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Don’t Leave Dirt Behind – The Ultimate Move-Out Cleaning Checklist

Posted in Moving Tips & Tricks,Planning the Move on June 14, 2023

Moving can be a hectic and overwhelming process, but one task that should never be overlooked is cleaning. To ensure you cover all the necessary areas, you will need a move-out cleaning checklist. With a good list, you will be able to keep in line with all the areas and cleaning tasks you have to complete. From the kitchen to the bathrooms and everything in between, this checklist will guide you through each step, ensuring no dirt is left behind.

Whether you’re a tenant aiming to get your security deposit back or a homeowner looking to leave a fresh start for the next occupants, a thorough move-out cleaning is essential.

Get ready to make your old space sparkle and leave it in impeccable condition with our comprehensive moving-out cleaning checklist

Before Creating a Move-Out Cleaning Checklist, Prepare for the Relocation Process

Before diving into creating an apartment move-out cleaning checklist, it’s important to prepare for the relocation process. As you undoubtedly know, moving to a new home can be a busy and demanding time, especially if you are relocating to a new state, so taking the necessary steps to organize your relocation and plan ahead will help streamline the transition. If you take care of the logistics early, it will help you to minimize stress and allow you to focus on the essential task of cleaning your space thoroughly.

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Make a Budget

Creating a relocation budget is a crucial step when relocating to a new city or state – it will help you ensure you manage your finances effectively. By establishing a budget, you can plan your expenses, track your spending, and make informed decisions throughout the process. Begin by evaluating your current financial situation. Consider your income, savings, and any additional funds you may have available for the relocation. This will give you a clear understanding of how much you can allocate toward your relocation expenses.

Make a list of all the potential costs associated with the relocation. This may include hiring professional long-distance movers, renting a moving truck, purchasing various packing supplies, travel expenses, storage fees, and any fees related to changing utilities or updating your address. Don’t forget to account for any additional expenses that may arise during the relocation process, such as expenses related to cleaning.

Declutter Your Home, Donate, and Sell Extra Items

Decluttering your home before the relocation is a smart and practical way to lighten your load and simplify the relocation process. Remember to declutter systematically, room by room, and be honest with yourself about what you truly need and value. As you sort through your belongings, ask yourself if each item brings you joy or serves a practical purpose.

Once you decide what you will keep and what items you will get rid of, you can start organizing a garage sale and earn some money. Or if you don’t have time to organize a successful garage sale you can always donate your unwanted items to the nearest charity.

Hire Cross-Country Movers

Long-distance moving is practically impossible to organize and do on your own. No matter how many relocation hacks you implement, if you decide to organize this alone, it will be a nightmare. From travel arrangements to organizing workers and trucks to car transportation and storage options, you need to think about this. This whole job will be stressful and hard to be done alone. Not to mention you will have to pack your entire household and make other arrangements as well. This is why most people opt for some cross-country moving services when relocating to another state.

When choosing a moving company, do your best research and pick the company that can provide you with all the services you need, from packing to car shipping, so you can have one company that will do everything for you. Also, ask about additional services they have or deals they can give you; for example, Cross County Movers offer standard packing, which includes disassembling and reassembling of your furniture, free of charge, as part of their initial quote.

What Are Some Basic Cleaning Tasks You Should Follow

When it comes to basic cleaning tasks that should be completed in all rooms, there are a few key areas to focus on. Here are some general cleaning tasks, along with tips for tackling them efficiently.

Task How to do it Bonus tip
Dusting Start by dusting surfaces from top to bottom, including furniture, shelves, window sills, and light fixtures. Use a microfiber cloth or a duster to trap dust effectively. Remember to dust hard-to-reach areas, such as ceiling fans and baseboards. To save time, use a multi-purpose cleaner or dusting spray that can be sprayed directly onto your cloth, avoiding the need to switch between multiple cleaning products.
Vacuuming Vacuuming is essential for removing dust, dirt, and allergens from carpets and rugs. Begin by vacuuming high-traffic areas and gradually move to less frequently used spaces. Pay attention to corners, edges, and under furniture. Invest in a high-quality vacuum with strong suction and attachments to efficiently clean different surfaces and reach tight spots. Or consider hiring a cleaning agency for deep cleaning of carpets and furniture.
Mopping Mopping is crucial for maintaining clean and shiny floors. Start by sweeping or vacuuming the floor to remove loose dirt and debris. Then, use a suitable floor cleaner diluted in water to mop the floors, focusing on high-traffic areas and any spills or stains. Opt for a microfiber mop or a steam mop for more efficient and eco-friendly cleaning. Avoid using excessive water to prevent damage to certain floor types.
Wiping surfaces Clean and disinfect surfaces such as countertops, tables, and desks. Use an appropriate cleaning solution or disinfectant wipes to eliminate germs and bacteria. Instead of spraying cleaner directly on the surface, spray it onto a cloth or sponge to control the amount of product used and prevent excess moisture on the surface.
Cleaning windows and mirrors Wipe down windows and mirrors using a glass cleaner or a solution of vinegar and water. Use a lint-free cloth or a newspaper to achieve a streak-free shine. Clean windows and mirrors on an overcast day or when the sunlight isn't directly hitting them. This helps prevent streaks caused by the cleaner drying too quickly.

Make a Kitchen Cleaning Tasks

No matter if you have to leave a rented apartment or you are planning to sell your home before moving cross country, cleaning the apartment before moving out is the crucial step you need to take. If you are selling your house, whether without an agent or with one, the spotless real estate will sell much faster and for a better price. One of the areas that everybody will pay special attention to is the kitchen, so take extra time to clean it in detail.

How to Deep Clean the Kitchen and Leave It Spotless

One of the best move-out cleaning tips we can offer when it comes to deep cleaning the kitchen is to start by creating a systematic plan. Follow these steps to leave your kitchen spotless:

  • Declutter and organize – Begin by removing any unnecessary items from countertops, cabinets, and drawers. Discard expired food, donate unused appliances or utensils, and organize items in a logical manner.
  • Pre-cleaning – Before diving into specific tasks, do a pre-cleaning round. Wipe down surfaces, sweep the floor, and remove any loose debris or crumbs. This ensures that the deep cleaning process is more effective.
  • Clean the oven: Remove oven racks and clean them separately. Use an oven cleaner or a mixture of baking soda and water to scrub the interior of the oven, paying attention to baked-on grease and stains. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
  • Stovetop and range hood: Remove burners, knobs, and grates. Soak them in warm, soapy water and scrub off any accumulated grease. Clean the stovetop and range hood using a degreaser or a mixture of vinegar and water.
  • Refrigerator: Empty the refrigerator and freezer, discarding expired items. Remove shelves and drawers and wash them with warm, soapy water. Wipe down the interior surfaces, including the door gaskets, with a mild cleaner. Don’t forget to clean the condenser coils at the back or underneath the fridge.
  • Deep clean the sink and fixtures – Scrub the sink basin using a non-abrasive cleaner or a paste of baking soda and water. Pay attention to stains and mineral deposits.
  • Clean faucets, handles, and soap dispensers – Use an appropriate cleaner or vinegar solution. Remove any buildup with a soft toothbrush or a scrub brush.
  • Cabinet and drawer cleaning – Wipe down cabinet doors, handles, and drawer fronts with a gentle cleaner or a mixture of dish soap and water. Remove any grease or grime.
  • Vacuum or wipe the insides of cabinets and drawers to remove crumbs and dust. Use shelf liners for easy cleaning in the future.

What are Bathroom Cleaning Tasks?

Cleaning the bathroom requires attention to specific areas to maintain cleanliness and hygiene. And some areas of the bathroom will probably need some extra scrubbing if you wish to leave it to be shining and sparkling clean. Start by packing all the items from the bathroom into plastic containers. The half-spent bottles of shampoo and other hygiene products should be left for further usage depending on when your relocation day is, and once this day arrives, throw those bottles into the trash.

How to Deep Clean the Bathroom and Leave It Sparkling Clean

Start by applying a cleaner to the inside of the toilet bowl and leaving it there for a couple of minutes. Scrub the bowl with a brush, paying attention to the rim, under the rim, and the sides. To clean the shower or tub, spray a suitable cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water on the walls, tiles, and surfaces. Scrub the walls, tiles, and grout lines with a brush or sponge, paying attention to soap scum and mildew.

Bonus tip: if you wish for any cleaning supplies to truly have effects both in cleaning the stains and disinfection, make sure you leave the cleaning solution to rest for 15 minutes to an hour. For example, vinegar/water solution needs to sit on the surface for an hour to have an effect on mold and bacteria.

Don’t Skip Bedroom and Living Room Cleaning Tasks

Now that you are done with the hard scrubbing, it is time to dedicate your attention to the bedroom and living room. Take the time to give your bedroom the attention it deserves, even if you are last minute moving. Dust surfaces, vacuum diligently, and wipe down furniture and fixtures. Pay attention to overlooked areas like corners and under the bed. A clean bedroom creates a clean slate for new beginnings. Do the same with your living room.

Remember, a well-cleaned bedroom and living room not only leave a positive impression but also show respect for the space you’ve called home. So, roll up your sleeves, grab your cleaning supplies, and embark on this final cleaning adventure with determination. Your efforts will be rewarded with a sparkling clean space ready for new stories to unfold.

a woman standing in the room with cleaning supplies
Once the worst part of cleaning is over, the living and bedroom should be easy

What Are Some Additional Cleaning Tasks You Should Consider?

So how to clean an apartment before moving out? When it comes to cleaning your home, it’s important to go beyond the basic tasks and consider additional cleaning areas for a more thorough and comprehensive cleaning. Take a moment to dust and wipe down baseboards and trim throughout your home. These areas often accumulate dust and dirt, so paying attention to them will give your space a polished look.

Dust and clean light fixtures, including chandeliers, pendant lights, and lamps. Additionally, clean the blades of ceiling fans to remove dust buildup and ensure optimal performance. Check this video and see what are some of the things people usually overlook when cleaning.

What Are the Final Steps You Should Take?

Completing the cleaning process requires a few final steps to ensure a job well done. First, carefully inspect each room for any missed areas that may need additional cleaning or attention. Next, dispose of all trash properly by gathering the bags from each room and placing them in the designated bins or dumpsters.

Don’t forget to open cabinets, drawers, and closets to ensure you haven’t left any personal belongings behind, paying extra attention to commonly overlooked spots. Scan each room for any minor repairs that may be necessary, such as loose doorknobs or hinges. Attend to these issues to leave the space in good condition. Before leaving, ensure all windows and doors are securely closed and locked. If applicable, return any keys or access cards as required.

Boxes in the empty room
Once everything is cleaned and empty, perform a thorough inspection of the house

Clean and Head to a New Adventure

As you wrap up the cleaning process and prepare to embark on your new adventure, remember that a clean slate is the perfect starting point. Leave the dirt and dust behind, and step forward into the next chapter with a fresh mindset.

While you’re on this exciting journey, don’t forget to consider the practical aspects of your move. To ensure a smooth and seamless relocation across the country, it’s wise to enlist the help of experts. That’s where Cross Country Movers come in! We specialize in taking the stress out of long-distance moves, offering reliable and efficient services to help you reach your new destination. So, go ahead and contact us today and book the best moving company to handle the logistics while you focus on embracing the thrill of the unknown.


What Are the Most Important Cleaning Tasks to Complete Before Moving Out of a Home?

Some essential cleaning tasks include dusting and wiping down surfaces, vacuuming or mopping floors, cleaning kitchen appliances and cabinets, disinfecting bathrooms, and ensuring windows and mirrors are spotless.

How Can I Make Sure That I Don’t Miss Any Cleaning Tasks During the Relocation Process?

Creating a detailed checklist specific to your home can help you stay organized and ensure that you cover all necessary cleaning tasks.

How Far in Advance Should I Begin the Cleaning Process?

It’s advisable to start the cleaning process a few days before your planned relocation date to allow ample time for thorough cleaning.

What Cleaning Supplies and Equipment Do I Need to Have On Hand?

Basic cleaning supplies such as all-purpose cleaners, disinfectants, microfiber cloths, vacuum cleaners, mop, and gloves are essential. Tailor your supplies based on the specific cleaning tasks required for your home.

How Can I Efficiently Clean Large or Hard-To-Reach Areas, Such as High Ceilings or Tight Spaces?

Utilize extension tools for dusting high areas, and consider using a stepladder or reaching tool for accessing tight spaces. Microfiber dusters or vacuum attachments can be helpful in these scenarios.

How Can I Ensure That I Meet the Cleaning Standards Required by My Landlord or Property Manager?

Review your lease agreement or communicate directly with your landlord or property manager to understand the specific cleaning expectations they have. This will ensure that you meet their requirements.

What Should I Do If I Encounter Tough Stains or Areas That Are Difficult to Clean?

Depending on the type of stain or surface, using appropriate cleaning products or seeking professional advice can help you tackle tough stains effectively.

Can I Hire a Professional Cleaning Service to Complete Cleaning Tasks?

Yes, hiring a professional cleaning service can be a convenient option if you prefer to delegate the move-out cleaning tasks or if you’re short on time.

How Long Does Complete Cleaning Typically Take?

The duration can vary depending on the size of the home, the level of cleanliness required, and the number of people involved. Generally, it can take several hours to a full day to complete the cleaning.

What Should I Do If I Am Unable to Complete All Cleaning Tasks Myself?

If you’re unable to complete all the cleaning tasks on your own, consider enlisting the help of friends or family, hiring professional cleaners, or discussing alternative options with your landlord or property manager.

Daisy Wilson

Daisy was born in Salt Lake City and in her free time, she writes about moving and watches Charmed.

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