Here we go people. The countdown is on for moving day which means our window of being able to clean up this rental is slowly (well quickly) closing!
We talked to our landlord last week and told her the news. She is bummed but of course understands. She left us with one request… to really get the house clean. Mike and I feel very strongly that we need to honor her request. She has been a wonderful landlord and has given us so much flexibility. So operation clean up this house is in full force.
I’m going to make a checklist of all the rooms in our house – simply for accountability – and I will hopefully cross everything off in the next couple weeks. I’m also going to pass along some tips…
I have lived in a handful of rentals in my time and have definitely not done a good job at cleaning them up at the end and yes, my deposit was kept in return. This time? It’s not worth it, and we really care about our landlord and don’t want her to have to come out to clean. One time my sister moved out of her rental and was sent a bill for cleaning – my mom and her had spent at least two days seriously cleaning that place and they charged her for dusty baseboards. Dusty baseboards?!
Tips for Cleaning up your Rental
1. Don’t leave everything to the last minute.
If you dust your baseboards two weeks before you move out they won’t get coated with dust in the two weeks you’re packing and doing other things. Feel free to start ahead of time and knock out some of the daunting tasks before moving day.
2. Look high and low – don’t miss the small things
When my friends and I moved into our rental our senior year, the renters before us had forgotten to look up while they were cleaning. The ceiling fans and the corners of the ceilings were disgusting. I don’t even want to tell you how many wipe rags it took to get the gunk off the fan. Don’t skip those things – I think your landlord would rather sweep a little dust than pull out a ladder to clean the ceiling fan. Also don’t neglect your closets. Just because they’ve been filled with clothes doesn’t mean they’re dust free.
3. Fill nail holes
We’ve all been asked before moving in to not use nails and guess what? We all use nails. Do you landlord a favor and fill those in. It’s tedious, yes, but it’s also something that can happen before the day you move.
4. Manage your time wisely
The kitchen and bathroom are going to be the dirtiest rooms in your house – please spend more time in there than you do sweeping the floors. Unless of course your floors are disgusting, then maybe you should spend a little extra time on them.
5. Magic Erasers are your friend
Seriously, I took one of these and wiped down our bathroom walls (around the light switch, near the shower where water can splash, around the vanity, where the laundry basket rubs the wall) and it literally transformed the room. It looks cleaner than it did the day we got it just because a few small smudges were wiped off the walls.
Take a magic eraser to all your doors and any obvious marks on the walls.
WARNING: Don’t scrub too hard with the magic erasers – they have taken off paint for me before and that is usually not the desired result.
6. Vacuum attachments contain the dust
If you’re like me, dusting is the last thing on your cleaning list. It frustrates me because I wipe it up and then the dust is in the air and settles somewhere else. Nothing ever really gets clean. I think part of this is the old house we’re living in, but since I’ve started deep cleaning the vacuum seems to be the best option. The brush looking one? It’s great for dust.
7. Don’t leave everything to the last minute!
I realize I said this before, but I really believe it needs to be said again. Don’t kill yourself the day before your big move to try to get every knick and cranny clean. You have enough to be worried about – like moving into and unpacking your new home. Put away some extra time in the two weeks leading up to the move to clean. It will save you a huge headache and it will give you a much smoother and more relaxed moving day.
These things have helped us so far and I wish I would have thought through them in my previous rentals. It would have saved me lots of money and frustrations with management companies.
Since we are under the wire here, I have already started cleaning. It’s surprisingly fun for me. I put on Netflix in the background and just get to work. Happy cleaning, packing, and moving!
Oh, and Happy Hump Day!