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6 Tips for Renting a Room: Cleaning for a New Roommate

When you’re preparing a room to rent, it can be hard to know where to start and what matters most. If you clean the guest room and bathroom in a simple yet methodical way, the whole “roommate readiness” process will be done in a snap. 


Read on for six expert tips on how to prepare a room for rent and make your roommate’s space as welcoming as possible.



Tip for Renting a Room #1: Remove all personal items from the bedroom.

Clean up the guest room or whichever room your roommate will use. Grab a laundry basket (or a few) and gather up all knicknacks, photos, out-of-season clothes and other personal stuff. For these items, as well as any furniture that’s not needed, your options include:


  • Selling it 
  • Giving it away 
  • Storing it somewhere (preferably free) 
  • Repurposing for another use 
  • Donating it  


Hungry for more? Check out these Top Decluttering and Downsizing Tips from Matt Paxton of Legacy List and Hoarders


Tip for Renting a Room #2: Dust from ceiling to floor.

Use a long-handled dusting wand to go over the walls, ceiling fan and any tight corners where cobwebs might lurk. Use a damp rag to wipe down the trim on the ceiling, doorways and baseboards. A surprising amount of dust can build up in these spaces, and removing it helps the room feel much cleaner.


Tip for Renting a Room #1: Freshen up painted walls.

To remove scuffs and stains from painted walls, try a clean cloth and water first. If that doesn’t work, experiment with other gentle approaches in a less-visible area to be sure they won’t damage your walls. 


Gentler scuff-busting options for your painted walls include: 


  • A mild cleaning solution
  • A damp melamine sponge
  • Baking soda and water paste
  • Clean pencil eraser

If none of these work, you may need to repaint. 


Tip for Renting a Room #4: Clean the windows and window coverings.

Dust any blinds or shades and wash or dry clean the curtains. Before replacing the fabric items, be sure to clean the glass, trim and window sills on the inside. If at all possible, clean the outside of the widow as well.

By the way, your feelings might be a bit messy around this big change in your life. It’s totally normal. Gain clarity here.


Tip for Renting a Room #5: Tackle the carpet, rugs or other floor surfaces.

Clean the floors last, so you can take care of any dust or dirt that’s swept off the walls, light fixtures, etc.  For hard floors, you will need: 


  • A clean broom and dustpan (or microfiber floor duster) 
  • A string or sponge mop 
  • The appropriate cleaning solution (wood floor cleaner or mild soap and water) 


Sweep the entire room thoroughly, then mop from the farthest corner out to the door.  Toss washable area rugs in the laundry, or replace if permanently stained. 


If you have carpet instead, do your best to clean up any spots. Try spraying on a solution of 2 parts water to 1 part white vinegar. Let it soak in, then place a clean towel over the spot and run over it with a hot steam iron. Blot with more clean towels. Then vacuum thoroughly.


Tip for Renting a Room #6: Deep-clean the roommate’s bathroom.

Preparing a room to rent has to include the renter’s bathroom. Even if you will be sharing, your roommate will be grateful to start off with a clean place to bathe, brush their teeth, etc.


Run a hot shower to generate some steam, then apply your shower/tub cleaner and give it time to work. In the meantime, clean the counters and sink. Returning to the shower/tub area, scrub from the top down, paying special attention to grout, corners and any muck in the drain. Follow up with a thorough rinse, then go over it one more time with paper towels and glass cleaner to remove water spots.


Clean the entire toilet (not just the bowl and seat) and replace any drop-in tablets. Shine up the sink fixtures with glass cleaner. Finally, don’t forget to clean the mirror!


Put yourself in your roommate’s shoes.

Our best tips for renting a room and cleaning your rental before renting really come down to the same thing: empathy. Think about what you would like if you were moving into someone else’s existing home, and prepare accordingly. As the leading experts in homesharing, your friends at Silvernest have lots of helpful hints. Once you’re done cleaning the guest room, move on to How to Prepare for a Roommate: 5 Things People Forget To Do.


Silvernest helps homeowners across the country match with and get ready for a new roommate. Looking to find a homesharing match? Visit us at to get started!




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