Home » cleaning

How To Do A Move Out Clean In 20 Steps

in Advice, Preparing for a move by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

vacuum-cleaner-268179_1280My absolute least favorite part of moving out is the move out clean. It seems so pointless. At the end of a brutal day or three of backbreaking cleaning, you end up with a spotless home that you have to leave behind. Why couldn’t it have looked like that when you lived there?

Of course, the reason it didn’t look like that when you lived there is because you lived there. People are messy. Just maintaining a decent amount of cleanliness is hard enough. Who has time to spit-polish the floors and appliances?

Unfortunately, if you rent, that’s what the landlord expects. If you own, the new owners didn’t charge you a security deposit, but it is courteous to leave them a clean home, unless they are renovating.

I promised myself that the next time I move out, I will hire professionals. As with the entire moving process, you have to weigh the value of your time vs. the cost of the service. If you decide to do the cleaning yourself, here are some steps to make it easier, or at least more thorough.

1. Invite a friend. This had better be a close friend because it’s damned hard work, but it will make everything go so much quicker.


2. Once the home is completely empty, except for cleaning supplies and a source of music, vacuum thoroughly. Vacuum the walls and the blinds. Vacuum inside all drawers and cabinets. If the carpet is stained, hire a professional to clean it.

3. Remove nails and screws from the walls and putty them.

4. Clean the baseboards and clean any marks on the wall. If the marks don’t come out, you may need to paint – always use a neutral color, preferably the same color as when you moved in.

5. Clean the windows, both inside and out.

6. Wipe down wall switches, outlets and doorknobs.

7. Dust ceiling fans and wash light fixtures and replace burned out bulbs.


8. Thoroughly scrub inside all cabinets, re-line if necessary.

9. Remove soap scum from bathtub and shower and bleach the grout.

10. Clean the bathroom fixtures, floors and the mirror.

11. Vacuum the fan.


12. Thoroughly scrub inside all cabinets, re-line if necessary.

13. Scrub all appliances inside and out.

Remove all the shelves and drawers from the refrigerator and clean them thoroughly. Wipe down the inside of the refrigerator and freezer.

Run the oven cleaner, if there is an automatic one, but be sure to remove all the ash at the end of the cycle. The oven cleaning is best done before move out day, so it has time to run through the cycle and cool.

If you don’t have an automatic cleaning oven, you’ll have to buy oven cleaner. Be sure to wear a mask when you are spraying. Still, you’ll want to do this before the move out day, since it will need to sit for 24 hours and then you’ll need to thoroughly scrub it out. Remember, the broiler pan is made from the same metal as the oven, so it will withstand both the heat of a cleaning cycle and the oven cleaner in a can.

14. If the sink is not stainless, remove all stains (bleach if necessary).

15. Finish off all surfaces, including counters, chrome faucets, mirrors and sinks, with window cleaner. It will make them shine.

16. Pull out the appliances and sweep under them. Wipe down the sides and the back as they are pulled out.


17. Clean the tile and hardwood floors.

18. Run the vacuum one more time and you are done with the inside.


19. Tidy up the outside, including mowing the lawn and pulling weeds.

20. Sweep and hose down the garage, patio and driveway.

Once you’re done, take a lot of pictures in case your landlord claims you have damaged something or that the place is dirty. Oh, and be sure to empty the trash.

Image courtesy Pixabay.




11 New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

in Advice, Holidays by Ninja Movers Leave a comment


The New Year, it seems, is a time when everyone takes inventory of their lives and vows to make a fresh start. It rarely works. In fact, the diet and fitness industries make the majority of their money by signing people up who don’t have the follow-through to keep with it, but keep paying for the hope. Don’t be discouraged, though. The mistake most people make is making changes that are too big. Their lives simply don’t have room to add an hour plus at the gym or for cooking separate meals. But all is not hopeless. You can make real and significant changes in your life without making overly dramatic changes.

1. Hug More Often – Consciously spend just an extra 30 seconds a day hugging each member of your family, including your pets. That alone will help lower blood pressure, ease anxiety and even help your memory. Interestingly, hugging strangers actually causes more stress.

2. Workout During Commercials – Little bouts of exercise really add up. If you watch two hours of TV a day, you will be subjected to about 30 minutes of commercials. Instead of sitting on the sofa fast forwarding through the commercials, use them as an opportunity. Run or walk in place, do jumping jacks, do pushups or do some weight exercises. Just get moving. If you’re anything like me, you’ll continue the activity long after the commercials end.

3. Read at Least 10 Pages of a Book Before Bed – Reading is becoming a lost art. We spend much of our free time in front of computer screens instead of in front of a good old fashioned book (books on tablets are okay). Vow to read a chapter a night and if that’s too much (my current book has chapters that are over 100 pages), read 10 pages a night. Your brain will thank you and you’ll be more interesting at parties.

4. Spend 15 Minutes a Day Cleaning Something You Don’t Normally Clean – Take off the handles on your stove, clean behind your refrigerator, vacuum the insides of your sofa, clean a couple of windows. You will be healthier and a lot less stressed.

5. Call One Friend a Week – I have friends that cover more than half the country. I rarely talk to them, but I really enjoy when I do. This year, I vow to talk to one of them once a week.

6. Inventory Your Friends – Sometimes, we have people in our lives who add nothing. In fact, they often leave us feeling worse about ourselves than before we talked to them. If you have friends that aren’t making a positive contribution to your life, dump them. It doesn’t have to be dramatic. Just say something like, “I really don’t think we bring out the best in each other. Perhaps, it’s best if we focus our energies on our other friendships.” I had to do that. My friend didn’t take it well (although she agreed that we didn’t bring out the best in each other), but I stood firm and I feel much happier for it.

7. Digitize One Thing a Day – Recently, my Ninjas delivered a beautiful media center that I bought at a little antique shop in Pacifica. Despite the fact that it’s pretty sizable, several boxes of CDs and DVDs still remain in storage. I can store my electronic media to iTunes (or the equivalent). Video media can be played back on most BluRay players, Apple TV, Roku and TiVo. If I digitize just one a day, I’ll have 365 fewer movies and CDs I’ll have to worry about storing. They aren’t built to last forever. This will keep you from having to replace them years down the road. If you’re not comfortable with iTunes or a cloud storage option, store them on an external hard drive. Scan interesting magazine articles. Sell books that you have no future interest in reading. You’ll be happy come your next moving day.

8. Deal with 10 Pieces of Clutter a Day – Either find them homes or get rid of them.

9. Replace Sugary Treats With Dark Chocolate – It’s nearly impossible to overeat dark chocolate and, unlike most candy, it actually has health benefits.

10. Buy a Slow-Cooker – Make a big batch of something tasty and healthy. The leftovers will keep you going for at least a couple of days and it will keep you from eating fast food.

11. Smile and Say Hello to One Stranger a Day – Who knows, you might actually make a friend or two.


Page 1 of 11
Customer Name:
Customer Email:
Contact Phone:
Moving Date:
Moving from Zip Code:
Moving to Zip Code:
Move Size:
Enter Captcha Code: