After the Renovation: A Clean-Up Checklist


If you just finished a major renovation that required moving everything out of your home, you can probably skip a few steps. If your furniture was pushed into a pile and covered with plastic — as mine was for one project — you may need a bit more elbow grease.

  1. Clean the walls, including the molding. If the walls are newly painted, stick to dry dusting. If you kept the old paint, wipe them down with a damp towel. You can wrap the towel around a broom or extension duster to reach high places. If you have walls covered in textured wallpaper or a natural material like grasscloth, vacuum them with the brush attachment. For other wallpapers, wipe down with a damp cloth, making sure to spot check first.

  2. Vacuum. If your floors are carpeted, go over them a few times. If they’re wood, tile, or linoleum, follow your vacuuming with a quick mopping.

  3. Use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum to clean any upholstered furniture that was “under wraps,” including mattresses. Also include any fabric window treatments or accessories.

  4. Take down and clean light fixtures, unless you had new ones installed. If you have a ceiling fan, clean the blades.

  5. Unscrew and clean your vents with warm, soapy water.

  6. Use a damp rag to wipe down wood or metal furniture, knickknacks, and any other miscellaneous items.

  7. Check on and change the air filter(s) in your home. Painters sometimes remove filters while painting, and forget to put them back in. A missing filter could damage your furnace. If your filter stayed up during construction, it’s best replaced with a new one.

    Voila! Enjoy your new and improved space!