Cleaning a House Before Moving in Portland, OR

Moving can be an exciting time, but it can also be hectic, overwhelming, exhausting, and time consuming. The temptation to just move into your new home and get the cleaning done later can be very alluring.  So why shouldn’t you just move in? Is there any real reason for cleaning a house before moving in Portland, OR? I would argue that there are quite a few reasons and that they outweigh all the reasons not to do it.

Reasons for Cleaning a House Before Moving In

The first reason that comes to mind is probably not the most compelling. It’s probably more emotional than practical: get rid of the previous people’s dirt for no other reason than to make your home truly feel like YOUR home. Until your new home is clean – really clean – it won’t feel clean.  Even if the people who moved out of your home had it cleaned or cleaned it themselves, will you be completely comfortable and “home” until you know that it is correctly done? There are few things that you can do that will make you feel as good as a clean home will. During this hectic, overwhelming time, a happier mental place should be good enough reason to make sure your home is cleaned thoroughly before moving in. But there are more to be sure.

The next good reason for cleaning a house before you move in is because it will be easier if you want to clean everything. Not easy, but definitely a lot easier. The more items you move into your new home before the cleaning begins, the more you will have to move to get to all the surfaces, effectively compounding the amount of work. If you’re doing the work yourself, prepare yourself for the job to be much harder and to take much longer than you might anticipate.

When a home is empty it can look like a very easy job, but the truth is that there is a lot more that needs cleaning. Not only is there a lot more area to clean because none of the areas will be covered, but Inside cabinets, cupboards, closets, etc. can and will take much longer than you might anticipate. Make sure you allot enough time, or you will find yourself even more frustrated. A good rule of thumb is to find out how long a professional estimates that the job will take, then double it for yourself. Professionals have tools, products, and systems that drastically cut the time needed for thorough cleaning.

If a clean home is important to you, then this might be the most compelling reason of all. If you don’t do it before you move in, chances are excellent that it will never get done. The amount of energy and time that will need to be expended to do that very thorough move-in cleaning rarely comes available again.  There is a sweet spot right before you move anything into the home when it is primed and ready.  Missing that window will make the task seem almost impossible.

Cleaning Both Soil and Germs

Hopefully I’ve convinced you to do a thorough cleaning before you move in. If so, here are a few tips to gets you started in the right direction. You will be dealing with 2 issues when you clean: soil and germs.

When a house is empty it can look clean if there has been even a modest amount of cleaning done. I think we can all agree that looking clean is not the same as being clean. Regardless of the cleanliness of the people who lived in your home before you move in, we humans are inherently germy critters. Along with this propensity for creating germs, comes the irritating problem of our incompatibility with some germs. For example, the science is that although the germs of your family members are not the same as yours, you do become substantially more immune just by being in the same living space, making your germs compatible. You can read more about this in an article from newscientist.com called Your Immune System Becomes Like Your Partner’s When You Cohabit. Unfortunately, the exact opposite is true of those you don’t live with. Moving into a home with someone else’s germs exposes and taxes the immune systems of your entire family.

The process of removing germs from a home is more involved than simply wiping Clorox bleach over all the surfaces.  Have you ever read a disinfectant bottle’s label? They all say the same thing: “Surface must be thoroughly cleaned before being disinfected.” That’s because detergents contain cleaning properties that remove soil and organic matter (don’t think about that too much). Disinfectants, on the other hand, contain the active ingredients that remove microorganisms. Organic matter can create a barrier that prevents the disinfectant from working. All of that is just a geeky way of saying you MUST do one before the other and both need to be done. This article from tristel.com goes into greater detail on the subject.

Soil is typically anything that you can see on a surface. Soil could be food-based as you might find in a kitchen, or more dust-based, or organic-based as you might expect to find in a bathroom. Use a general-purpose cleaner along with a microfiber cloth as your best basic tools for cleaning. Depending on the amount of soil that is present you may opt to have a degreaser, sponges, brushes, and assorted scrubbing pads on hand as well.

Start with the Kitchen

Starting to clean in the kitchen will you give you a very good idea about how long the cleaning will take you in total, based on the actual cleanliness of your home. The kitchen will be approximately ¼ of the total cleaning time. A thorough kitchen cleaning can take anywhere from 60 minutes to 4 hours depending on the size, level of soil, condition of the cabinets, and appliances that need cleaning. Wear gloves during the cleaning process as you will have your hands in water and chemicals virtually the entire time.

Here is a partial list of areas you will want to clean in the kitchen: Inside all cabinets and drawers. Remember to clean the sides, tracks, lips, etc. Counters to include the backsplash, face, sides, etc. The sink. Remember to clean all the way down the drain and if there is a garbage disposal you will want to clean that as well. Ice, lemon peels, and baking soda make a quick cleaner that will leave your garbage disposal clean and fresh. Dishwashers can get very built up with organic matter and debris. There are a lot of dishwasher cleaners on the market that can save you the elbow grease of having to take it apart and clean the entire thing by hand. Ovens can be tricky. If you have the option to run a self-clean function, use it. If not, there are many oven cleaners on the market, just be vigilant about cleaning out the residue well before using the oven for cooking. When cleaning the floors, make sure to hand wash the baseboards also.

Next, Move to the Bathrooms

Bathrooms can be time consuming because of the tendency of hard water to build up on surfaces. Using a good hard water remover in the shower can mean the difference between scrubbing for 10 minutes or 90. Take extra care when using hard water removers as many can damage the more delicate metals. Be sure to wear gloves when using these products. Clean cabinets and drawers in the same manner as you did in the kitchen. Clean the light bar and bulbs when they are cool to the touch, to keep them from breaking. Remove the toilet seat completely before cleaning the toilet. You will be able to clean all the details easier on both the commode and the seat this way. Do the floor last and use something to pick up any hair before you use a cloth or mop. After cleaning, disinfect all areas including light switches, knobs, and handles.

Cleaning the Dry Rooms

The dry rooms will take less muscle, but don’t be fooled by their emptiness. You will want to clean and disinfect all baseboards, window sills, tracks, and frames, closet shelves, all wood trim, light switches, knobs, and handles. Vacuum any carpeted areas first in one direction and then the other to pick up bugs, eggs, etc. Do the edging carefully and take your time, do not rush.

Cleaning as a Family

Having the entire family pitch in to help can drastically reduce the amount of time spent cleaning and give everyone a sense of a pride and ownership. Just remember to take appropriate safety precautions.  There’s also no shame in hiring a professional cleaning company to take the burden from your hands completely. The important thing is just to remember – cleaning before moving in, Portland Oregon.

Additional Resources

Whether or not you have plans for moving in Portland, OR soon, these resources may be useful in deciding whether professional maid service and house cleaning is right for your family.

About Castle Keepers House Cleaning

Castle Keepers House Cleaning has been at the forefront of innovation and leadership among house cleaning professionals for years. Our company pioneered environmentally friendly and sustainable cleaning methods in residential cleaning. Castle Keepers House Cleaning is  independently owned, not a franchise, with branches in Atlanta, GA, Charleston, SC, Greenville, SC, Portland, OR, and Dayton, OH. To find out more about us, click here.

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By |2018-05-16T10:14:41+00:00May 7th, 2018|