Move-in Cleaning Checklist For Your “New” Old House

Are you the proud new owner of an ancient house? Are you itching to get those house keys at closing, unlock the door to your ideal home, and start unloading that moving truck?

While I admire (and share) your enthusiasm, you might want to think about carefully cleaning your old house before moving in. First, get rid of all the old dirt. Then make sure it’s new and sparkly to you! And I’ll provide you with a Move-In Cleaning Checklist to assist you to get it spotless.

If you are moving into a house that previously had cats you need to read this here: Tips For Moving Into A House That Had Cats (How To Clean And Deodorize).

This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

I was so excited to move into my new bungalow-style house in a neighbourhood with giant trees. We showed up with the moving truck on the day of receiving the keys to our new place. The kids were in daycare, and we had the whole day to unload the truck, (we didn’t hire movers, not sure what we were thinking…not a good idea to DIY moving in your 30’s if you’re out of shape like me).

When we arrived at the house, it was fairly clean, but not as clean as I would have liked. It was stated that professional cleaners had come through, but I knew that probably wasn’t the case since many things were missed. Well, lessons were learned, and we move on.

What is my advice? Make time before you unpack (or the movers arrive) to scrub and deep clean your new home. This comprehensive cleaning will (literally) clear the slate. Don’t you and your new house deserve a new beginning?

Should You Clean Your Home Before Moving?

If the house was recently built, a thorough cleaning is required to eliminate any leftover dust or chemical residue from the construction process. If you are moving into a previously occupied place, thorough cleaning of the entire house is even more important. Even if the property’s move-out requirements include a thorough cleaning, you may never be certain that the room was thoroughly cleaned to your standards.

This is especially essential for those who suffer from allergies and chemical sensitivities. You’ll want to make sure that your new house is clear of hidden dust buildups, and that if the area was cleaned, it wasn’t done using synthetic chemical cleaners that might exacerbate allergies.

The only way to ensure that a fresh start in your new house meets your expectations is to supervise the cleaning yourself.

Cleaning Checklist for Moving Into an Old House

Not sure where to begin? Do you feel overburdened? That is just how I felt. But if you know me, you know I’m a list maker. I’m always making lists. Shopping lists. List of Christmas gifts Checklist of things to accomplish. The bucket list. Having checklists gives me the impression that I am in command.

So, as I enjoyed thoroughly cleaning our new house, I created a Cleaning Checklist. And I’m forwarding it to you.

Use this list as a guide to eliminating the filth and grime left behind by previous owners. Restore the lustre to your new old house!

I’ll confess that my checklist isn’t particularly detailed. It is a simple document (originally a Word document). There are no flashy graphics. There is no flashy colour.

But do you really need such a long list? Nope.

What exactly do you require? A straightforward yet thorough checklist that may be used in a range of living environments. This checklist also includes blank places for you to customize and add anything particular to your property that needs to be addressed.

Tips for Cleaning an Old House in General

  • Allow yourself plenty of time. Before you unpack or move any furniture, do a thorough cleaning. Cleaning an empty house is so much simpler.
  • Start with these two rooms and work your way through the checklist. first
  • Bathroom—Believe me, you’ll need this room right away after moving in, so start here. If you have more than one complete bathroom, you just need to clean one right away. 
  • Kitchen—You’ll need to utilize the kitchen immediately. So, once you’ve finished cleaning the bathroom, go ahead and clean the kitchen.
  • Make sure you have all of your cleaning products on hand. The last thing you want to do is stop cleaning and go shopping.
  • Enlist the assistance of partners, family, and friends. Your loved ones wish to help you in this quest. Take advantage of this chance to enlist their assistance. Make some food and beverages available, and turn on some wonderful lively music to keep them (and you) motivated!

What You Need To Clean When You Move Into A New house


Apply Tile & Grout Cleaner to Shower

I despise grout. It’s very difficult to maintain white! And there’s a high possibility that your new “old” shower and tub don’t have the cleanest tile and grout. Here is my best recipe for DIY grout cleaner.
Allow the grout cleaner to sit for a few minutes. Allow the cleaner to rest for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing.
Scrub grout lines with a tiny, hard brush like a toothbrush, or a utility brush.

Disinfect The Shower And Tub

  • Fill a bucket halfway with hot water and pour it all over the tub.
  • All tub surfaces should be dusted with baking soda. Instead, use tub-and-tile cleaning for very filthy tubs.
  • Fill a half-gallon bucket halfway with boiling water and two teaspoons of dish soap.
  • Scrub all bathtub surfaces with a scrub sponge or a stiff nylon brush dipped in the bucket.
  • Use the bucket to rinse off the sponge or brush and to put soapy water into the tub on a regular basis.
  • When cleaning really grimy tubs or stains, add baking soda straight onto the sponge or brush after dipping it in the bucket solution, and scrub vigorously.
  • Once you’re confident that the tub is clean, rinse it with the bathtub hand sprayer or a bucket.

Clean Shower Track & Door

  • Fill a spray bottle half-full with vinegar. (If your flooring are constructed of stone, use cotton balls to apply the vinegar to prevent getting it on the floor.)
  • Spray vinegar along the tracks with caution.
  • Allow it to settle for 10 to 30 minutes.
  • Scrub the soap scum and dirt away using an old toothbrush.
  • Using the magic eraser, go over any troublesome spots.
  • Wet a sponge and swab the track.
  • For a more detailed explanation visit how to clean shower doors with vinegar.

Clean Toilet

  • Begin by saturating the toilet bowl with toilet cleaner. Pour a cup of vinegar into the toilet bowl if you’re using it instead of toilet cleaning. Swish the cleaner about the bowl quickly with a brush.
  • While the cleaner is working its way inside the toilet, spray the outside with an all-purpose disinfectant. If the toilet is particularly filthy, give it a quick clean down with paper towels before tossing them in the garbage.
  • Then, using a scrub sponge, clean the outside of the toilet. While you’re there, pay care to the base and floor surrounding the toilet. Remove the seat and clean it separately if you have a contemporary toilet with a quick-disconnect toilet seat.
  • After cleaning the outside, clean the bowl with a toilet brush. If you have hard water rings or stains, a pumice stone can help you get rid of them.
  • You know that place beneath the rim where water drains? Many individuals do not clean this since it is out of sight. Don’t overlook this place! Clean the bottom of the rim with your brush or sponge.

Wipe Vanity Area

Water drops and soap residue may rapidly cause a mottled appearance on vanity counters. And this may add up for homeowners who don’t keep up with maintenance, especially those with hard water. To keep the vanity looking its best, wipe it off with a wet sponge or towel. Use a DIY solution with Vinegar to tackle hard water spots.

Vacuum & Line Vanity Drawers

Bathroom cabinets attract dust and grime (think squeezed toothpaste tubes). To complete this move-in checklist activity, vacuum any loose debris and then wipe with a damp microfiber cloth before drying with a clean towel. Here are some pro’s and con’s of using drawer liners.

Polish Fixtures

Sink faucets, towel racks, and other bathroom fixtures begin bright and beautiful, but with regular usage, they may rapidly become dull. It’s difficult to keep them gleaming when your family is continually washing their hands, spilling soap, and leaving water stains.


Clean and move the appliances behind them.

The first cleaning activity on our move-in cleaning checklist in the kitchen is to clean beneath any movable equipment. Typically, this includes the refrigerator and stove. Of course, this implies that the previous owners leave these appliances to you. Even if they took their appliances with them, they most likely left a less-than-clean environment.
Why is it necessary to thoroughly clean under the refrigerator? It is not only a typical filthy place, but it may also cost you money. The accumulation of dust on refrigerator coils might cause the appliance to function inefficiently (aka higher utility bills).

Clean Inside of Appliances

Give your new oven and fridge a good scrub down because you’ll be putting fresh food into your refrigerator once you’re all moved in. Here are detailed instructions on how to steam clean an oven, how to deep clean the fridge and alternative methods to cleaning the oven.

Wipe Cabinet Doors & Moldings

Wipe all the cabinets and mouldings down in the kitchen. Here are detailed instructions on how to clean inside kitchen cabinets that are of different finishes.

Cabinet Drawers Should Be Vacuumed and Lined

After you’ve cleaned the outsides of your cabinets, it’s time to tackle the insides. Remove any dust, crumbs, or other dropped items using a vacuum (using the soft dusting brush attachment), followed by a wipe down with the same procedure used to clean the cabinet exteriors. Keep the cabinet doors open for a time to allow any remaining moisture to be wiped away with another dry, soft cloth.

After you’ve vacuumed and cleaned the inside of the cabinets, consider if you want to line the cabinet shelves and drawers. Liners keep newly washed dishes, which may still be somewhat damp, from distorting the shelf.

Freshen Garbage Disposal

If the previous owner did not maintain their trash disposal, there are definitely some foul odours emanating from your kitchen sink. Here are detailed instructions on how to clean garbage disposal.

Cleaning the Rooms

Check out this The Room Cleaning Checklist You Need and then follow the liste below!

Clean the walls and ceilings.

Keep in mind that gravity should work with you, not against you when cleaning. Begin deep cleaning from the top and work your way down. Unfortunately, this is a time-consuming procedure. To be honest, a thankless Nuisance. It’s tempting to skip, but don’t.

When I initially moved into my house, I dusted the ceiling, trim, and walls using a brush-covered with a towel or Swiffer (working my way downward). Then, I used a lint-free washcloth or sponge to wipe the walls from top to bottom with warm soapy water or a basic cleaning solution.

Interior Doors Should Be Cleaned

While I debated including this chore with Washing Walls and Ceilings, I believe doors need their own section. Doors are usually overlooked when cleaning, yet they have regularly touched surfaces that require particular attention to remove all that filth and grime.
After that, give it a good scrape to get rid of smudges and fingerprints. Don’t forget to clean and polish all door hardware, from doorknobs to door hinges.

Clean The Closets

Don’t forget to perform a thorough cleaning of the insides of your closets! Most likely, the previous owners of your home did not take out the tumbleweeds that had accumulated in the depths of your closets. Do you really want to store all of your stuff in a closet that has been contaminated by years of someone else’s grime and dust? Wipe all shelf units in the back corners.

Clean the Windows

It’s remarkable how a clean window can alter your perception of a house. Clean windows let more light into your home, which lifts your spirits and improves curb appeal. Here are Best Eco-Friendly Glass Cleaner (For windows and mirrors), How To Clean Window Sills: What You Need To Know.

Cleaning the Utility Spaces

Clean Out Dryer Vent

The last homeowner could have been awesome and cleaned their dryer vents regularly, but maybe not. There are two areas where lint can collect. The first is the apparent connection clean-out, which is generally located near the dryer door. Don’t forget about the dryer exhaust vent. Blockages in dryer exhaust vents can also be caused by nests of tiny birds or other animals, as well as damage to the venting system itself. A faulty vent will not effectively exhaust to the outdoors. As a result, overheating might develop, and a fire can start. 

Outside Spaces


Rain gutters do more than only divert water away from your plants and protect the landscape and exterior of your home. Gutters blocked with leaves, sticks, and other debris can cause damage to your roof and the foundation of your home. And repairing them may be pricey. a leaking roof or water damage to your home’s inside or exterior In addition, blocked gutters provide safe havens for birds, rats, and other pests. Check out 3 Simple Gutter Cleaning Methods: How To Clean Gutter.

Front Porch

The porch is an essential element of your home since it reveals the personality of the homeowner and how he or she runs their family. It does make an initial impression. If the porch is a complete mess, it may indicate that the owner is not organized both inside and out and may be viewed as messy. Check out How To Clean a Porch Floor for tips.

Finish With Floors

Even though you will need to dirty the floors up again during the moving in process, it is important to clean the floors before that begins. the reason being is that the furniture will be sitting on freshly cleaned floors and then you can simply touch up the open floor areas after you finish moving in.

If you have carpets, give them a good disinfecting clean.

Move In Cleaning

You purchased or signed a lease on a new property, and as the date for moving in approaches, you realize the house or apartment may require some cleaning before you settle in. Use the guide above to clean your home before you move in any furniture and household items.

Related Cleaning Routine Articles

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.