Renters, double-check this list on move-out day.

By Katie Holdefehr
August 28, 2020
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No matter if you're relocating to a new apartment or buying a new house, moving can be pretty stressful. When you have a lot on your mind—packing up, picking renters insurance plans, changing your mailing address—cleaning the place you're moving out of can quickly fall down to the bottom of your to-do list. While hiring a cleaning service can help you check off this task, handling it yourself will save you some money and lets you tackle the cleaning on your own schedule. Decided to do the cleaning yourself? We've compiled the move-out cleaning checklist below so you can quickly make sure you have all of the frequently forgotten spots covered.

Renter's Guide to Move-Out Cleaning

If you're a renter, cleaning before you move out is important in order to get your security deposit back and to avoid a cleaning fee from your landlord or the building's management company. Before you start scrubbing, confirm what the expectations are. Sometimes management will provide their own cleaning list for you, and some leases will even state upfront what the costs will be if the place isn't properly cleaned before you move out. Below are the move-out cleaning basics you should be sure to cover.

Cleaning Tips

  • Clean from top to bottom. Just like we recommend for your regular cleaning routine, dust surfaces high up in the room, like ceiling fans or shelves, before cleaning lower surfaces, like floors. This way, you won't accidentally waft dust onto just-cleaned areas.
  • Work in stages. Depending upon how large the space is, cleaning all at once may be overwhelming. Break it up into chunks of time, starting with the areas you'll use the least between now and move-out day, such as a guest bedroom.
  • Allot time for last-minute cleaning. Even if you clean in advance of move-out day, there are some things you'll have to clean right before you leave, like the bathroom. Remember that once the furniture is moved out, you'll likely have to sweep up the dust bunnies that are uncovered.

Move-Out Cleaning Checklist

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In the Kitchen

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In the Bathroom

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Outside

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Laundry Room

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