From which areas of your home to tackle first to the best products to get the job done, explore our move out cleaning checklist.
Did you know that one in four renters don’t get their security deposit back when they move out of their apartment?
Although there are several reasons you may lose a security deposit, one of the most common is failing to clean the apartment properly.
Luckily, this is something you have 100 percent control over, so you can make sure you get your money back!
When you’re cleaning before you move out, it can be easiest to take things in zones. Read on to discover our ultimate move-out cleaning checklist and some of our favorite products to use during this process.
Kitchen Cleaning Checklist
When you start your apartment move-out cleaning, the kitchen is a good place to focus first.
For one thing, kitchens tend to get dirty faster than other rooms in the house, thanks to the grease and spills that happen during cooking. Even if you clean your kitchen on a routine basis, there will be some dirty areas lurking in the nooks and crannies.
Begin with a basic wipe-down of the counters, the sink, and the stove before wiping out the microwave and oven. If you have baked-on gunk in the oven, mix baking soda and water to make a paste, spread it on the inside of the oven, let it dry overnight, and then rinse it off with vinegar, scrubbing to remove all that grime.
Finally, move your fridge and stove out from the wall and clean underneath them as well as on top of the cabinets and refrigerator.
Although you already gave your kitchen a good scrubbing, it’s a good idea to pay some special attention to your appliances.
Start by removing all food from the fridge and freezer and disposing of it properly (or moving it to your new home). If possible, remove each shelf and drawer from the refrigerator and wipe them down thoroughly with dish soap and water.
Next, wipe out the bottom of the fridge and freezer with a Clorox wipe to kill any bacteria lurking there. You’ll also want to clean out the microwave, paying special attention to the ceiling, which can get covered in splatters. Run a cleaning cycle on your dishwasher and washing machine, and clean out the lint trap in the dryer.
Once the kitchen is spic and span, you may want to turn your attention to the bathrooms next. Like the kitchen, these spaces get dirty faster than others and will need an extra-thorough deep cleaning before moving out.
Begin with routine cleaning, including scrubbing out the toilet, wiping down the counters, and cleaning the mirror.
Spray down your shower with Microban 24 Hour or Breathe Bathroom Cleaner and scrub off any mold or mildew that may have formed. This should include scrubbing down the tub and giving the shower handles and faucet a quick wipe down. Finally, dust all remaining surfaces and wipe down the outside of the toilet.
In the bedroom, your biggest concern is dust, particularly on blinds and fan blades.
One of our favorite hacks for cleaning fan blades is to dampen an old pillowcase and slip it over one of the fan blades. Then drag it along the top of the fan blade to catch all the dust and dirt inside the pillowcase.
Wrap each side of a pair of tongs in a microfiber cloth sprayed with a little Pledge and use them to dust each of your blinds individually. Wipe down light switches and door frames, paying particular attention to the area next to light switches and door knobs.
If you have glass in your door frames or mirrored closet doors, wipe these down with some Stoner Invisible Glass cleaner.
With the bedrooms squared away, it will be time to turn your attention to the living spaces.
Like the bedrooms, your biggest concerns here will be dust and the floors (which we’ll discuss more soon). You may also want to wipe down the walls to get rid of any dust or dirt collected there.
If you have built-in shelving or furniture in the space, use a Swiffer duster to clean off the horizontal surfaces. Clean any blinds, fans, and light switch covers in this area, and wipe down any interior glass. It’s also a good idea to give air conditioner vents a quick wipe to get rid of any dust or dirt collected there.
Once you’ve cleaned each room, you’ll want to turn your attention to some of the more structural areas of the house.
All windows should get cleaned inside and out with Stoner Invisible Glass cleaner or Windex. It would help if you also vacuumed out windowsills and interior tracks, where dead bugs and dirt tend to collect.
In addition to cleaning the glass and blinds, it’s also a good idea to give any screens a good wash. Pop the screens out of the window frame (being careful not to tear them) and set them on a driveway or sidewalk. Spray them down with a hose until the water runs clear, let them dry thoroughly, and then reinstall them.
You’ll also want to devote a little time to clean up the exterior of your house before you move out.
Start by wiping down your front door with a Clorox wipe or a microfiber cloth sprayed with Pledge. Pay special attention to the knob and your doorbell, where people’s hands tend to leave behind dirt and residue.
Sweep off any porches, patios, gazebos, sidewalks, or driveways you may have around your house. If concrete areas are especially dirty, you may want to rent a pressure washer and spray them down, being careful to use proper safety procedures.
Clean out any clogged gutters, remove any debris from the front or back yard, and hose down your garage door if you have one.
It’s normal for walls to get lightly damaged during your stay in a house, but you’ll want to address that damage before you move out.
Start by patching holes in the wall from where you hung pictures and decorations. Our favorite wall patch is 3M’s Small Nail Hole Filler, which will be paint-ready as soon as it dries.
It’s also a good idea to give all of your walls a quick wipe down, paying special attention to the baseboards. If there are scuff or scratch marks, especially near the floor, touch them up with a quick coat of paint. Depending on your lease, if you’ve painted any walls, you may have to paint them back to a neutral color before you move out.
The last thing you should have on your move-out cleaning checklist is the floors.
There’s no point in cleaning your floors first only to drop more dust, dirt, and cleaning products on them. Save the floors for last, so you maximize your time and clean up any messes that happen during the move-out process.
Start by vacuuming any carpets and spot-cleaning any stains or dirty areas. You might also want to rent a carpet shampooer and give the carpets a nice deep clean before you move out. Vacuum or sweep hard-surface floors, including laminate floors, hardwood floors, and tile, and mop everything with Pine-Sol or an appropriate cleaner.
At this point, everything should be clean and looking good, but you don’t want to leave without checking that everything is in top shape.
Start by walking through each room and ensuring that all personal items are gone. Don’t forget to look in closets, under sinks, in drawers, on top of the refrigerator, and inside cabinets.
Check that all your move-out instructions have been followed, including defrosting the freezer and changing the thermostat to the proper settings if needed. Leave windows open or closed as directed, and make sure the oven is both working and is turned off. Take pictures of everything during your sweep just in case there are any questions later.
Then, turn in your keys and move on to your new, fabulous chapter of life!
Complete Your Move-Out Cleaning Checklist
There’s a lot to think about when you’re moving out, and having a cleaning checklist can be a great way to make sure nothing gets forgotten.
Start in the kitchen and bathrooms, and then move on to the bedrooms and living areas. Patch and paint the walls, clean up the exterior, and save your floors for just before the final sweep.
If you’d like to complete your move-out cleaning checklist, check out the rest of our site at TOHch of Heaven Services. We are a professional janitorial service company that can bring a touch of heaven to your space.