Tuesday, May 19, 2015


So admittedly, I am not the tidiest person in the world (no surprise to anyone who has been to my house).  But while I have no problem living in my own mess, I am still a germaphobe when it comes to thinking about who else has been somewhere before me.  While I can't always sanitize every inch of a hotel room (one of my favorite parts of owning our own travel trailer) I can at least make sure that every new place that we live is spic and span and has a clean slate for collecting our own personal germs.  Of course, as a military family we have had lots of practice with move-in cleaning and I have also somehow gotten roped into helping several of my family members with their moves over the years.  

Everyone knows how to clean the obvious places, floors, kitchen, bathrooms, windows, etc.  But there are a lot of little nooks and crannies that get overlooked, especially if you hire someone to professionally clean for you.  We have had professional cleaners come in before, which is a huge help for all the major mess areas but I ALWAYS give everything a good sanitizing myself too.  Think about it, no one is going to clean your house as well as you since it's your tush that will be sitting on that toilet.  

So here is my list of places that people tend to overlook when cleaning a 'new' home:

1. Walls!- no, you don't have to scrub every square inch but you might want to take some disinfectant to a few key areas.  
  - Back splash- food, grease, and who knows what else.  They may look clean but just remember you will using this area to prep and store your own food so cross contamination is very likely.
  - Around toilets- the toilets themselves should be an obvious place to clean but the complete area around them are often overlooked.  walls, floors, nearby cabinets and outsides of showers/tubs are all in the 'splash zone'.  Super gross, I know but a necessary area to address.  
  - Behind towel bars- think about it, every time you get done wiping your entire body with a towel and hang it back on the towel bar that towel then rests against that spot on the wall.  It did the same thing with the hairy guy that lived there before you so make sure and sanitize that spot.  
  - Eating/cooking areas- not just the kitchen but the breakfast table, bar, dining room, etc. get a lot of food splatter (especially if toddlers have lived there in the past).  
  - Areas you are painting- not necessarily for sanitary reasons, but a good dusting is highly recommended before you paint anything.  Not only will it help paint adhere better but it will also help keep mysterious specs out of your paint job.  I recommend a Swiffer type dust mop to reach high areas and to make the job go a little faster.  
2. Handles-doors, knobs, cabinets, light switches.  Any area that has frequent contact with any ones hands not only gets germy but also grimy and dirty looking.  Lysol and a rag can go a long way but for tough spots (around door knobs often get a lot of dirt transfer) try a Magic Eraser
3. Holders- drawers, shelves, medicine cabinets.  Anything that holds your toothbrush, towels or unmentionables probably held someone else's before you so give it a good scrubbing.  Clean all cabinets and drawers inside and out.  You know that toothpaste splatter on your bathroom mirror, get the last guys off before you add yours.  
4. Hangers- toilet paper holder, hooks, towel bars.  Think about it, when do you change the empty toilet paper roll?  Yeah, that is when everyone changes it, so clean that entire area.  If your TP holder has one of those springy plastic things just throw it out and get a new one.  They sell them everywhere, dollar store, Walmart, even the grocery store.  

5. Cleaning Tools- washer/dryer, disposal, dish washer, sink drains, tub jets, shower heads.  All the things that are used for cleaning, DEFINITELY need to be cleaned themselves.  For the appliances, check the hardware store for cleaning products specifically designed for these areas.  For your sinks, tubs, showers make sure to get every nook and cranny including the overflow drain.  I always run a jetted tub with cleaning solution (I prefer bleach but check to make sure it won't ruin your jets) several times before I ever step foot in the tub myself.  

I hope this list doesn't gross you out too much.  These are of course all things that you should clean in your home regularly anyway but my most thorough cleaning always comes when we first move in (or when we have a guest coming to stay).  Also, if you live in a brand new home don't just assume that none of this applies to you.  I have been on many, many construction sites that are much nastier than you could even imagine.  Even the best contractors have occasional disgruntled employees who are just plain nasty so clean that tub before you take your first bath.  

What areas do you make sure to give an extra good scrubbing in a new home?  

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