What to Clean Before You List Your House

After making the decision to sell your home, there are many things to think about and check off your list before you put your home on the market. One of the first things to do is to make a plan to thoroughly clean your home so it will show well and sell quickly. Below are some specific areas that should be cleaned before listing your house. 


Whether you live in a home 2 years or more than 20 years, chances are you have a lot of extra “stuff.” Moving is a good time to go through and clear out things you no longer want or need. Decluttering will not only make you feel better and lighter, but it will give your home a cleaner feeling to prospective buyers. Divide things that no longer fit your life into three piles: throw away, recycle/repurpose, or donate, and promptly dispose of or give them away. Check out these tips on cleaning out your home any time of the year, including the holidays.

Floors and baseboards

We all vacuum and sweep our floors on a regular basis, but we don’t clean baseboards and vacuum under furniture as often. Wipe down your baseboards and door facings, and move your furniture and vacuum up the accumulated dust and dirt behind and beneath. You will be amazed at the difference this makes in your home. If carpets need cleaning, hire a professional carpet cleaner or rent a quality cleaner to do it yourself.


Clean windows make a world of difference in a home. Use a quality glass cleaner to wash all windows inside and out. Wipe down the window sills and the blinds as well. While you are at it, clean all mirrors and other glass surfaces as well. 

Light fixtures, lamps and ceiling fans 

Cleaning a light fixture can give it new life and allow extra light to shine through. Wipe down or dust lampshades and make sure all bulbs are in good working order. Clean ceiling fans to remove dust and dirt. Wipe down the switch plates, outlets and door handles for an extra layer of clean.

Dust and cobwebs

Cobwebs sometimes like to set up residence in homes, so take a long-poled duster and get rid of all cobwebs where the ceiling and walls meet, especially in the corners. Dust all surfaces and furniture from top to bottom. Vacuum all upholstery and drapes with an upholstery/drapery attachment and consider sprinkling baking soda on carpets or in the bag before vacuuming for a clean scent. 

Kitchen cabinets and appliances 

Wipe down all kitchen cabinets and drawers, inside and out, with a solution of vinegar or baking soda and warm water or other mild cleaner. Scrub countertops and the sink and faucets, taking extra care to remove build up around edges. Throw away old or expired food in the pantry and fridge. Organize cabinets and get rid of anything you don’t use or no longer need. Clean the outside of all appliances and the inside of the refrigerator, oven and microwave. There are special cleaners to run through your dishwasher to disinfect it. Consult owners’ manuals for recommended methods for cleaning your appliances. 


Clean bathrooms can make a big difference when showing your home. Remove excess items off of countertops and scrub the sinks, tubs, showers and toilets well. Mop floors and deep clean them if necessary. 


Make sure your lawn is mowed and remove all sticks and debris. Trim shrubbery that obstructs the view of the home or blocks windows, and make sure driveways and sidewalks are clear. If needed, power wash these areas. Make sure gutters and downspouts are clean and put away any toys or unnecessary yard equipment or tools.  

A clean home will definitely show well and increase the odds that it will sell faster. Taking the time to clean the mentioned areas will make a significant difference. Check out our other resources to clean your home and contact our professional for all your Charleston real estate needs!