How to Clean Out Your House Prior to its Sale

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Nov 16, 2022

First impressions are important for anyone selling their home. Unfortunately, homeowners don’t get a second chance to impress potential homebuyers. Ensuring your home is thoroughly clean and spotless is an excellent way of making a great first impression when listing it for sale. Besides creating a good impression, cleaning makes the house more appealing, less personal, looks more spacious and increases property value. Below are cleaning tips to consider when preparing your home for sale.


Decluttering is an important step that comes before cleaning the house. Decluttering helps homeowners clean out trash and significantly reduces luggage for those planning to move out. How long you’ll spend decluttering depends on the size of your home and how many items you should sort through.

You should also sort items when decluttering. Create a sorting system that helps you classify items into what you should keep, toss, sell, or donate. Your sorting system when decluttering should have the following categories:

  • Trash – non-essential items you haven’t used in years, and nobody possibly wants them.
  • Sell or donate – items that you haven’t used within the last year, and someone can pay for them.
  • Keep and box – items you’ve used within the last year but not six months before.
  • Keep and stage – items used on a daily or weekly basis.

You should plan how to clean out trash depending on the amount and size of the project. Generally, you should discard or recycle unused items responsibly. This might mean purchasing durable trash bags, renting a temporary dumpster, or hiring a junk removal company.

Thoroughly Clean Appliances

Most homeowners don’t realize, but household appliances attract a lot of dirt, especially if you’ve lived several years in the house. For instance, the kitchen is a major selling point, but it harbors a lot of dirt that should be cleaned. You should divide your home into sections and clean appliances in each room sequentially.

Be it the fridge, oven, or cabinets, start by removing all stored items. Wipe down the appliances with a cleaning spray or disinfectant wipes, ensuring you get into all nooks and crannies. You should then wipe with a damp cloth and stainless-steel spray if the exterior is made from stainless steel.

Scrub the Bathrooms

Cleaning your bathrooms may not be enjoyable, but it can make a difference when selling your home. If your bathroom fixtures are updated, you should focus on scrubbing the sinks, toilets, and bathtubs deeply. Like other parts of your home, ensure that you use the right product, which is baking soda and white vinegar, for most bathroom surfaces. You can use oxygen bleach on your dirty grout tiles.

Freshen the Outdoor Space

Deep cleaning a house before selling shouldn’t be limited to the interior. Freshening the outdoors improves curb appeal, increasing marketability and value. Simple activities, such as adding grass seeds to fill dead patches on the lawn, planting new flowers, mulching, and trimming, can rejuvenate your outdoor space. You should also thoroughly clean the outdoor fireplace, kitchen, deck, and roof.

Clean Windows and Mirrors

Windows and mirrors are the most forgotten parts of a home. Unfortunately, they can turn off potential homebuyers. You should use commercial window cleaners or homemade sprays for your interior and exterior parts of the windows. As for the mirrors, a mixture of white vinegar and water in equal parts can do the trick.

The Bottom Line

You should also check the lights and lighting fixtures when cleaning your house for sale. After cleaning all parts, you should focus on eliminating pet odors and ensuring all rooms are orderly. These simple and less costly activities can make your home appealing and valuable.

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