a woman checking a bottle of a household chemical, preparing for cross-country moving overlay

How to Perform a Move Out Cleaning Without Professional Services

Posted in How-to,Moving Tips & Tricks on March 20, 2021

Perhaps only a few changes in your life involve more energy and stress and require more planning than long-distance moving. On top of that, when you want to plan the move-out cleaning, you’ll probably start feeling anxious and begin considering hiring professional cleaners. However, it is possible to manage it all by yourself, save up along the way, and take the question “How much does a move-out cleaning cost?” out of the equation.

Whatever are your reasons to move, and whether you are a renter and trying to get your deposit back, or you’re the owner of the place that will move out soon, the question of how clean should your house be when you move out comes to mind. You would want to leave everything in great shape, because of the requirements from your landlord, or for the next owners interested in buying. It is possible to do it without help from a professional service company if you arm yourself with determination, a good plan, and a lot of cleaning supplies. Proper planning will allow you to tidy up on your own terms, and you can ensure that no spot in your current home is forgotten.

Ready to move with us? Get a free quote

Move Out Cleaning Without Cleaners Service, but Also Without Stress

You have probably already hired some reputable long-distance movers for their moving services, but you wouldn’t want to spend more and add to the overall movers’ cost. However, movers won’t solve all of your relocation problems. If you are a renter, getting your deposit back means that you’ll have to return the property to its former condition. On the other hand, if you’re going to sell, you know that potential buyers want to see a spotless home because that’s one of the house-hunting tips they are probably following. So, do yourself a service and get on this task.

You will be able to save up and avoid making an additional dent in your relocation budget if you decide not to contact professionals to perform house cleaning after moving out. Although doing the tidying up on your own does sound exhausting, keep in mind that it will cut down your costs. A smart thing would be to divide the work into stages, and there will be no stress involved. Remember that you can also apply some of these tips during the office move. So, we’ve prepared a list of steps for you to follow and perform this crucial task of move out house cleaning like a pro.

A woman getting ready to work
This task may look like something you’re not up to

Essential Supplies for a Proper House Move Out Cleaning

Like with any other task revolving around packing and relocating, what’s included in a move-out clean are some tools and other home supplies. These are some common cleaners that we usually keep around in our home, but you’ll need to add some more stuff for a thorough tidying up. If you live alone and you’re relocating to another state alone, you need a proper list of products. Here’s the list of what we estimate that you should prepare to do the apartment move out cleaning:

  • Several types of sprays and other chemicals. You’ll need an all surface-spray, disinfectant, a bleach for the toilet (there shouldn’t be any mold left after it), limescale remover, glass spray, furniture polish. Don’t forget a product for your oven, too.
  • Rubber gloves, so the chemicals and dirt won’t come in contact with your skin.
  • Cloths, lots of them. Microfiber ones are the best, and they’re easily washable and suitable for all surfaces.
  • Feather duster. You’re going to need this tool to reach all those tight unreachable spots or those that are close to the ceiling.
  • Dustpan and broom to sweep over the floors until you do some in-depth vacuuming.
  • Vacuum cleaner, a necessity in every household which makes the tidying process quicker and easier. You can additionally get a steam cleaner too. It’s the next best thing to a professional service.
  • Mop and a bucket. After you remove all the dust and dirt, we estimate it’s time to polish every floor. After that, you’re ready to step out and head to a new home.


These are all of the essentials that you’re going to use for a good house cleaning after moving. Let’s see where and how you should start.

A bucket, a mop, and different sprays and chemicals
There are many supplies you’ll use for tidying up if you’re not using professional service

Make Sure Everything Is Emptied and Let Yourself Start Tidying

Before you start with your task, which is probably one of the last points in your relocating binder, you should check the home you will be leaving for any remaining personal belongings. Look in every closet and cupboard, and see if there is anything of yours left after the cross country movers have performed their packing services. When you’ve gone through every corner of the place and packed any remaining items, it’s time to turn on that determination mode and start.

House and Apartment Cleaning Room by Room, Starting With the Kitchen

You will get most efficient if you start working in one room, and don’t leave it until everything is spotless. The kitchen requires a lot of work, we admit, but if everything’s been emptied of fragile items, food, and all of the kitchen utensils, you can start by defrosting the fridge and the freezer. These two appliances should be disinfected, scrubbed with a cloth, warm water, and soap. Remember, they are used to store food, and you want to thoroughly remove any bacteria.

All the kitchen cabinets must be wiped after you’ve packed all the fragile items and removed and packaged all the dishes for relocating. Do it with a dry microfiber cloth since there may be some remaining crumbs and other dirt. Then, do a once-over with a multisurface spray. Use the limescale spray generously on the faucets, and wipe it down for a sparkling finish. Go over the counter-tops with a cloth and all-surface spray to make sure it’s all spotless.

You should wipe and wash all the other appliances, and pay special attention to the microwave. Start by microwaving a bowl of water in it, so the steam can loosen up any stubborn dirt. Clean and rub the inside of the oven after you’ve sprayed the specialized product and left it to work on the grease. You can even leave it overnight and rinse and wipe it tomorrow.

A bucket with supplies on a countertop
Leaving the apartment kitchen spotless is a must before moving across the country

The Living Room and Bedrooms

These rooms require a similar approach, and the most important thing is to wipe them from up to down. That means you should use a feather duster to wipe down everything from higher places, like ceiling fans, so you can properly pick up everything that falls with a dustpan and broom. After the furniture has been moved out from these rooms, there should be some free space left where you should do a more thorough vacuuming and wiping. Wipe down the walls, let no cobweb survive your swift hand. Vacuum everything, and that means even the insides of the closets since you’ve already packed clothes for relocating. Don’t forget to run over the baseboards, as they are probably usually overlooked in everyday tidying up.

Clean-Time in the Bathroom

Just like in the kitchen, and even more, there’s a large number of germs inside a bathroom. If you’re relocating for love and stepping into unknown territory, scrubbing the bathroom should get some stress and anxiety off your back.

This is the room where the limescale spray comes in handy and where you’re free to use bleach if it’s your preferred chemical for disinfecting. Just keep in mind that while you use all of these products, the bathroom should be well ventilated.

Spray all the faucets with the limescale spray, as well the inside of the shower, including the showerhead and hose. Leave it for a couple of minutes to soak, and then rinse and wipe. Repeat if necessary. Then grab the glass spray bottle, spray some mist over the mirror surface and wipe it with a cloth.

The toilet itself needs a bit more time to be scrubbed the right way. You’ll either have to use bleach or another product that you prefer. Soak the inside for at least half an hour, and use a brush for scrubbing. The outside should be cleaned with a cloth you’ve brought just for this purpose, and use that all-surface spray for a perfect finish. Don’t skip the tiles all around the toilet, and if it’s needed, replace the seat and the brush. Leaving the bathroom to be as good as new is one of the best relocating hacks since you’re preparing it for the new owners or renters.

Be a Pro Cleaner – Don’t Skip Windows

The outside shine of a home is as important as the inside, so the windows should also be washed and wiped. You’re free to think of this as another relocating essential. If there’s any excessive dirt on them, wash them with warm water and a cloth first. When they dry, polish them with a glass spray. Windowsills and frames are equally important and shouldn’t be skipped. Blinds are also one of those things that we usually skip in our daily tidying routine, and they tend to have lots of dirt and grime on them. Wipe them carefully, so the windows could get that finished spotless look. For some more tips on how to do all of these steps, watch the following video.

Additional Tips for Leaving Everything Spotless

Although these previous tips may seem essential, there are a few other things to wipe and polish that are equally important. If you are planning on using storage services, you are probably aware that some things from your household inventory list that you are planning to store must be cleaned properly. So, either you’re storing some furniture pieces or simply sending them to your new place using cross country moving services, it should be in a peachy condition, without any dirt or grime.

Leave the Furniture Spotless

Vacuuming and wiping with a cloth and a dry-wash product should get you started. It also helps remove any hair and remaining smells. Since you’ve already removed everything from your home, like you’ve packed shoes for relocating, along with all the other stuff, you can get to this task with no effort. For all the wooden pieces, use furniture polish, as you will bring back some old shine to them this way. If you want to deep clean the carpets, use a steam cleaner, which you can rent. They can come in handy, as they have these different attachments for windows, furnishings, and walls.

At Last, Wipe the Walls

Remove all the nails, screws, and hooks from the walls, and fill up the holes with a filler. Check if there are any stains, and give it a try with a damp cloth to see if any paint will come off. If it is, reconsider painting the walls instead of washing.

If you’ve decided to wash everything, make a solution of washing liquid and warm water, and with a cloth, work in a circular motion to wash the walls gently. If you notice any mold on the walls, tell your landlord about it or potential buyers. It’s not an issue you should paint over, and you should avoid any relocating scams.

A man painting the walls
If the walls can’t be cleaned, think about painting them

DIY Tidying or by Professional Services Company?

How long does it take to do a move-out clean, you’re probably wondering. We have provided you with some tips on leaving your previous home spotless, and we do admit these steps seem exhausting. But, if you’re only ready to hire cross country movers and won’t invest in professionals to do the clean-up while you move out, these tips are for you.

You are perhaps relocating to get a job in a new city and want to relieve yourself of any excessive stress. Marie Kondo explores the idea of how “tidying orders and relaxes the mind”, and you can use this view to find some motivation. Plan everything up ahead and add a few days to tidy everything when you organize your move. This experience will be important, as you have some more tidying to do because move-in cleaning is one of the things to do after relocating. So pack some supplies and enter your new home, with a thorough knowledge of how to do this task by yourself.

Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.

    Choose locations, date and size.
    Tell Us About Yourself

      Choose locations, date and size.
      Tell Us About Yourself
      Need to move your car/automobile?
      Get a Free Estimate 800-611-0502