The move out cleaning checklist to ensure you get your deposit back!
In order to get your deposit back when moving out from a rental, you need to leave the place pretty clean and put together. It can be difficult to know exactly what to do though, unless the landlord gives you a list. That is why I created this rental move out cleaning checklist!
I grew up as a military child so moving was just part of the deal. Even after being out of the military, I moved 8 times within 7 years due to a stent in travel nursing and then marrying back into the military (go figure). There are a few things I got really good at due to this: packing, decluttering, and cleaning!
What does a move out cleaning include?
A lot of landlord will give you a general idea at the very least of what needs to be cleaned upon your move out, they may even give you a move out cleaning checklist. If they don’t do any of that, it is best to ask them what they expect of you for cleaning such as carpets, painting, and more.
Generally speaking, you will want to ensure that your apartment or home is as clean as it was whenever you moved in. And at the very least, you will want to make sure there is no visible filth, no “funky” smells, and every thing is surface level clean. But I am not they type of person that wants to do the minimum amount of work, I wanted my FULL deposit back and I am sure you do too!
Tips for renters
So, in order to be sure that you get your full deposit back, you will want to know exactly what your landlord expects from you upon move out. Then, just plan to go above and beyond for them. Remember that not all of this has to be done the day of move out, matter of fact, a lot of it can be done up to a month in advance!
Spreading out the work of cleaning and packing can be a really good way of managing a move. Pick a room that maybe you don’t use a lot (or a garage if you have one), clean it up as well as possible, and then start to put your packed boxes in there for a few months before your move. Deep clean some areas weeks to months before moving and then you just have to do a touch up right before leaving.
1-2 Months before move out day
- Clean oven
- Dust ceiling fans
- Dust molding around doors
- Dust light fixtures, remove cobwebs
- Remove all cobwebs from ceiling
- Remove cobwebs from outside door
- Vacuum the perimeter of the rooms with an angle tool to get all the dirt
- Deep clean carpets (if you have to)
- Paint walls (if you have to)
- Wipe down dirty walls
- Clean light switches to remove finger markings
- Vacuum out/off vents
2 Weeks-1 month before move out day
- Deep clean bathroom and all fixtures
- Clean all windows
- Vacuum out window/door tracks
- Wipe out window/door tracks
- Wipe down all blinds
- Clean up outside area (if you have one)
- Mow grass, weed garden, etc
- Clean outside of all kitchen cabinets with soap and water (get a degreaser if needed)
- Wipe out kitchen/bathroom cabinets as you pack them up
- Move fridge and vacuum/sweep behind
- Wipe off top of fridge
- Wipe off all appliances that are staying including washer and dryer
- Clean out dryer vent
Week of move out
- Clean out the fridge of all of the food to throw out
- Wipe down entire fridge taking out drawers to clean if needed
- Throw out trash as needed, take items off to donate that you are getting rid of
- Sweep and mop all floors
Day of move out
- Vacuum/sweep the floor
- Do a quick wipe down of bathroom fixtures
- Make sure the kitchen sink and counters are wiped down
- Wipe all marks off windows
- Spot check appliances
- Make sure all trash is out of the house
- Spray with room freshener or leave a deodorizer in the house
Get your free Move Out Cleaning Checklist Printable when you subscribe below!
Moving out can be a lot of fun (I REALLY like to clean!), but having a bit of guidance is nice too, right? So before you move out from your rental print out this free printable and get to work!
I also have a Move-In check list to help you get your next place in sparkling condition before you get too settled in.