5 Spots to Clean Before Moving Into a New Home

Ready your vacuum.

July 21, 2021
Photo by James Ransom. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth.

We’ve teamed up with Miele to share smart tips and tricks for making your cleaning routine more productive. But before you get started, you’ll need the right tools—check out the Miele Triflex HX1, which has the power of three cordless vacuums all in one.

Moving into a new home is, objectively, very stressful. In an ideal world, you’d move into a sparkling-clean apartment or house—but let’s be real, that almost never happens (especially in the case of rentals).

If possible, try to stop by your new home a couple of times before moving day to tackle any necessary cleaning—it’s much, much easier to do this before your boxes, furniture, pets, and family members arrive. Come prepared with your cleaning supplies of choice, plenty of reusable rags, a stepladder, and clothes you don’t mind getting grimy (just in case!). A lightweight, cordless vacuum is especially helpful to keep on hand for these jaunts, like the Miele Triflex HX1. This three-in-one vacuum comes with a variety of specialized attachments and configurations to help get your space move-in ready, no matter how dusty or dirty.

Of course, there are some obvious things you’ll want to vacuum first—like any hardwood floors, tile, or carpets—but don’t forget to add these less-expected places to your cleaning list, too:

Photo by James Ransom. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth.

1. Underneath and on top of cabinets and cupboards

These tricky spots might have been overlooked during the last clean, so get in there with your vacuum to clear out any dust. For some really tight corners, you might also need a crevice attachment. Don’t forget to vacuum the shelves, as well—once they’re dust-free, wipe ‘em down with some surface cleaner and a rag before stacking on the books, dishware, whatever you’re storing.

2. Fan blades and air vents

This is particularly crucial if you have dust allergies, since the buildup can be really heavy in these places if the home has been vacant for a while (just always make sure the fan and heating/cooling systems are turned off beforehand). A vacuum with reach mode, like the Triflex HX1, is ideal for cleaning dust from the top of fan blades, as well as air vents—use a dusting brush attachment to easily spiff up both.

3. The warming drawer

When you’re checking out your new home’s kitchen appliances, have a peek inside the oven and microwave just in case they need some extra cleaning. While you’re at it, you might as well vacuum the warming drawer under your oven to catch any crumbs left over from the last tenant. Use the compact, handheld mode of your vacuum for this (no special attachment necessary). After vacuuming, clean the drawer with soap, hot water, and a cleaning rag.

4. Sliding door tracks

So many things can get stuck in those pesky little tracks, like dust, pet hair, and even leaves. Once again, your vacuum’s handheld mode is your friend here, paired with a crevice attachment. If you notice any stains, sprinkle baking soda onto the tracks before spraying with a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar. Let this sit for a few minutes, then scrub the tracks with a toothbrush or wire cleaning brush. Wipe up the remaining residue with some cleaning rags.

5. The baseboards

Baseboards may not be the most obvious spot to clean in your home, but spiffing up this oft-overlooked place can make a massive difference in any room (especially if it’s been a while since they got some TLC). To get ‘em sparkling, vacuum them with a dusting attachment to get rid of any grime, then wipe them down with a microfiber cloth dipped in a warm water-soap mixture.

What are your go-to cleaning tips? Tell us in the comments!

For a vacuum that can handle any-size mess, check out our partner Miele's Triflex HX1 Cordless Vacuum—it’s got a clever three-in-one design for maximum flexibility and ease, plus up to two hours of nonstop cleaning time.

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Nina is a writer, editor, and enthusiastic home cook in New York City.