There’s really nothing worse than moving into a place and finding it dirty, and so if you are leaving a place for someone else to move into, it’s simply good manners to leave it looking decent. Of course, if you have been renting, you will want to get your deposit back, and some landlords can be very picky indeed about the standard of cleanliness that they expect from their departing tenants.
You might imagine that you’ve been keeping the place reasonably clean, but once the cupboards have been emptied and the furniture moved, it’s amazing how sordid it will look. So expect it to be a big job, and make sure that you’ve got the time and/or help to do it properly.
Your biggest headaches are going to be the kitchen and the bathroom. The kitchen is the worst, because cooking is a messy business and grease will have found its way into every corner; and the bathroom runs it close, because it’s the place where we all hate to find traces of someone else’s occupation.
In the kitchen, the oven is probably the main nightmare, unless you have been living entirely on takeaways. It takes a couple of hours at least to do the job properly, and it’s necessary to use a really effective oven cleaner, not forgetting the rubber gloves. It’s also important to use a good degreaser on all surfaces in the kitchen, and get right inside the cupboards, and also across their tops.
In the bathroom, every trace of lime scale needs to be removed, which is not easy in a hard water area such as London. Tiles and baths have to sparkle. You are aiming for that immediate sense of hygiene when someone walks into the room. A fresh smell is probably a big part of it.
In the rest of the rooms, fitted carpets will probably need a shampoo as well as a thorough vacuum cleaning, because there will be marks left where the furniture has been. Windows and curtains will need your attention too.