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11 End of Tenancy Cleaning Tips to Ensure You Don’t Lose your Deposit

11 End of Tenancy Cleaning Tips to Ensure You Don’t Lose your Deposit

Before taking on your ‘End of Tenancy’ cleaning, you must know it’s to your advantage if it’s done thoroughly clean and meeting all the requirements as stipulated in your tenancy agreement. If this is done otherwise, winning back your tenancy deposit will be the most difficult thing there ever could be.

Ensure that any damage caused by you or incurred during your tenancy period is replaced. If this is left for your landlord to do and send you a bill, there are chances that the cost will be higher than you ever would expect. Give yourself enough time to do your end of tenancy cleaning before the deal time so as to ensure perfect cleaning and inspection of this property to your advantage.

Do the end of tenancy cleaning yourself

How you chose to do your end of tenancy cleaning is your decision to make. not the property owner’s. The property owner can’t force you to hire any particular ‘end of tenancy’ cleaning company to do the cleaning. The cheapest option is to do the end of tenancy cleaning yourself. This is a great way to save some moving-out expenses.

Before starting your cleaning, ensure to contact the Property Owner or the Letting Agent and ask for the final inspection checklist. To be sure you’ve done enough cleaning; your work should be based on your checklist and the check-in records.

If you must pass the final inspection, you have to clean the following items at minimum by taking these steps:

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1. Visit the Kitchen

Remove everything from the cupboards and shelves. Remove all the crumbs and deposits, clean both inside and outside and wipe thoroughly clean with a dry cloth. Pull out all appliances and wash beneath and behind walls.

Ensure the appliances are thoroughly clean, both the washing machine and the dishwasher filter and the soap tray. Clean the refrigerator and leave the doors open to prevent mould while the switch is off from the main. Remove all fridge trays, racks and cabinets, make sure they are kept in the best-cleaned shape possible and this also should be repeated for similar appliances having same features.

2. The Hob and the Oven

If the oven is not cleaned always, it builds up thick deposits of grimes, household dust, grease and burnt food deposits. Nothing can be as worse as cleaning someone else oven while moving into a new apartment. This is the most difficult of the cleaning jobs that requires a lot of energy, time and harsh cleaning agents. As hard and tiring this may be, make sure it’s done to its perfect state. It is interesting to note that the oven is the first item usually checked during the inspection process.

Also, ensure the Hob is not left out. The racks, burners, baking trays, switches, handles and all other surfaces should be kept clean. Don’t start cleaning the oven at all if you are not ready to put in the extra effort to get it to the perfect state. It might end up being worse.

3. The Living Room

The major work to do in the living room is extensive dusting and vacuuming to perfection. Empty all the shelves and clean the cabinets, bookshelves, coffee table and all cupboards and TV set.

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As the living room often features full bookshelves and extensive decorations, there are many awkward surfaces and items to clean. Therefore, as easy as it seems, it’s often very time-consuming.

4. Visit the Bathroom

Wipe everything in the bathroom incorporating the sink, bath, toilet, tiles, mirror and all other accessories. Check the plug holes and drains to ensure they are clear from blockages and allow easy water run-off.

Check all metallic surfaces like the faucets, shower and drain grates and make sure to remove mould, limescale and soap scum buildup. Check if the shower head has some of its holes plugged. If it’s sure the holes are plugged, you have to make sure is cleaned and it’s running properly.

5. The Windows

If you can’t reach the windows outside, make sure to clean them well from inside and call a window cleaner to help with cleaning the outside. For cleaning glass and windows, vinegar and alcohol remain the best two products to use.

Fix all cracked panes unless they appear otherwise in the check-in records. You must know that windows make the first impression on the property general hygiene and if you can make them as clean as possible, the property owner may not pay more attention to other spots.

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6. The Walls

Check for scuffs marks on the walls. Wash them off if possible but if not, paint them over with an emulsion of the same colour. If the marks are too many, it’s very important to do this, else the property owner may take the decision to repaint the walls and charge you over for the decoration.

If the marks are too many, it’s very important to do this, else the property owner may take the decision to repaint the walls and charge you over for the decoration.

7. The Furniture

If you live with small children, pets or smoke cigarettes, you should vacuum your furniture and wash it using the dry wash solution. The stuffing must look unspoiled; no hair, bad odour or smells.

For the wooden upholstery, you need to look for scuff marks, scratches and dings. Rub the scuff marks and scratches with coffee grounds and almonds. If these marks or scratches are minor, these will mask the damage off.

8. The Curtains

Wash the curtains if they are washable following the washing instructions. If this is too much for you, a call to the dry cleaner should be the best. Just dust the curtains rods and all fabric blinds in the property. Dusts both sides of the venetian blind slates and repair or replace the blinds if they aren’t anymore presentable.

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9. The Carpets or Rugs

If you need the carpets or rugs to look more like new ones, the best way to get this perfectly done is using a steam cleaner.

If this is not at your disposal, it doesn’t cost much to hire one. Vacuum all carpets and wipe hard with a wire brush to remove all the hair or dirt captured in the fibres.

10. The Staircases and Hallways

These are areas that face a lot of traffic and would need more serious cleaning. These areas draw a lot of attention.

11. The Garden and the Exterior

The garden shed may need cleaning and tidying up. Sweep up leaves and dirt from courtyard areas. Keep the flower bed in good order where applicable and mow the lawns.

Meeting these cleaning demands and using the check-in records as a guide will guarantee your safe deposit return and save you from a lot of issues that usually arises with the end of tenancy cleaning.

Featured photo credit: www.bestvacuumworld.com via bestvacuumworld.com

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MICHAEL LILY

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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