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Preparing your home for a showing can be tough, especially when you’re still living in the house. One of the hardest things is keeping your home clean while you’re taking the other necessary steps to sell your home–like removing personal items, staging the house and increasing curb appeal. Without proper planning, the whole process can get a bit chaotic.

By following this simple checklist, though, you’ll be better prepared to clean your house so that it looks its best before potential buyers walk in:


  • Remake beds. Strip off the old linens and replace them with new ones so they look crisp. Tuck sheets in at the corner.
  • Clear clutter. Put everything out of sight–in drawers, baskets or closets–to organize later.
  • Clean furniture. Wipe down furniture with a damp cloth, or use the vacuum cleaner hose to get rid of dust and debris.
  • Dust. Dust all the surfaces–armoire, end tables, closet shelves, etc.–and remove all debris.
  • Vacuum the entire room. Start from one corner, and work your way back and forth from one end to the other. You should end at the door.


  • Clean the toilet. Use whatever type of cleaner you have on hand to thoroughly scrub the bowl of the toilet with a brush. Then wipe down the outer area with a cloth and cleaner.
  • Wipe the bathroom mirror. Use a glass mirror cleaner to wipe off marks, starting from the top corner and continuing in a circular motion.
  • Wash the sink. Scrub the spots around the sink and fixtures with a brush. Then use a cleaner to get the rest of the sink clean with a cloth.
  • Wipe the shower/tub area. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the shower and tub area. If there are any hard spots of grime, use a hard cleaner to remove it.


  • Clean up clutter. Put anything that’s out of place away in boxes or drawers.
  • Dust all surfaces. Dust tables, fireplace mantels, window blinds and shades, and so forth. Use a long-armed duster to reach your ceiling fan and tall bookshelves.
  • Use glass cleaner. Use a glass cleaner to wipe down anything made of glass.
  • Vacuum. Use a vacuum cleaner to speed clean any carpeting or rugs.


  • Remove clutter. Remove all clutter from counter, cabinets and table area.
  • Clean counters and cabinets. Wipe down counters and cabinets with a cloth and all-purpose cleaner.
  • Wipe appliances. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the fridge, dishwasher and cooktop area.
  • Load dishes. Put all dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Think about cleaning your stove top burners in the sink and then putting them back on the stove.
  • Clean the floor. Sweep and then mop the floor, starting from the back and working your way out. If you have a hardwood floor, you’ll need to use a specific cleaner.
  • Take out the garbage. Don’t risk repelling buyers with smelly trash.

Source: Andrea Davis/RISMedia’s Housecall