EMPTY TO ELEVATED: Part One – Deep Cleaning Guide

Hey friends! Moving into a new home is exciting, but a deep cleaning before settling in is essential. In this guide, I will share my tips and tricks for deep cleaning an empty house to make it feel fresh and inviting.

We recently snagged an investment property and are knee-deep in the fun of designing and customizing it. This is a fantastic opportunity for me to share tips on how to create a home from scratch. If you’re overwhelmed getting started with a new home or want to do a room makeover, you’re not alone! I’ll guide you through every step to make your house a home. 

This week’s topic.. deep cleaning!! The very first thing I bought for this home was cleaning supplies!


On day one, after realizing that this IS happening, I got to work. I didn’t do everything “properly,” and honestly, there are still some spots in the house I haven’t gotten to yet. If I remember any other tips or tricks I’ve used, I’ll update this post!

FREE Four-Page Checklist & Shopping List

I want to start the series off with a freebie! Here’s a printable four-page checklist and shopping list for you! GRAB IT HERE

My Deep Cleaning Essentials

As a home influencer, I’ve tried many cleaning products over the years. To see the whole shopping list, download the free printable checklist above! Here are some of my favorites that I recommend for deep cleaning a new home:

Vacuums & Mops

Deep Cleaning

Shark Cordless Vacuum

Perfect for hardwood and carpet! This bad boy also has a self-emptying charging base.

Shark HEPA Filter/Odor Neutralizer Vacuum

This is the vacuum I use. It has a Clean Sense IQ, Odor Neutralizer, HEPA attachments, and Power Fin (hair does not get caught!). It can bend 180 degrees to get under coffee tables and beds.

Deep Cleaning

The Shark HydroVac

I adore this wet vac simply because it’s 100% streak-free! The best part is that it works on hardwood, tile, AND area rugs!

Deep Cleaning

Tineco Wet/ Dry Vacuum

This is the better vacuum option if your home has exclusively hard floors. It scrubs the floors with more power! It’s a regular dry vacuum plus a mop, all in one!

Deep Cleaning

Bissell TurboClean Carpet Cleaner

This one is ideal for a previously lived-in home or if you have pets running around on the carpet!

Disinfecting Wipes and Cleaners

1. MR. CLEAN: CLEAN FREAK– My favorite all-purpose cleaner. The mist works incredibly well and covers every little spot.

2. SPRAYWAY Glass Cleaner– This may be the only *actual* streak-free glass cleaner I’ve found. I’m obsessed!

3. AMAZON Disinfecting Wipes– I love how they come in a pack of 3. These are very convenient for little messes or tight corners!

4. THE PINK STUFF—This cleaning paste is fantastic for heavy-duty cleaning, such as ovens and other hard-to-clean appliances. However, this product can scratch delicate surfaces.

5. BAR KEEPERS FRIEND: Stainless Steel Cleaner- This is a must-have for stainless steel appliances! It’s also a miracle worker on rust stains on countertops or the bottom of pans!

Tools & Cloths

1. MICROFIBER DUSTER WITH EXTENDER– This is a must-have for hard-to-reach places!

2. MOP & BUCKET– This one separates the clean and dirty water.

3. BASEBOARD CLEANER TOOL– This was the best for quickly cleaning all the baseboards in the new house. This is not a necessity but is really handy! I was able to get all the trim work quickly dusted without grabbing a ladder. 

4. BROOM & DUST PAN– Great for quick clean-ups without having to drag out the vacuum.

5. CLOROX TOILET WAND STARTER KIT– These are the easiest way to clean every single toilet in your home!

6. RUBBER GLOVES– Protect those hands at all costs!

7. MICROFIBER CLOTHS– These are great for cleaning a large home because they’re reusable! They also won’t scratch your surfaces

Step-By-Step Deep Cleaning Guide

Deep Cleaning a New Construction Home

New construction homes often have dust from construction materials, paint residues, and other remnants from the building process. It’s not just about looks; it’s about creating a healthy and comfortable living space for you. Some of these will also be beneficial for those who are moving into a previously lived-in home. That being said, let’s dive in!

Start with the Ceilings and Work Down

Dust settles from top to bottom, so start with the highest point and Transition down!

Ceilings and Light Fixtures:

Use the extendable duster to remove dust from ceilings, light fixtures, and ceiling fans. 


Use the wall mop to dust all the walls. You’d be amazed at what settles on the actual walls. This step is crucial, especially if you plan to paint them. Remember to check your paint type first, as some finishes may be sensitive to cleaners and water. [SHOP THE ONE I HAVE HERE]

Doors and Baseboards:

Wipe down all doors and baseboards to remove construction dust and dirt. Use the baseboard tool to save your back and not have to get the ladder out!

Air Vents:

Replace HVAC filters to ensure clean air circulation. After construction, the main air filter will be full. Replace it now; you’ll want to recheck it after a month. It will probably be ready again.

Windows and Mirrors:

Brand-new windows and mirrors can still have smudges and construction dust. Spray the glass cleaner on a microfiber cloth and wipe down all windows and mirrors. Wipe in a circular motion for a streak-free finish.

Kitchen and Bathrooms

  • Countertops and Cabinets: Use the all-purpose cleaner to wipe down all surfaces, including countertops, cabinets, and inside drawers. Pay special attention to corners and crevices where dust can accumulate. Some cabinets with a slick surface (like the ones I have in this house) benefit from a DRY microfiber cloth only.
  • Tile: You can use a dry microfiber cloth or spray the glass cleaner with the microfiber cloth. I use the scraper to gently but effectively remove the excess caulk and grout the crew may have left. [SHOP THE SCRAPER HERE]
  • Appliances: Clean the exterior and interior of all new appliances. Use a cleaner specifically designed for stainless steel appliances.


New construction homes can have a lot of construction dust on the floors.

  • Vacuum: Use a HEPA filter to pick up fine dust from all floors, including carpets and hard surfaces. Go over the floors twice to ensure all dust is removed.
  • Mop: After vacuuming, mop all hard floors with a suitable cleaner. It’s best to use a scrubbing mop for the first round, and then you can use a wet/dry vacuum.

Final Touches

Remember the small details that make a big difference.

Inside Closets and Cabinets: Wipe down the inside of all closets and cabinets. Use disinfecting wipes for an extra clean finish.

Deep Cleaning a Previously Lived-In Home

Here are a couple of extra things to do before moving into a home that had a previous owner!

Inspect and Declutter

Before cleaning, inspect each room for any belongings left behind and declutter.

Freshen Up Air Vents and Filters

Clean air vents and replace filters to ensure good air quality. Remove and wash the vent covers. Vacuum inside the vents to remove dust. Replace HVAC filters to ensure clean air circulation.

Sanitize the Kitchen and Bathrooms

Pay extra attention to these high-use areas. Use heavy-duty cleaners for stubborn spots. Clean and disinfect light switches and doorknobs. Clean the kitchen appliances, such as the stove, oven, and fridge, with heavy-duty cleaners for stubborn spots. Scrub and disinfect kitchen countertops and sinks. Clean and disinfect toilets, sinks, and showers.

Deep Clean Carpets and Floors

Lived-in homes can have dirt and allergens trapped in carpets and flooring.

  • Vacuum: Start by thoroughly vacuuming all carpets and floors using a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Make multiple passes to ensure deep cleaning.
  • Steam Clean the Carpets: Sanitize the carpets using a steam cleaner. Allow the carpets to dry completely before moving furniture in. You can borrow one from a friend or rent them from certain stores. It’s nice to own one if you have pets or a lot of carpet in the house.

Final Touches

Remember the small details that make a big difference.

I use an essential oil diffuser to neutralize any scents in the home. Here is my go-to oil, I use at my house too! [SHOP IT HERE]

Tips for Both Types of Homes

  • Work in Sections: Tackle one room at a time to stay organized and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
  • Use Natural Cleaners When Possible: Vinegar and baking soda can be great, non-toxic options for cleaning.
  • Remember the Home Exterior: Clean the exterior windows, sweep porches, and check for any outdoor maintenance needs.

Don’t worry if cleaning your new home feels like a big job! With a solid plan and the right tools, you can make your space sparkling clean in no time. Ask for help if you need it!

Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the cleaning process and make it fun! Here’s to creating amazing new memories in your new home!

Follow for daily updates on Instagram and TikTok! @terranelsonhome

Chat soon! -T

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