Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Moving Out of Your Swiss Home: Cleaning

As a personal choice, The Hubs and I decided to do the intensive apartment clean-up by ourselves. Just us, no friends involved. (There were offers! But it wouldn't be nice to have you coming over to clean up my mess.)

I would recommend these few pointers before you embark on the intensive clean up:

1. General rule of thumb: Clean up like no one has been there before. Clean the insides, the outsides, the over, and the under.

2. Schedule your clean up. A one-(wo)man clean-up, done 100% flat out in 1 day, is an impossible task. If 1 day is all you have, you may need a team.

3. Have a check list: Room by room. Item by item. Tackle these first, and at least a week in advance: Tough stains. Holes in walls. Repaint the walls, if necessary, and make sure it's the correct shade of white!

Planning a clean-up schedule 5 weeks prior to our move-out date did wonders to my psyche.
I know I will have this much to clean, in this much time.
(Thank goodness the apartment was not carpeted.)

Since Fluffy was not going to help, we kept him in a safe place during the clean up.
Fluffy was not the only one to leave the apartment; we emptied our apartment.

Having completed all the major headaches of Point 3 earlier, it took me 2 days to clean the rest of the apartment.
Just 2 afternoons, in 4-5 hours each time.
With the help of The Hubs, of course.
We even cleaned the windows twice.

We thought we were thorough. Then came the day for the Apartment Handover to the landlord, at 4:30PM.
Was I nervous? Of course! Landlord and Landlady handed me an A4-sized check list, before they did the room-by-room inspection.

Our nervous smiles were wiped away when they pointed out:
a. Rusty metal shutters of the windows were dusty.
b. Calcium deposits in the bathroom.
c. Stove ventilators.
d. Balcony shade needed to be dusted (even though it was not dusty).

We didn't know. Landlady was kind enough to advise us on how to clean the stove ventilator, window shutters, and she even handed me this calcium remover.

So, until past 7PM that evening, The Hubs and I cleaned the apartment -- for the last time -- to the owner's satisfaction.

We did it. And you can too! (If you want to.)


  1. We've been there too. It's no fun doing it, but when the money is in our pockets it all seems worth it! Good luck!

  2. Strict Swiss people! Next time you can use vinegar against calcium..it's more eco-friendly!

  3. Oh my goodness - well done to both of you!

  4. Well done! You must be glad that's over!

  5. Wow, you must be an amzing cleaner! It's almost unheard of in the UK to approve a clean up done by non-professionals. You must be so relieved it's finished :)

  6. Oh dear! that's too much headache,isnt it? My husband complained so that like you when he left Condo though..haha :)

  7. Thanks for these pearls of wisdom!! So, may I ask, what did the lady say you should do to clean the ventilator and shutters? And how the heck do you dust that balcony shade???

  8. Wow. Very impressive. Any recommendations for a good oven cleaning product here?

  9. Oh my this sounds ultra extra mega clean ! You must an expert now !


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