Move Out Cleaning Checklist for Getting Your Deposit Back

move out cleaning

Moving out of your old apartment and move out cleaning can be exciting, but it’s also a huge step and requires a lot of logistical planning. From cleaning your new apartment to figuring out what you need to take with you, there are so many details to think about and remember. That’s why it’s important to keep track of every single task as you go through the process so that you don’t miss anything and can get your full deposit back.

Below is a comprehensive move out cleaning checklist for getting your deposit back. You can use the list as a guide to ensure you do not forget anything before the final inspections. Yet, if you want to be extra sure that your apartment is clean, then take the time to go through this checklist in its entirety before moving out.

Move out cleaning, Follow These 13 Things To Clean Your Place

To get your deposit back, you need to follow your lease requirements. For instance, some apartments must use that the current tenant handles cleaning all apartment areas. In contrast, others may need tenants to clean common areas such as the hallway and elevator. That said, you should do the general housekeeping task in every apartment before moving out.

No matter what your lease says, you should always do these tasks before moving out:

1. Remove all personal items from the apartment

No matter what, you need to take all your personal belongings with you. Your landlord will want to inspect the apartment and make sure that it is empty to determine how much cleaning needs to be done before the next tenants move in. However, suppose any furniture or other personal items are left in the apartment. In that case, your landlord may have difficulty figuring out what to do with the items, which could cause a delay in the final inspection.

2. Clean all windows and mirrors

Check your windows and mirrors for any grime or dirt before moving out (especially if you were a smoker). Cleaning each one will make it easier for the landlord to know where to start cleaning and ensure that nothing is overlooked. Also, remember to wipe down all light switches, door handles, and thermostats.

3. Clean all toilets and sinks

You do not want to leave behind a filthy bathroom or kitchen for your landlord, so make sure that you thoroughly wash all sinks and toilets before moving out. You may even want to consider using professional cleaners to ensure everything is 100% clean and sanitized.

4. Clean the floors

Besides carpeting, you must also ensure that your hardwood floors are clean. The landlord will want to walk throughout the apartment without feeling like they need to wear shoes or socks. While you’re at it, try and clean any other types of floor coverings throughout the apartment.

5. Empty all trash cans, recycling bins, and kitchen/bathroom cabinets

Move out cleaning

You do not want to leave behind any garbage, recycling bins, or cabinets that are full of leftover items. Your landlord will want to inspect the apartment and ensure that you didn’t leave anything behind, which could cause a delay in the final inspection. If your landlord asks you to take everything into the trashcan or recycling bin, then make sure that it’s gone.

6. Dry clean curtains and blinds

These items must be dry-cleaned before moving out, so they are ready for the next tenants right after the final inspection. For example, if you have wood blinds or curtains with wood trim, then make sure to vacuum them.

7. Clean the inside of your cabinets and drawers

Cabinets and drawers should be cleaned so that they do not have any debris. If you have items like dishes or cookware that you cannot put away, then you need to remove them so the landlord can inspect the kitchen cabinets for any damage. It is also a good idea to ensure that your refrigerator and freezer are wiped down. The landlord will want to see that these items are sanitary before giving your deposit back.

8. Disinfect all shelves and cabinets

You do not want to leave behind any unwanted germs or bacteria for the next tenants, so make sure that you thoroughly disinfect all cabinets and shelves before moving out. It is especially important if you are a smoker or have pets living in the apartment.

9. Bleach all linens

Make sure your clothing and linens are completely clean and sanitized before moving out. The landlord will want to be able to walk throughout the entire apartment without any grime or dirt on the sheets, so make sure that you bleach them completely before moving out.

10. Clean walls, baseboards, and door frames

All these items will need to be cleaned before moving out so that the final inspection goes smoothly. That means you should dust walls and baseboards and clean door frames before taking your final walk-through. You won’t know what is needed until the landlord shows you the apartment, so it may be a good idea to take a peek at the apartment before moving out.

11. Clean the under-baseboards in the bathroom

It is a very easy task that you should also take care of before moving out. Bathrooms are often forgotten when it comes to cleaning and maintenance, so if you have any baseboards or molding that could obstruct your view of the bathroom, then make sure you clean under-baseboards in any bathroom. You can use this checklist to help simplify cleaning under-baseboards.

12. Clean the stovetop and the oven

Make sure that your stovetop and oven are spotless before moving out. It’s a good idea to wipe down everything in the kitchen before you clean the stovetop and oven because some grease may also spill onto other surfaces. Make sure that you do not leave behind any sharp items in the kitchen either, as it could cause a hazard.

13. Clean the inside of your washing machine and dryer

Before you move out, make sure that you clean the inside of your washing machine and dryer. If you have pets or have been a smoker, it is even more important to disinfect them. You will also want to clean out all detergents, dryer sheets, and other soaps or cleaning products before moving out to prevent future tenants from getting sick.

Conclusion: Move Out Cleaning Checklist for Getting Your Deposit Back

If you want to ensure that your landlord is satisfied with the state of the apartment, then these are the most important tasks to take care of before moving out. Of course, you should always clean your apartment to be a good tenant, but you need to take care of these tasks before moving out. If your landlord doesn’t find the apartment in working order, they may not give your deposit back or charge you for damages. So even if your lease says that you have until the last day to move out, try and get out at least a week early, so everything goes smoothly.

The last thing you want to deal with is an unsatisfied landlord who refuses to give back your security deposit.