October 26, 2023
Movers carrying furniture through clean home

Every successful move starts with a moving checklist. And every checklist should include a thorough cleaning of both your old and new homes!

Here is your ultimate moving cleaning checklist to help you leave the new tenants with a fresh start, and help you settle into your nice, new, clean home.

Moving tips for cleaning before moving out of your old home

One of the best moving tips that professional moving companies can provide to their clients is to thoroughly clean their old home using a moving cleaning checklist before they move. It might seem like an annoying or unnecessary task, but it’ll actually help both you and the new tenants.

Why should you clean your old home before moving out?

You want to move into a nice, clean home—and the new tenants of your old home want the same thing! Leaving your old place fresh and move-in ready is a kind and thoughtful thing to do for the next residents.

Additionally, thoroughly cleaning the place you’re moving out of will help ensure that you don’t accidentally leave anything behind. It’s easy to miss items that have fallen into the nooks and crannies of your closets, cabinets, and drawers. A deep clean will reveal that balled up hoodie behind your closet’s hanging clothes and the potato masher at the back of your kitchen drawer!  

How to clean your old home

One of the best ways to clean your old home is to start at the top floor and work your way down. Go room to room on each level—and don’t cut any corners! Start by dusting the ceilings and walls before vacuuming the baseboards and floors.

Give yourself plenty of time to do laundry. After all, you don’t want to move dirty clothes or bed linens into your new home! Similarly, you don’t want to move dirty or dusty furniture into your new place. Dust and clean your chairs, couches, and tables before moving day. Your move crew will carefully wrap your items in blankets and shrink wrap to protect them from dust and dirt during transport, and there’s no need to have them move dirty furniture when they could move clean items to your new dwelling instead.

Keep in mind that help is available to you if you need it. If you’re not sure how to clean your area rugs or upholstered furniture, look into professional cleaners for moving out. They can give you a hand and make sure your home is move-out ready!

Moving cleaning checklist for the move into your new home

Since not everyone will be as proactive as you are by cleaning your old home before you move out, it’s possible that your new place will need to be cleaned before you move in. It might take a little extra time, but cleaning your new place before you settle in can benefit you in the long run.

Reasons to clean your new home before moving in

Cleaning your new place has a variety of benefits. First, you get a fresh start in your new home without having to worry about the previous tenants’ leftover dirt or dust. Second, it can help prevent allergy flareups if you or your family is sensitive to anything that might’ve been left by your predecessors.

Third, deeply cleaning your new home can make painting easier if you choose to change the wall colors. Dust and wipe down the walls before applying the first coat of paint to avoid trapping dust underneath. You’ll wind up with a beautiful paint job and a nice, clean dwelling!  

Tips for cleaning your new home

It’s a lot easier to clean empty rooms than rooms full of furniture and boxes. If you have access to your new place prior to your actual move day, get in there and start cleaning! If you can’t clean before moving in, no problem—you just might have to move around some of your belongings to make sure you can wipe down walls and floor areas covered by your furniture.

Start by sweeping, dusting, and vacuuming the ceilings and walls in each room, then turn your attention to the kickboards and floors. Dust and vacuum the closets, and make sure the kitchen appliances are clean and ready for your food. Then you can bring in the nice, clean furniture, clothing, and linens that you prepared prior to moving out of your old place!

Room by room moving cleaning checklist

To clean is to prepare for your move. You don’t want to move your old home’s dirt into your new place, and you don’t want a previous tenant’s dirt to get all over your stuff at the new home. And although each home is unique, the below moving cleaning checklist covers the basics for most dwellings. Happy cleaning!

General Home

  • Dust ceilings, walls, and kickboards
  • Wipe down light fixtures and ceiling fan blades
  • Clean windows, frames, and windowsills
  • Disinfect doorknobs and light switches
  • Vacuum and wipe down floors
  • Clean lampshades with a dust rag or lint roller


  • Furniture
    • Wipe down the table, chairs, and stools
    • Pack up shelved items on bakers’ racks and hutches, then clean each shelf
  • Appliances
    • Empty and sanitize the refrigerator
    • Scrape off any ice from the freezer
    • Put your oven on its self-cleaning setting
    • Run a dishwasher cleaning tab through your dishwasher
    • Sanitize your sink and run a cleaning tab through your garbage disposal
  • Cabinets
    • Empty all items—donate or eat leftover food and wash the pots and pans
    • Dispose of old shelf paper and wipe down the inside of each cabinet
    • Scrub the outside of each cabinet
    • Sanitize all countertops
  • Take out the garbage and recycling


  • Scrub the bathtub and shower walls
  • Sanitize the toilet
  • Use glass cleaner on the mirror
  • Wipe down the vanity cabinet
  • Launder all towels and linens  


  • Wash all bed linens
  • Vacuum your mattress
  • Empty out your storage bed, dressers, and closets, and donate, sell, or dispose of what you don’t want or need
  • Wipe down all furniture
  • Dust and vacuum the closets
  • Deep clean area rugs
  • Launder all clothing and linens

Living Room

  • Dust, vacuum and treat the floor—the best method will be determined by whether you have hardwood, carpet, tile, etc.
  • Deep clean rugs and upholstered furniture
  • Dust electronics like your TV and stereo  
  • Wipe down your entertainment center, coffee table, and any other hard surfaces

Dining Room

  • Wipe down your table and chairs
  • Remove table leaves for easy cleaning and moving
  • Clean and carefully pack your China cabinet contents

Outdoor Areas

  • Cut away any overgrowth
  • Sweep paved surfaces like the walkway and patio
  • Pack up your patio furniture and grill  
  • Carefully box up your potted plants

Best cleaning supplies for your move

Of course, in order to effectively clean your old and new homes, you’ll need the right cleaning supplies on your moving cleaning checklist. Have plenty of rags, sponges, and scrub brushes at your fingertips. Here’s a pro tip: old towels or clothing that you decided not to keep during your move make great rags!

Be sure to use nontoxic and ecofriendly cleaning products whenever possible. These products are safer for your family, your pets, and the environment than harsh chemicals. Additionally, since some traditional cleaners can scratch or damage surfaces like floors and appliance casings, using natural products can help keep your home in great condition so you can enjoy it for years to come.

You handle the cleaning, and the best movers in Chicago will handle your move!

From conquering your moving cleaning checklist to transferring your utilities to your new address—and everything in between—you have more than enough on your plate as you prepare for your move. Let Move-tastic! provide you with the stress-free moving experience that you deserve!

Visit our website for a free estimate!

"We want your junk in our trunk"

© 2020 Move-Tastic. All rights reserved. Website design by Bright Spot Studio Web development by Pernix Solutions