and bathroom last! Give it a whole day, and make sure you are ready to get down to business. No one wants a scummy tub and your old burnt mess on the bottom of the oven. All-purpose cleaner should work just fine, but in the case of severe mold/mildew or set-in stove stains, you may want to invest in some tile and oven cleaner. Not to mention some gloves!
9. If you had pets, smoked in your home, burned candles frequently, or the like, you may want to invest in a paint job. Surprisingly, you tend not to notice the build-up of pet dander, ash, and soot until you wipe a dirty spot. In less severe cases, wiping clean with warm cloth and a cleaning agent might do the trick.
10. Reward yourself. This isn’t really a tip, more of a must-do! You will be so annoyed if you spent all day, or a few days, cleaning your home just to move out of it! Take yourself to a movie, dinner, or out on the town to make nice with yourself for all the hard work you just did. Go ahead, you deserve it!