Cleaning Up

In the ideal world of moving, you've probably arranged to have your new home cleaned—or did it yourself before the moving vehicle arrived. But, if you don't live in an ideal world, here are some suggestions for cleaning your house once the unpacking's done.

Moving Tips

If your new home needs a thorough cleaning and you want to hire out the job, schedule the cleaning before you move anything into the house. A professional cleaning crew can zip through very quickly if no furniture or boxes are in the way.

First, take a break! Have a cup of coffee or a cold drink. Eat a piece of fruit. Sit down and remember why you are doing all this. Now that you're finally in your new home with your possessions around you, evaluate again the potential of the house. Remember that you are in the middle of a big job. A messy job. Don't expect your home to be spotless for awhile. Get rid of as much of the moving mess as possible.

Next, break down moving boxes as soon as they are empty and store them in the family room, garage, attic, or elsewhere, depending on whether you plan to keep them for the next move, use them for out-of-season storage, recycle them, or sell them back to the movers. If you used a rental truck, hand truck, and furniture pads, return them as soon as possible. You want to avoid extra charges and your deposit back!

If you did a basic cleaning when it was easiest—when the house was empty—you're ahead of the game now. Now you just have to maintain the place. Once the kitchen and bathroom are furnished with your belongings, keep them wiped up and tidy while working at putting away things throughout the rest of the house. Besides being less work in the long run, it'll give you a clean, neat haven to escape to when the unpacking becomes overwhelming.

Make every member of the family understand that moving is not an excuse to become a slob, dropping clothing or other items on any handy surface, including the floor, with the promise, "I'll find a spot for it later." Now is better.

You probably got rid of lots of stuff as you moved smart. In fact, you may have thrown away some aerosol products and other essentials, knowing that they shouldn't be transported across state lines. On the other hand, you may be sure you packed that screwdriver, but in which box?

So you're going to have to make a trip—or many trips—to the store(s). Make the fewest trips possible by starting your lists now. In fact, you probably have some blank pages left in your Smart Moving Notebook. Use them. Start separate lists for these essentials:

  • Groceries

  • Hardware store (for that elusive screwdriver)

  • Doctors and vet

  • Pharmacy

  • Garden Center

  • Mover (questions and problems)

  • Jobs that need to be done soon

  • Repairs that should be made

  • Other (take trailer back by Tuesday, start newspaper delivery, never move again!)

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