Move-Out Cleaning – Checklist for Clearing An Apartment

Just as there’s a move-in cleaning, move-out cleaning is also quite popular. We are more interested in the latter. When moving out of an apartment building, you want to clear any mess you’re leaving behind.

Fortunately, countless cleaning companies include this service in their offerings.

Moving out of a property comes with responsibilities among which include cleaning out. However, this can sometimes be challenging as you try to figure out the exact actions to take.

With this cleaning checklist, you don’t need to worry anymore.

Here, we’ve included all the basic cleaning actions to perform for move-out cleaning. This covers all areas of the home you’re moving out of. The cleaning tasks are also straightforward and can be performed by anyone.

If you can’t, there are cleaning services that provide move-out cleaning for clients you can hire such services to get the job done. In any case, this checklist will prove useful and will give you a background on what needs to be done.

What To Look Out For In A Move-Out Cleaning Service

Are you in need of move-out cleaning but can’t seem to make up your mind on who to call? It’s normal especially when there are lots of options to choose from.

In such a case, you’ll need to sift through a long list of companies while seeking reviews on each.

However, there are basic qualities to look out for in a cleaning company. Each of these is non-negotiable. It’s also important to note that lots of cleaning services will make unsubstantiated claims about their track record.

SEE: Eviction Clean-Out Rates

For these, your best bet will be to check out their customer reviews.

If you can’t find any reviews, it will serve you best to avoid such and move on to others having them. A cleaning service should have more positive reviews than negative ones. The more positive reviews, the better.

  • Experience

You want to entrust your move-out cleaning to a cleaning service with a proven track record.

Experience counts a lot when it comes to cleaning. The more experienced a cleaning company is, the easier it is to relax knowing the job is being taken care of by competent hands.

  • Highly Skilled

In most cases, you want to leave the house in the same condition you met it when you first moved in. When moving out, all the hidden stains and disguised dirt show up.

However, such won’t be the case when the job is handled by a highly skilled cleaning service. Be deliberate in seeking highly skilled service providers.

  • Reliable

If you want to avoid incurring additional bills arising from cleanups carried out after you’ve moved out, then you will want to get a reliable cleaning service.

A reliable cleaning company will ensure you don’t have to look over your shoulders after moving to your new home.

  • Flexibility And Customer Satisfaction

A good move-out cleaning service provider should be able to offer clients some appreciable amount of flexibility.

Such a business should be centered around the customer. As the focus of its business, there should be options for you to choose from. Such will include move-out cleaning plans that offer value for money and fit different scenarios.

What’s Included In an Apartment Move-Out Cleaning?

In many cases, both move-out and move-in cleaning activities overlap. In other words, move-out cleaning will sometimes include doing the dishes and cleaning furniture before moving them to the new house among other things.

So, what’s included in move-out cleaning?

Providing a definite answer can be quite misleading because it depends on the cleaning company you hire. While some companies include certain cleaning tasks such as deep stain removal, exterior window cleaning, etc, others do not.

Therefore, you’ll need to check with a cleaning service provider before moving forward.

Move Out Cleaning Checklist

What cleaning task will you like done in readiness for moving out? This should be discussed with your professional.

Doing this allows them to draw up a comprehensive, yet basic cleaning for the property you’re moving out from.

Remember too that a move-out cleaning service can also provide move-in cleaning for your new destination. This can significantly reduce the stress of dealing with multiple cleaning services.

How To Carry Out Move Out Cleaning

In this section, we’ll be listing the various tasks to be performed in addition to areas to be covered. Such areas include the bathroom(s), kitchen, bedrooms, and living room areas. Without further delay, we’ll begin as follows;

First, consider the benefits before moving forward.

  • Living Room, Bedroom & Common Areas

These are areas of home many people will prefer to be included in move-out cleaning.

In performing this job, all floor surfaces are cleaned up, while mirrors and glass fixtures are wiped down. The dusting of all accessible surfaces is also carried out with garbage emptied last.

However, these areas don’t cover the entire home, which takes us to the next section of the home.


For bedroom move-out cleaning, dust all surfaces using a damp cloth.

In addition to dusting all surfaces, also dust & and wipe furniture tops and furniture. Baseboards will need some cleaning too. These should be dusted in addition to door panels and chair rails.

Wooden blinds, lock ledges, and window sills should also be dusted clean. The next step is to use your vacuum cleaner on the carpets and floors. If the bedroom floors have no carpet, damp-mopping such floors will suffice.

Damp wipe door frames and panels and vacuum upholstered furniture. Check for cobwebs and remove them. Finally, change the sheets, make the beds and empty the trash and replace trash bags with fresh ones.

Living Room Area

All surfaces in the living room area should be dusted clean. The same also extends to furniture tops, baseboards, door panels, and chair rails. Ceiling fans that are within reach should be dusted too.

Carpets within this area, including floors, should be vacuumed and damp mopped.

Next, target lock ledges, window sills, and blinds for dusting. The same should go for furniture as well as picture frames. All lamps and lampshades should also be dusted including mirrors which should be cleaned thoroughly.

Trash should be disposed of immediately after completing these tasks.

  • Bathrooms

When cleaning the bathrooms, all surfaces must be dusted. This includes the blinds, lock ledges as well as window sills. Also, cabinets, baseboards, and door panels will need to be included when dusting.

All bathroom surfaces, including the vanity area, should be cleaned and disinfected.

Next, you should focus on cleaning the shower and tub areas. Not only should these be cleaned, but should also be followed by disinfecting. Toilets shouldn’t be neglected but should be thoroughly cleaned. However, cleaning the toilet won’t be enough.

You’ll need to disinfect too. Use your preferred disinfectant on the toilet while cleaning. The inside and outside of the toilet seat must be cleaned. Every bathroom has hot spots or areas where users constantly touch.

These include the doorknobs and switch plates. These should be targeted and cleaned too.

Clean and shine fixtures to ensure they are brilliant enough. Next, the vacuuming of the floors will be necessary. You can sweep the bathroom floors if you prefer this option to vacuum. After sweeping or vacuuming, use a damp mop to clean the floors.

Remember to include disinfectants when mopping the floors. All trash should be emptied and the liners or trash bags replaced with fresh ones.

The bathroom area always requires cleaning. The sink, tub toilet, and shower should be washed and sanitized. There’s a need to dust all surfaces within easy reach. Your move-out cleaning should also focus on the floor areas.

Mirrors and glass fixtures should be wiped down, while garbage should be taken out.

  • Kitchen

Like other areas of the apartment, all accessible surfaces within the kitchen area should be dusted with the sink emptied and the dishwasher loaded up with used dishes. The exterior of kitchen gadgets like a fridge, stove, and oven should be wiped clean.

This should be followed by cleaning the floor and lastly taking out the trashcan.

The kitchen is another area of the home that requires cleaning. Several things need to be done here.

First, you should begin by dusting all surfaces. This should also include blinds, lock ledges, and window sills. Next, you’ll also need to dust baseboards, cabinets, door panels, and chair rails.

Additional areas that require your attention include the top of refrigerators. These should be dusted too. The countertop areas of your kitchen should be targeted and thoroughly cleaned. This should be followed by disinfection of the countertop surface.

Door knobs and switch plates should be cleaned and disinfected, in addition to the sink area.

Gadgets such as the microwave oven should be cleaned and disinfected both inside and out. Similar cleaning and disinfecting should be done for the oven. The top of the range and outside of the oven should be cleaned.

The dishwasher is next. The outside of this gadget should be cleaned and disinfected followed by shining. Your refrigerator will also need cleaning.

Here, your attention should be focused only on the outside. Clean and disinfect the outside of the refrigerator followed by shining.

The kitchen table is one of the most used areas of the kitchen. Hence, the need to perform some cleanup tasks.

Cleaning and disinfecting the table will suffice. What more? Floors should be swept clean and mopped. If there’s a carpet on the floor, it should be vacuumed.

The last cleaning action to perform in the kitchen area is to get rid of the trash. The trashcan should be emptied with new trash bags supplied.

  • Some Extra Cleanup

Cleaning companies may be requested to provide extra cleanup services. These may cover specific or multiple tasks.

It all depends on you. As the client, you can ask for extra cleanup for the inside of ovens, fridge, cabinets, interior and exterior windows, deep stain removal, and so on.

This will add up to your overall move-out cleaning costs.

Here is an estimated bond cleaning cost.

Performing Moving Out Cleanup Yourself

Although not everyone is cut out for the rigors of move-out cleaning, other people still prefer this option to call in a cleaning service. There’s no denying the fact that doing it yourself can be quite challenging and time-consuming.

Nevertheless, it isn’t an impossible task, plus, it saves you some expenses.

To carry out move-out cleaning, there needs to be a set of guidelines to follow. In other words, you’ll need a plan to enable you to follow through with minimal stress. It also helps organize your actions for maximum results.

The following are included in this apartment move out cleaning checklist;

  • Checking Chores Off Your Checklist

Before you begin any cleaning, it is important to have it at the back of your mind to check completed chores off your list. This helps eliminate any confusion that may arise. For this to be possible, you’ll need to write a list, consisting of all the tasks to be done.

If you’re in doubt about what should be included in your plan, the following actions should be of significant help.

  • Living Rooms And Bedrooms

The bedroom and living room areas are among the areas to focus on if you must perform a thorough job.

Here, Baseboards and light switches should be cleaned in addition to removing all cobwebs and cleaning the ceiling fan if any. Dusting should follow immediately in addition to cleaning the floors.

  • Baseboards And Doors

In a move-out scenario, all the baseboards and doors should be targeted for cleaning. Not only is dirt removed from doors and doorways, but dirty fingerprints should also be wiped clean.

  • Interior Windows

Window cleaning isn’t an exciting job for many. However, you’ll need to clean all interior windows before moving out.

Here, there are specific parts to target. These include the frames as well as window sills in addition to the dusting of blinds if any.

  • Floors

Move-out cleaning will never be complete without cleaning up all floors. This can either be done for each room or completely. It’s entirely up to you. There are different floor types including carpets, terrazzo, wood, and tile among others.

Carpets should be vacuumed while floors should be swept and mopped as well.

  • Bathrooms

An apartment may have a single bathroom or multiple. In any case, the same cleaning procedure applies to all. Toilet bowls should be disinfected and cleaned, including the sink areas, the bathtub, showers, and the water tanks for toilets also cleaned.

Also, remember to wipe down cabinets in addition to doors and handles.

  • Kitchen And Laundry Room

The kitchen and laundry room areas must also be kept free of filth. Here, there will be sinks, counters, and appliances in addition to countertops and pantry. These should be wiped clean and dusted too.

For appliances you’ll be moving out with, you may have to focus more on providing deep cleaning on them.

  • Garage Area

The garage area should be empty and swept clean. Sweeping will include wiping down the walls and cleaning the floors of any filth or dirt.

Here is what garage cleaning will cost you.

  • Cleaning Outside

Move-out cleaning also includes some level of outside tidying tasks.

Cut or mow the grass down if they are overgrown. Pull weeks and remove all the things you’ve installed or dug into the ground or others that may be hanging on trees. This allows for easy movement.

You might also want to clean the porch stairs of any grass stains if there are.

Not everyone will tolerate performing the above tasks. For some, it may be considered as being difficult while for others, it’s a way to save money by getting the job done themselves.

There’s no better option here. It all depends on what you want.

  • Take Out All Trash

One thing is sure to remain after performing a thorough move-out cleaning; trash.

Cleaning is never complete without getting rid of such trash. As such, you should make sure to take out and dispose of all trash properly.

This is the last step of the entire move-out cleaning process.

  • Be Systematic

Performing a move-out cleaning isn’t as easy as you might think.

For professional cleaning service, this can be done within a short time due to experience and skilled technicians. However, the same activity can be a different ball game for someone having little to no experience.

If you fall under the latter category, you’ll want to be more systematic in how you go about it.

Depending on how long a task takes, you can split such tasks across two or more days. This reduces the stress associated with wanting to perform this cleaning exercise at once.

Final Thoughts

We’ve considered multiple scenarios associated with move-out cleaning.

You have the choice of either calling for professional help or getting the job done yourself. It’s all a matter of convenience. However, professional cleaning helps save time and performs a more thorough job than doing it yourself.

We’ve also included the guidelines to follow for a more comprehensive job.

This article has covered all the areas that need to be cleaned when moving out. It will serve your needs if you’re planning on moving out.

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