The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in the house making it also the most difficult to keep clean. However, with a little planning and deep-cleaning up front, you can keep the mess at bay. Here are ten recommendations for getting and keeping your kitchen in tip-top shape when it is listed:
- Cabinets – Reducing clutter in cabinets is essential for making your kitchen seem spacious to potential buyers. We recommend that you first get rid of everything that isn’t coming with you to your new home, such as old spices, broken dishes, and duplicate spatulas — Only keep what you will need for the next 90 days.
- Cabinet Facing – If your cabinet doors are a little worn or just greasy, first give them a cleaning as appropriate for their finish. If they need a little sprucing up, call in a cabinet refacing expert (we know a stellar expert, if you’re interested!) It will be much cheaper than replacing and the results are almost always amazing!
- Countertops – Depending on the material your counters are made of, give them an appropriate cleaning. Make sure the seams between pieces are clean and re-caulk if needed.
- Oven – The oven should get a good cleaning on the self-clean cycle. Also give the stovetop a deep clean, restoring it to new condition with the best of your ability. This is also a good time to clean the filters in the range hood.
- Fridge – Is it really necessary to stage the inside of your fridge? Yes! First, make a concerted effort to declutter by throwing away everything you aren’t taking with you. Old cheese, ketchup packets, and random condiments need to be disposed of. Then give the shelves and drawers a good cleaning. Do a similar treatment to the freezer
- Dishwasher – Although this does a good job of cleaning itself, clean the filter, clean the bottom and run a cycle with white vinegar if appropriate for your model.
- Garbage – The area around the garbage can can get a little messy. Give it a good cleaning and clean the garbage can while you are at it – inside and out. Same with any recycling containers.
- Sink – For your sink area, make sure the drain is sparkling clean, detail around the faucet, replace the sponge often, and run some citrus or vinegar down the drain to clear grease and smells.
- Dishes and Glasses – When you clean your cabinets, you may find that your dishes are chipped and you are ready for a new set. A fresh set of matching dishes and glasses can be just the ticket for breathing new life into your cabinet, but don’t include more than a set of eight.
- Pots and Pans – Determine your three to five most-needed pots and pans and pack up or get rid of the rest. If they are in rough shape, resist the urge to use a pot rack or store them on the cooktop. Find a handy cabinet and stack neatly.
A kitchen will usually be the make or break point for a potential buyer, so take the time to make this room shine and make it sparkle for the duration of the listing.