Your New Home's Move-in Cleaning Checklist | CottageCare

A thorough cleaning will give you a great start in your new home. It takes time and effort to clean a house. If this is a new construction, dust and debris may pile up in unexpected places, while an established home can have dirt hidden in many areas. For a successful job, you’ll need a variety of cleaning supplies. 

It’s a comforting thought knowing your new living space has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before you move in.

Before unloading your personal belongings, we always recommend performing a move-in clean. In this way, every inch of the room will be given the attention it deserves.

At CottageCare, we do a thorough, general cleaning with some additional detailing for move-in cleanings. Here are simple methods for cleaning every surface, including floors, bedrooms, bathrooms, and living areas along with some tips outside of what our professional cleaners cover for you.  

The Ultimate Move-In Cleaning Checklist


The kitchen is the room in your home that requires the most attention on a daily basis. Keep your kitchen clean between meals, but don’t get stuck cleaning it many times a day. Additionally, if you want to remove the smell of the former occupants cooking from the kitchen, you’ll want to clean it thoroughly. You can do this by following these steps.

Cleaning the cabinets

If your cabinets are painted or lined, use a mild all-purpose cleaner on a clean cloth to clean the inside. Install shelf liners if they aren’t lined to ensure your dishes can be placed inside.

Ensure that the tops and doors of cabinets are clean. Use a wood cabinet cleaner if the surface is made of wood. Use a clean cloth and a gentle all-purpose cleaner to clean the handles and inside of the drawers as well. You can use a small hand vacuum to remove any loose debris from the interior of cabinets before wiping them out.

Cleaning countertops

While marble and granite counters require extra care, most counters require little maintenance. Clean the counters with a cleaner recommended for your stone or an eco-friendly general purpose cleaner.  If there are stuck-on spots, spray them and let the solution sit for a bit.  This should help to bring up any stubborn residue.

Cleaning the refrigerator

Here is a step by step on how to clean your refrigerator:

  1. Remove and wash any drawers or bins with hot soapy water.

Pro tip: Before washing refrigerator glass shelves, let them come to room temperature. If you don’t, the glass might shatter or crack.

  1. Clean the inside walls and any non-removable shelves with an all-purpose cleaner and a clean cloth.
  1. For drawers with debris, use a small hand vacuum to remove the debris before wiping out the drawers.


If you clean your bathroom surfaces every day, soap scum will be less likely to build up. However, soap scum isn’t the only thing you should worry about. Here we’ll discuss how to thoroughly clean the entirety of your bathroom. 

The trash is removed first and the throw rugs are placed outside of the bathroom.

Next, the perimeter of the room is cobwebbed, top to bottom, catching cobwebs and dust in the corners of the ceiling, lightly over/around wall hangings and light fixtures and along the woodwork and baseboards.

Tub and shower

At CottageCare, Bathtubs and showers are scoured and scrubbed with our strong, yet eco-friendly scouring paste which removes the difficult soap scum and grime. A crevice brush is used in grout and around fixtures and the scrub brush on rough or exceptionally dirty floors and wall tiles. Glass cleaner is used on the faucets. When finished, the shower will be dry, shining and no soap scum should be present when a finger is run along the tile.

Cleaning the toilet

Toilets are cleaned completely inside and out using our always eco-friendly general purpose cleaner that kills germs and cleans the surface with the use of a scouring pad. Crevice brushes are used on those hard to reach areas to ensure a sparkling, germ free toilet.

Wiping down the sink 

The sink, mirror and cabinets are cleaned by first scouring the sink using the scouring sponge, crevice brush and scouring paste. The faucet is cleaned with glass cleaner to make sure it shines as much as the countertops and mirrors.

Bedrooms and Living Areas

Regularly cleaning your bedroom will reduce the chance of you having to do a big, weekend-long clean. If you can, clean your bedroom every other day to keep it neat, tidy, and relaxing. After all, your bedroom is your sanctuary!

Wipe down surfaces

Pay attention to all surfaces, including the legs of chairs, the fronts of dressers, and nightstands, when wiping down. Four-post beds are prone to dust bunnies, so it is a good idea to clean your posts and your headboard regularly.

Dusting the curtains and light fixtures

Regularly dusting your curtains, lampshades, window treatments, and light fixtures can help keep allergies at bay while freshening up your bedroom.

Use a microfiber cobwebber wand tool (with an extension pole if needed) in combination with a clean cloth to lightly dust these features, or vacuum them on a low setting.

General Cleaning

While a weekly cleaning schedule may not be the best solution for everyone, it can be a great way to tackle one room at a time. Following a routine that allows you to focus on one major section of your home every day will keep you from feeling swamped…but, when you do, delegate to CottageCare professionals!

For general cleaning, a dry cloth, all-purpose cleaner, sponges, and a duster will do the trick for most parts of your home.

Hiring Professional Cleaners

Sometimes life can get hectic and a deep clean for your new home isn’t a priority. Moving and arranging where items will be placed are enough to make you want to avoid deep cleaning. We can help you alleviate some of the stress of moving into a new home with CottageCare’s cleaning experts. Not only will this save you time, but it will also give you peace of mind!

Move-In Cleaning: A Fresh Start in Your New Home

Getting your new home off to a great start means a thorough cleaning. Clean houses take time and effort. For a successful job, consider hiring CottageCare. Your new home will be sparkling and tidy when you choose our cleaning pros! Contact us today to schedule service.

Lake Norman CottageCare house cleaning crew
Lake Norman CottageCare house cleaning crew