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A Move-Out Cleaner's Guide to Surviving Post-Holiday Cleaning

Dec 23, 2021

After the Christmas tree lights stop twinkling and the ball drops in New York City signaling the start of a new year, move-out cleaners get into gear and prepare for a surge of post-holiday cleanings. Below, learn what professional cleaners like you can expect during post-holiday shifts, and get tips to tackle your holiday cleaning schedule.

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What Can Move-Out Cleaners Expect After the Holidays?

When Christmas day comes to a close, when houses are scattered with empty gift boxes, tinsel, and tissue paper, the world seems to shut down until the new year. Kids are home from school, many adults are using up the last of their paid time off — and professional cleaning companies are busier than ever.

Even move-out cleaners are hustling to service homes for those who are moving out during the holiday season and before the end of the year.

During this lively time of year, move-out cleaning companies can typically expect long hours, back-to-back shifts, and big messes. Luckily, there are several things move-out cleaners can do to help make this busy season a bit less hectic.

3 Tips for Tackling Post-Holiday Cleaning

Staying afloat during post-holiday move-out cleanings really boils down to preparation. Use the tips below to create a plan for your cleaning business to make some extra money and navigate the busy holiday season with ease.

1. Use a Holiday Cleaning Checklist

A checklist is the number one secret weapon for any cleaning professional. Cleaning checklists help you stay on task and never miss a spot, and they can be especially useful when cleaning after holiday parties and gatherings.

A general move-out checklist will most likely differ from a post-holiday cleaning checklist, however. Keep reading to get a room-by-room look at the tasks you should keep in mind when doing move-out cleanings after the holidays.


The entryway of a home gets a lot of foot traffic, and this is especially true around Christmastime. If your client enjoys holiday hosting, friends and family coming to their home to celebrate may track in dirt, leaves, or mud, leaving entryway floors in need of a thorough cleaning.

To help ensure entryway floors are move-out ready, remember the following.

Cleaning Laminate Floors

Use a vacuum or damp mop to remove dirt, Christmas tree needles, and other debris. If using a mop, stay away from soap-based detergents and wax polish. Use a mixture of water and vinegar to remove stains, making sure to apply gentle pressure with a cloth and not a scouring pad or steel wool. For stubborn stains and marks, try using acetone nail polish remover or WD-40.

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

If your client’s hardwood floors are sealed, you can clean them with a broom and damp mop. It’s important to make sure the wooden floors don’t get too wet, however, as this can damage them.

Cleaning Carpeted Floors

If during your client’s holiday gatherings, a guest spilled mulled wine, hors d'oeuvres, or Christmas cookies, spot-treat the stain first. Next, use a vacuum cleaner to go over the carpets and pick up the bulk of the debris. Use your vacuum’s accessories to tackle smaller, more inaccessible areas. If your move-out cleaning company has professional carpet cleaning equipment, you’ll be able to make the carpeting look brand new.

Living Room

cleaning living room after christmas.jpeg

When cleaning living rooms and other common areas before the holidays, it’s important to focus on items that others will frequently use or touch, such as the sofa and area rugs. On the other hand, when completing a move-out cleaning after the festive season, furniture and décor won’t be an issue since your client will have already packed up their belongings.

For this reason, it’s important to focus on living room areas that are commonly overlooked when cleaning before a move-out. Dust the baseboards and ceiling fan blades, wipe down the window sills, and sanitize the light switches and doorknobs.


cleaning kitchen after party.jpg

If your client hosted a holiday gathering, chances are they did a lot of cooking and baking. For this reason, the kitchen and big appliances like the oven and dishwasher will need some extra TLC.

We recommend Easy-Off Fume Free Oven Cleaner for caked-on grease and grime, but if you prefer a more natural option, many professional cleaners suggest a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to remove kitchen grease.


No matter what time of year your client moves out, deep cleaning the bathrooms is a must to help them get their security deposit back and get the home ready for the next tenants.

Here are some of our favorite move-out cleaning tips for bathrooms:

  • Dryer sheets are a great, cheap tool to remove soap scum from bathtubs and showers.
  • For help removing rust stains on faucets and drains, all you have to do is scrub the rusted area with an old toothbrush and some toothpaste.
  • You can prevent hard water spots on shower walls with a hydrophobic (water-repelling) substance like Rain X.
  • For an all-natural way to make grout white again, use a solution of lemon juice and white vinegar.

2. Offer Seasonal Services

Cleaning after the holidays usually consists of one or both of the following things: take-down of holiday décor and/or deep cleaning in preparation for the new year. The unique needs of clients this time of year are a great opportunity to offer add-on services that will put some extra cash in your pocket.

Seasonal services you can offer clients moving out during the holidays include:

  • Carpet cleaning — to remove the rogue Christmas tree needles scattered throughout the home
  • Kitchen deep cleaning — for a thorough clean after making holiday dinners and baking gingerbread cookies
  • Basement cleaning — especially if your client welcomed loved ones to stay at their home during the holidays

Keep In Mind: The job of a professional cleaner is to clean. Be wary of requests to help move big pieces of furniture, climb up and down ladders to take down outdoor lights, or dispose of heavy Christmas trees.

sweeping up christmas tree needl (2).jpg

3. Schedule Downtime

Although the holidays are a slower time of year for move-outs, they do happen. All the hustle and bustle and last-minute cleanings may cause move-out cleaners to feel burnt out or just unable to enjoy the holiday season for themselves.

If you’re working extra hours before and after Christmas, make sure to take care of yourself and schedule time off. Whether it’s enjoying a special holiday dinner with your family or taking the day off to catch up on rest, downtime is essential for your physical and mental wellbeing.

If you’re the type who just can’t do nothing, use your holiday downtime to brainstorm new ways to grow your move-out cleaning business in the new year.

Make Your Holiday Cleaning Schedule More Manageable

The holiday season is an incredibly busy time of year for most, but for professional cleaning companies, after the holidays can be even more hectic.

If you’ll be completing move-out cleanings after Christmas and New Year, remember to prepare ahead of time with a cleaning checklist; maximize your revenue with seasonal add-ons; and take time to rest and recoup.

For more move-out cleaning resources, check out our other blogs.


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Article written by Stephanie Kidd

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