How to clean my apartment before moving out?

For better or worse, it’s time to move out of your home once more. The endless number of moving tasks up until your moving day must have left you without much energy to finish the residential move in style, but finish it in style you must.

One of the very last move related jobs ahead of you is to clean your home before you move out of it. This is true regardless of whether you are an owner who’s planning to sell the property, or just sold it, or whether you’re a renter who’s moving away for one reason or another.

Yes, cleaning up an entire apartment can be an extremely tedious task but there’s just no way around it. Simply remember the golden rule that says that you should leave the property exactly the way you would like to find it if you were the one moving in it. Besides, how well you clean your apartment can be the major difference between receiving your full security deposit back or not. So, although it’s probably the last thing you’d want, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get down to cleaning your apartment quickly.

Take advantage of some practical tips for cleaning an apartment before moving out.

SEE ALSO: How to get my security deposit back

Follow a moving out cleaning checklist

One of the things that can really help you speed up your cleaning job and increase significantly your productivity is good timing. For example, if you prove to be too eager and start the cleaning project while all of your possessions are still packed up in cardboard boxes and scattered all around the residence, then you will soon realize that it was a bad idea from the start. All the furniture pieces and packed moving boxes will simply be in your way. This is why, the perfect timing to clean your apartment before you move out is to wait until all of your possessions have been loaded into the moving truck or are already in transit to their destination (aka your new home).

The second requirement for cleaning your apartment fast is to have a moving out cleaning checklist so that you can finish the tasks in an organized and logical way instead of doing the whole job completely randomly. These detailed move out cleaning instructions will give you invaluable advice on how to make your home perfectly presentable before you leave it for good, thus saving you loads of time and sparing you irretrievable nerves.

General move out cleaning requirements

  • Walls. Carefully remove all nails, hooks, screws or tacks from the walls. If there are visible marks after you remove them, try to conceal the nail holes with specialized products such as Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser. If there are specific stains, smudges or dirt spots on some sections of a wall, you can use soap and water to remove them as long as the wallpapers are water-resistant or there are no wallpapers altogether. If the walls are covered with ordinary wallpapers, your best bet is to use the Magic Eraser mentioned above, or any similar high quality product on the market.
  • Floors. Vacuum thoroughly all carpets in the apartment. If you notice a stain or stains on a piece of carpet, treat it appropriately and try to remove it with a suitable cleaning product. If this doesn’t work or the rug is has been damaged beyond repair, consider replacing it. Also, sweep all tile or vinyl floors, and then mop them with a floor cleaning product of your preference. If you own a steam mop, then use it on your hardwood floors for better results.
  • Light fixtures. Clean all light fixtures found in your home. Check and replace the ones that are burned out or missing altogether. Don’t forget to clean all light switches and outlets found in each and every room.
  • Windows and mirrors. Wash all windows, mirrors and glass surfaces with a high quality window cleaner so that there are no streaks, stains or fingerprints left.
  • Dust and cobwebs. Remove the dust accumulated on window sills and blinds, baseboards, shelves, ceiling fans, etc. Don’t forget to remove any cobwebs that can be usually found around wall corners close to the ceiling.
  • Trash. Do not leave any gargabe in the residence but gather all the trash and take it out to the designated spot outside your home for curbside waste collection or recycling.

Are you interested in more details about how to clean your apartment before moving out? Here’s a brief apartment moving out cleaning checklist that includes the trickiest rooms to clean in a house – the kitchen and the bathroom.


  • Refrigerator. If you’re not moving the fridge to your new home, its thorough cleaning is one of the priorities when you’ve taken the cleaning marathon into the kitchen. Remove the drawers and shelves, and use water and mild soap to clean the inside and outside of the kitchen appliance. After you’re done, place a container with baking soda inside to absorb possible bad odors and leave the fridge turned on low setting.
  • Oven. Remove any accumulated grease from the stove by using specialized oven cleaners. Be sure to use protective gear such as thick gloves, goggles and ventilation as degreasing agents can be rather dangerous. Clean the entire stove surface on the top, including the control panel, oven racks, drip pans, hood and exhaust fan. Replace the exhaust fan filter if needed.
  • Cabinets and cupboards. Use a multi-purpose cleaner and a soft sponge or damp rag to wipe your kitchen cabinets and cupboards clean of any dirt and grease.
  • Sink. Pay special attention to the sink and its surrounding area as it is one of the first things to be noticed in a kitchen. If the sink is made of stainless steel or porcelain, you can use a powdered cleaning product for best results.

READ ALSO: How to pack my kitchen for a move


  • Tub and shower. Pay extra attention to the tub, shower head, shower enclosure and sink (faucets, handles, chromed surfaces). Get rid of possible mold, mildew and soap stains/scum with Softscrub or another soft non-abrasive cleaner. Rinse well.
  • Tiles. Clean the tiles and grout with Tilex or a similar cleaning product and rinse well until the shine of cleanliness is back.
  • Toilet bowl. Your best bet is to use a high quality cleanser to disinfect the toilet bowl, tank and seats. Consider replacing the toilet seat if it fails to become presentable despite your utmost cleaning efforts.
  • Medicine cabinet. Remove all items from the medicine cabinet and shelves, and use a wet sponge to clean the inside and outside of the cabinet as well.
  • Vents. Don’t forget to clean and dust any vents and fan grill found on the bathroom walls and ceiling.

READ ALSO: How to pack bathroom items for moving

Use the moving out cleaning tips above to make sure you won’t miss to clean or repair anything before you move to another home.

Remember to take photos of your already spotless apartment and keep them in your records as proof of the great overall condition you’re leaving the place.

And finally, if you don’t have time to clean your apartment properly or you don’t think you will do a good job, just hire a professional cleaning team to do it the right way.

Call now for a cost estimate:

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