If you are relocating to a new area, your priorities may lie with packing, moving, and unpacking. However, you should also add pre-cleaning to your checklist. Even if the new tenants were clean, it's important to clean; and, even if the house is brand-new, it's important to clean beforehand. Here's why.
The Kitchen Can Be Quite Dirty
Freshome.com says that the kitchen is one of the dirtiest areas of the home. Stove knobs can contain yeast. Countertops can contain coliform bacteria from raw meat and grocery packages. And, since people rinse utensils in the sink and use wet sponges repeatedly, the sink could contain traces of E. coli., salmonella, and other bacteria.
If you have a lot on your to-do list, at least start with the kitchen and get to the rest of the house later. Besides removing the bacteria and grime, you'll be able to remove the previous owner's cooking smells. Wipe down shelves, countertops, and stoves. Clean under the range hood to remove grease; and, use a baking soda/water mix to scrub down the fridge.
There Could Be Construction Debris
If not one lived in your home beforehand, you may not think that you need cleaning. However, remodeled or newly built homes contain construction debris such as
- Dust on light fixtures
- Biofilm accumulation on glass windows and shower doors
- Sawdust from plywood, cabinetry, baseboards, floors, molding, etc.
- Particles from adhesives, caulk, paint spray, etc.
Even if you don't immediately see any debris, it's still important to clean the home as this debris could exacerbate those with allergies or compromised immune systems.
Again, when you don't have a lot of time on your hands during the move, take a damp microfiber rag or dusting wand, and sweep it across cabinets, walls, etc. quickly. Quickly dusting trouble spots will loosen up debris so you can easily vacuum it up once it settles. It's a good idea to have an HVAC tech also check your system and change dirty filters so that your home can have improved air quality.
It's a good idea to arrive before the movers if you can, so you aren't cleaning around boxes and furniture. There are many cleaning checklists you can download from the web. Start cleaning from the top of the house to the bottom. Divide up specific tasks with family members or have them each take a specific room.
Pre-cleaning may not be possible with your moving timeline; or, it may just be too stressful. Thankfully, there are residential and commercial cleaning companies that specialize in relocation cleaning and post-construction cleaning. Contact one of these services in your new area and meet with them before the movers arrive.