Listing your home to sell is a big deal!  You’ve made memories in your home and maybe even started your family there.  You will be opening up your home to strangers, allowing them to see whether your home is right for them to create their memories.  Before you list your home, it is essential to prep your house to sell to get the best price.  Aside from minor repairs and updates, the most critical thing you can do is thoroughly clean your home.  A clean home is a beautiful home. With that said, If you are a do-it-yourself kind of person vs. hiring a cleaning service, this article provides you with a house cleaning checklist that outlines the areas to focus on when you are starting the process of listing your home.

House Cleaning Checklist to Prep Your Home to Sell

Your deep cleaning checklist will go over the significant areas of focus to prepare your home to sell. It will assist you in ensuring that you do not forget anything and, more significantly, that you pay attention to those often neglected areas. If you’re ready to clean your house, you should start with the major stuff and work your way down.

The Big Things

Knowing the essential areas of your home to clean is a crucial component of learning how to clean your property for sale. These are the areas and items in your house that prospective buyers are most likely to notice. Potential buyers pay attention to the details so they can imagine themselves in your home.  If your home is dirty, you could lose the sale.  As a result, you should pay extra attention to cleaning the following areas.

The refrigerator, dishwasher, and oven

While you may not notice that anything is off in the way your appliances appear and smell daily, prospective buyers will see them with fresh eyes. As a result, you’ll want to make sure your appliances are spotless on the inside and exterior. 

  • Refrigerator: Ensure your refrigerator is empty and every shelf and drawer is thoroughly clean.  If you are living in the home, this may not be possible; however, be sure that your refrigerator is thoroughly clean inside and out.  Baking soda and warm water or vinegar and warm water are great to clean the inside of your refrigerator.    
  • Dishwasher: Your dishwasher, over time, can become dirty inside from tiny particles of food that get trapped in the filter, causing a foul odor. First, remove and clean the filter and wipe away any particles or scum around the drum area. Next, add distilled white vinegar, approximately 2 cups, to the drum and run your dishwasher to eliminate any bad smells and scum build-up from detergent.   
add cleaning appliances to your house cleaning checklist
  • Oven: No one likes to clean the oven; however, your potential buyers do not want to see the leftover particles from your past meals if they happen to take a peek inside.  A simple overnight way to clean your oven is to use water, vinegar, and baking soda solution.  Spray the inside of your oven, do not spray the heating elements.  This solution can be left to sit inside your oven overnight for a minimum of 12 hours and then wiped clean the next day.


Over time your kitchen cabinets will begin to have a buildup of grease and grime.  And while our cabinets are generally a focal point in any kitchen, most individuals do not clean them very often. However, by using gentle dishwashing soap and warm water to clean your cabinets, you can be assured that your cabinetry will come out beautifully clean.     

The sinks, baths, and toilets

Pay special attention to the sinks, toilets, and bathtubs as they are used daily and are high-traffic areas.  You’ll want to spend some time scouring the sinks, showers, bathtub, and toilets, and be sure to eliminate any stains that developed over time. These areas are pretty simple for even inexperienced observers to inspect. However, a little additional effort in your cleaning can go a long way for a potential buyer.

Counters and walls

There are a couple of concerns when it comes to walls and counters that you should address. The most obvious is smudges and markings that have collected over time – a good scrubbing should get rid of most of them, but don’t be afraid to invest in a professional cleaning if you can’t get them out. More pressing is any damage to the walls or countertops, which may require fresh paint or even putty to repair. Finally, ensure that these areas appear as new as possible.

Baseboards and floors

Your flooring is the most visible area in your home. If they are not clean, the remainder of your house will seem dirty. Take the time to clean any carpets and use a good cleanser for your hardwood floors. Streaky floors are not your friend.  You may also need to remove scratches from specific locations on flooring or baseboards for a refreshed look. To achieve the best results, vacuum the floors and baseboards before using any cleaners. A good hack for cleaning baseboards is to use a fabric softener sheet to wipe them down.

checklist for cleaning your house before selling

The little details

Aside from the big stuff, it is also important to clean the little things as well.  The below items may not seem to be a source of concern, but they are things that most serious buyers would check for before making an offer on the house.

Mirrors and glass

The aim here is to get rid of all streaks and smudges you may discover. Make use of a good glass cleaner or DIY cleaner to make your windows and mirrors sparkle.  Mirrors assist in making rooms appear more prominent, so make sure they are clean and reflect light effectively. Be sure to dust all glass as well since dust particles can make your home appear dingy.

Light fixtures

Before you leave, you should thoroughly clean all of your light fixtures. Because this is a multi-part assignment, be prepared to put in some effort. Begin by removing the lightbulbs so that you can replace them if necessary. Then, using a microfiber cloth, wipe the inside and exterior of the fixtures. Finally, remove any buildup by using a glass cleaner if needed.  When you’re through, replace the bulbs.  This simple cleaning task will leave your light fixtures looking refreshed and provide brighter lighting in your home.

Switch Plates

Over time, your switch plates begin to show signs of wear and tear. You’re not only continuously turning on and off lights, but you’re also constantly touching the plates without realizing what’s on your hands. Therefore, it is critical to inspect each switch plate to assess how much work will be required. Remove the plates to verify they are clean since there may be some build-up around the edges of the switch plates.  Most of the time, disinfectant wipes will suffice, although you may need to replace any switch plates that are damaged. 

Ventilation and fan blades

When was the last time you checked the vents and fan blades in your home? You may have done some light dusting here and there, but these are parts of the house that often go unnoticed or only get cleaned occasionally. To begin, remove the vent covers and clean them both inside and out to remove dust. For your fan blades, be sure to remove each blade, if possible, and clean them. Finally, wipe down the exterior housing of the entire fan to make it shine.


Your home’s hardware, like your switch plates, suffers from wear and tear that you probably haven’t noticed over the years. On the most basic level, you want to remove fingerprints and random dirt accumulated over the years. For the most part, wiping down cabinet hardware and doorknobs should be sufficient; however, if the hardware is metal and appears to have any damage, you may need to apply a metal cleaner to return it to its former condition. 


Your window sills are another place that collects a lot of dirt and dust. Unfortunately, most individuals overlook the sills or just give them a light dusting from time to time.  However, when buyers come to look at your house, they will use your windowsill as a litmus test to evaluate how thoroughly you have cleaned your home. As a result, instead of just dusting the windowsills, we recommend that you carefully wipe them clean. Then, if needed, give them a fresh coat of paint to make them seem like new.

indoor house cleaning checklist

Indoor House Cleaning Checklist

Because potential buyers will spend most of their time looking at your property, cleaning the interior should be a top focus.  If you want to go the extra mile, we recommend decluttering all closets as well as the pantry.

  • Clean out and sanitize the Refrigerator, dishwasher, and oven.
  • Wipe down all cabinets, cabinet handles.
  • Clean and sanitize sinks, baths, and toilets.
  • Sanitize counters and wipe down walls.
  • Thoroughly clean all baseboards and floors in every room.
  • Vacuum all carpets throughout the house.
  • Carpets should be steam cleaned if needed.
  • Hardwood floors and tile floors should be clean and streak-free.
  • Each room’s window seals should be vacuumed and cleaned.
  • Clean all the windows both inside and out.
  • Wipe down all cabinets and cabinet handles with gentle dish soap and water.
  • In each room, wipe off the tops of door frames and door knobs
  • Clean ceiling fan blades.
  • Wipe down and clean all vents.
  • Wipe down all switchplates.

Outdoor House Cleaning Checklist

Curb appeal makes a big difference.  Don’t make the mistake of neglecting the exterior of your home when listing it for sale.

  • Garages and outdoor storage sheds should be cleaned and decluttered.
  • Keep all outside plants hydrated and trimmed to ensure they look their best.
  • Trim any bushes or shrubs to make them seem more consistent.
  • If necessary, clean and paint the entrance door area.
  • Stain any decks or wood surfaces that require updating.
  • Rake the leaves in the yard and place them in garbage bags.
  • Remove any stray weeds from the yard or driveway that may be popping up.
  • Clear any debris from the gutters and double-check that the rain shields are secure.
  • There should be nothing leaning up against or against the side of the home.

When cleaning and decluttering your home for sale, KC Dumpster is here to help in a big way! Oftentimes, going through the house cleaning checklist can accumulate quite a lot of garbage, trash, and clutter. Add calling KC Dumpster, Lee’s Summit’s best haul away dumpster rentals, to your checklist. We deliver the dumpster right where you need, when you need it. From there, just load up the dumpster with all the debris and garbage you have collected while getting your house ready for market. After you’re finished, we will haul the dumpster away. 

outdoor house cleaning checklist

Last Thoughts on Your Home Cleaning Checklist

From your appliances to your garage doors, your house cleaning checklist is most likely packed full. However, try not to stress. We hope the above list helps you throughout the process of selling your home. Before you put your home on the market, go through our checklist above and start crossing tasks off. KC Dumpster is here to help the process move along by taking away trash and other debris from your property. Contact us today