Selling Your House? Make it Sparkle with Our Deep Cleaning Guide

A deep cleaning session can significantly boost your home’s appeal when you’re getting ready to sell. In this guide, we walk you through the essential steps to prep your home.

Step One: Decluttering

Selling your home is great motivation to declutter and discover what you really want to keep and what really has become clutter in your home. You can really go through everything in your home and make a decision if all the clothes and items in it reflect how you live now and how you want to live, and simplify and declutter your life. Here are a few steps for  decluttering your home prior to selling:

  • Begin by evaluating each item in your home, questioning its utility and emotional significance. Create three distinct piles for your belongings: keep, sell, and give away. For items to keep, consider whether they serve a functional purpose or hold significant sentimental value. For items to sell, identify those in good condition that may not fit your future space or lifestyle. Lastly, consider donating items that can still be used by others but may not have high resale value.

Step Two: Packing Non-Essential Items

After decluttering, the next step is to determine which items you can live without on a daily basis while your house is on the market. This is a critical phase in preparing your home for sale, as it not only further declutters your living space but also personalizes it for potential buyers. By doing so, you make the space more appealing to a wider audience, helping them to imagine their own belongings in the home.  Here’s how you can tackle this:

  • Daily Use Assessment: Go through each room and make a list of items that are not used on a daily basis. These can include off-season clothing, extra dishware, books, and decorative items that contribute to visual clutter. Family photos, personal mementos and distinctive decorations should not be on display while you are showing your home.
  • Pack Strategically: Once you’ve identified these non-essential items, carefully pack them away. Be sure to label each box with its contents and the room it belongs to for easier unpacking in your new home.
  • Consider renting a storage unit if you don’t have enough space in your current home to store these packed items discreetly. A clutter-free home is more appealing to buyers and can make each room appear larger and more inviting.
  • Look at your home through the eyes of a prospective buyer and clear the countertops, neaten the bookshelves and organize the closets. Clear surfaces actually make a home feel larger.

Step Three: Depersonalizing

  • Remove fridge magnets, children’s artwork, and any personalized decor.
  • If possible, have pets stay with friends or family during showings and stow pet dishes during the showing. Remove pet bowls and toys, litter boxes and pet crates.
  • Stow children’s toys.
  • Box up memorabilia, photos, and personal items that aren’t necessary for day-to-day living.
  • Keep any personal items that are on a hallway or entrance ‘shelf’ to a minimum. Two or three items at most.
  • While your family portraits and vacation mementos may bring you joy, to a potential buyer, they can feel like distraction and make prospective buyers feel uncomfortable and make it difficult for them to imagine the space as “theirs”.
  • Less is more when it comes to wall hangings and decor. Choose a couple of items that complement the space without defining it entirely.
  • Particularly in New Haven County, where there are many historical and architecturally interesting “antique” homes that have retained their character and charm, it’s important to showcase, but not overshadow, any unique architectural features.

Step Four: Cleaning

  • Dusty shelves, soap film on the shower door, grime on the stove hood need to be addressed.  Dust behind and under furniture and beds and hand clean baseboards, window and door frames, and light fixtures. Make everything shine!
  • Pay extra attention to cleaning the areas people touch, such as door handles, light switches, and stair rails. Clean stair risers (which can get scuffed up) and outlet covers.
  • Use the right cleaning products for each surface.  Use light- or no-fragrance cleaning products like Biokleen, which are effective, and ecofriendly.
  • Clean window and door glass. Dust window blinds gently with a dampened microfiber towel if slats are 2″ or more, or close the blinds and dust them gently if they are more narrow than 2″ or made from thinner plastic.

Step Four: Soft Staging

Now that your home is clean and uncluttered, it’s time to put a few welcoming touches out to make your home feel warm and inviting:

  • Pillows – and a folded blanket – strategically placed on couches, chairs, and beds can add a layer of coziness to the room.
  • Flowers on the entry table are a great way to welcome prospective buyers.
  • A bowl of apples on the kitchen table bring color and texture into the kitchen seating area.
  • Put fresh guest towels out in the bathrooms.  A small potted plant can make a bathroom counter look fresh and inviting.
  • Fresh white linens, a down comforter, extra fluffy pillows and a blanket folded at the end of the bed makes your bed the focal point of the room and makes room feel spa-like.
  • If your home has any lingering odors (pets/garbage can/musty, etc.) use a good non-toxic deodorizer, like OdorXit, to remove odors and leave your home smelling fresh.
  • Adopting a minimalist approach to decorating can make your house appear cleaner and more spacious. When your home is decorated sparingly, it becomes a blank canvas for prospective buyers. They can easily envision their own furnishings, decor, and even their family living in the space. This not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your home but also allows buyers to mentally move in and imagine creating their own memories there. Aim for neutral tones and a few simple, tasteful pieces of decor to achieve a welcoming yet uncluttered environment.
  • Large furniture can make spaces feel smaller than they are. Consider repositioning or temporarily storing some pieces. 

Finally, step back and appreciate the efforts you’ve put into preparing your home for sale! Whether selling your home in Milford, or New Haven, or Guilford, the combination of cleanliness, organization, freshness and a sense of spaciousness will not go unnoticed by prospective buyers.

Selling your home in New Haven County, CT and need a professional Deep Cleaning? Call Belle Home Housecleaning!

Selling your home – and moving – is exhausting work!  And adding the difficult and time-consuming job of Deep Cleaning the house makes it even more exhausting. Let Belle Home Housecleaning scrub, polish, mop, dust, spray, wipe and shine your home into shape.  Whether your home is in Hamden, New Haven, Milford or Orange – and surround Connecticut areas – we’re here to make your home look its best! Call us today at 203-647-0383 or visit us at