The Complete Move-in Cleaning Checklist

Moving into a new house is an exciting experience, except for one little detail all new homeowners hate: cleaning their new house. While many people skip this step, it’s always a good idea to clean before you start moving in boxes and furniture to ensure you home is fully clean from whomever lived there before (or from construction work if you’re moving into a new property). 

And even when you do remember to take care of the move-in cleaning, there’s a good chance that you might forget a few areas due to it being an unfamiliar home! Well, we’re here to help with that. The following move-in cleaning checklist is based on Summit Maids’ own move-in cleaning checklist to help ensure that you get all the tips and tricks of the pros to help you settle in to your new home with as little stress as possible.

House Cleaning Supply Checklist 

Before we jump into the move-in cleaning checklist, we’ll focus on another type of checklist that’s equally important: the house cleaning supply checklist. New homeowners overlook the importance of having all the cleaning tools before they start cleaning. When this happens, they find themselves lengthening the cleaning process and leaving dirty places. 

If you want to ensure the cleaning process goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible, you need to have all the cleaning tools lined up in advance and ready to go.  Below you’ll find a list with all the cleaning supplies you’ll need to have a sparkling clean new home by the end of the day.

To clean your home before moving in, you’ll want:

  • a reliable vacuum with good suction
  • microfiber cleaning cloths
  • all-purpose cleaner
  • disinfectant
  • broom and mop
  • cleaning bucket
  • sponges
  • window cleaning solution
  • paper towels 

For this reason, it’s handy to pack all of your cleaning products into a single box when you move, so that you just have to open one box to do your pre-move-in clean. 

Move-in Cleaning Checklist

Knowing where to start and how to clean a house before moving is confusing, at best and frustrating at worst. This move-in cleaning checklist is organized by rooms of the house to help you check off every area of your new home while keeping things manageable.

The goal of this checklist is so that you don’t forget to clean anything – you can also check our places you forget to clean post to be certain you’ve tackled all those sneaky places that often get left out. You can start wherever you see convenient or makes sense for your new home, but we like to suggest that you start either in the kitchen or at the top of the house and work your way to the bottom. Also, if you’re cleaning with your partner or children, you can distribute the rooms or tasks among them to tackle your move-in cleaning much faster. 


Unless you want to live on takeaway or eat over the sink, you might want your kitchen to be the first room you tackle when cleaning a house before moving. The kitchen is the heart of any home, and you’ll spend a lot of time there, whether it’s to cook or hang around throughout the day. 

  • Disinfect all appliances inside out – stove, oven, microwave, fridge, dishwasher, etc
  • Clean cabinets and drawers
  • Wipe light fixtures, light switches, handles, and other high-touch points
  • Disinfect the sinks, taps, and countertops
  • Vacuum everywhere, especially behind and under appliances
  • Mop the floor.


Bathrooms are another room that should have priority in any move-in cleaning checklist. Again, you’ll inevitably need this room from the moment you move into your new house. Some houses have many bathrooms, but, if you need to move ASAP, try to clean at least one of them right away and come back to the rest later on.

  • Change/disinfect the toilet seat
  • Disinfect the toilet bowl, sink, tap, shower, and tub
  • Wipe cabinets and mirror
  • Check for mold and clean it in full
  • Scrub tiles and grout to remove grime, then rinse well
  • Check and clean air vents, if necessary
  • Mop and let dry

Living room

Living rooms are usually one of the largest rooms in a house. So it may take you longer to clean it completely. You’ll notice some cleaning tasks include furniture, which is why you can distribute the cleaning tasks as you arrange the pieces of furniture.  

  • Wash window glass, sill, and tracks
  • Vacuum/steam clean carpets and upholstered furniture
  • Wipe all hard-to-reach places – behind and under furniture, door frames, shelves, etc
  • Disinfect door handles and light switches
  • Dust light fixtures and baseboards


Like living rooms, bedrooms can be cleaned in stages. First, tackle all the surfaces to ensure all the furniture and objects you introduce are placed in a clean space. Then, clean the furniture, carpets, and décor. 

  • Vacuum/steam clean carpets
  • Clean under the bed and behind the furniture
  • Wipe inside drawers and wardrobe
  • Wash window glass, sill, and tracks
  • Disinfect all surfaces
  • Dust light fixtures and baseboards

Don’t Want to Do it Yourself?

As mentioned, most people skip cleaning their new home before they move in – but if you’ve made it through this checklist, you’re at least considering the merits of starting this new chapter of your life on a sparkling clean note.

However, cleaning and scrubbing is definitely not an exciting way to start a new chapter, so in that case you might want to hire a cleaning company to finish this checklist before you even arrive. 

If that’s the case for you, then we’d be delighted to lend a hand. Summit Maids is one of Cleveland’s top house cleaning companies and our reviews can confirm it. If you’d like to see what we can do for you, check out out booking page for a free estimate or give us a call and we’d be happy to talk with you about your situation.


  • Jacob W. Bailey

    Jacob is the Cleveland-based founder and CEO of Summit Maids, a local cleaning company with a mission to make a mark on its community by providing good jobs to more than 1,000 people.