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Monica Geller’s Move-In Cleaning Checklist
Congratulations! You’ve bought your new home. Also, gross! You’re moving into a space that has had a bunch of people walking through, inspecting every nook and cranny, and movers coming in and out of the home in their outside shoes. The horror! Even if on your move-in day, your place looks clean, chances are it’s not up to the standards of everyone’s favorite neat freak, Monica Geller.
Don’t worry; we’re here to help you channel your inner Geller-Bing and get your place up to her level. So whether you’ve just moved in or are looking for a good checklist for some deep cleaning, we’ve got you covered with our Monica Geller Move-In Cleaning Checklist.
If you’re not a clean freak like Monica, you may be wondering what products to use. One of my (and I’m sure her) favorite hacks is to create a solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and hot water. It’s a great natural cleaner and can act as a disinfectant, too. Just be sure to spot test before you go to town to make sure it won’t damage the surfaces you’re working on.
Now, let’s put on some yellow rubber gloves, get out the mop, and dive in:
Wipe Down Light Switches
How often have you cleaned your light switches? Exactly— and you’re moving into a space where other people were touching them all the time. Get germ, grime, and anything else off by wiping them down ASAP.
De-Gunk the Faucets
Don’t shower with the residue left behind by someone else. Soak faucets overnight in a vinegar solution. You can do this by putting Ziploc bags of vinegar and water and securing them to the faucet with a rubber band to get all the gunk out. Want to level up? Reenact one of those CLR commercials. These were the most satisfying TV ads of my childhood…and I’ll bet you that Monica G has a Pinterest board just for time-lapse de-gunking videos.
Clean Your Drains
Cleaning drains is a nasty chore, but it’s the best way to keep your plumbing in serviceable shape and get whatever was left behind by previous people out of your pipes. So get yourself a Giant Poking Device (the technical term, obviously) and snake those drains. Be careful about using Draino, as it can damage your pipes. It’s much better to remove manually than chemically. Sidenote: if your hair is anything like mine, Draino is just gonna make the situation worse by turning those stubborn hairballs into immovable radioactive fuzz blobs (yes another technical term.)
One of the biggest jobs you’ll tackle in a new house is scrubbing the floorboards to get rid of all the dirt—floors get mopped, but how often do floorboards get scrubbed? Exactly. A little bit of elbow grease will go a long way here. Warning: If Dateline has taught me anything it’s that, no matter how hard the killer cleans up after their crime, blood always collects under the floorboards. So if you’re gonna do a deep clean on the floor, expect the worst. Oh and here’s a fun, semi-disturbing fact: Per California civil code 1710.2 all deaths in the last 3 years must be disclosed to the buyers of a property.
Wash the Windows
You’d be surprised how often (or not) people clean their windows. Start with a fresh slate and wipe them all down inside (and out, if you can) with Windex or a vinegar solution. It will let more light in automatically and make your home seem brighter (and don’t forget the window sills while you’re at it.)
Filter the Air
Moving in is the perfect time to remember to swap out all your filters, like your HVAC, fridge, and dishwasher filters—you know, all the filters people forget to change because they never really think about? Start fresh from day one, and put reminders on your calendar to swap them out going forward as needed. You know Monica would have a Google calendar devoted solely to that, now. Not convinced? Look closely at your current air filter…and take a deep DEEP breath. Welcome to germaphobes anonymous. Meetings are held weekly at the Central Perk.
Let’s be honest, Monica is probably cleaning the doorknobs of any home she enters so you better believe she’s gonna be sterilizing the doorknobs of her new home with subatomic-like precision. That’s because there is probably no higher-touch surface in any home than doorknobs—and just like light switches and oven handles, how often have you cleaned these before? Exactly.
Shampoo the Carpets
Carpets are filthy, it’s just a fact—so either get yourself a carpet shampoo-er, hire one out from a local business, or hire someone to come clean them for you, but this is a task you absolutely should do ASAP. Not only will it get the dirt out, but it will also brighten the carpet. Dirt makes things dull!
Sage It Up
Nothing is New York-trendy like trying an old wive’s tale such as burning sage to freshen up your new space. We hear it’s supposed to prevent ghostly possession if one of your friend’s massage clients happens to die on their table (paging Phoebe!) Regardless of whether you believe that or not, it’s a good ritual to do since it claims the space as your own (and sage smells great.)
Look—not everything Monica did is to be emulated (roller-skating with plates of food sounds dangerous, and she should never have broken up with Richard), but her cleaning habits are something to be admired, even Google agrees (look up Monica Geller on your desktop and you’ll see why.) So follow these tips and enjoy your sparklingly clean new home. You’ll be glad you did.