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Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page

Move Out Cleaning

It really doesn’t matter if you were living on a lease or owned the apartment, that place was your home. It’s only fair that you show some love to the place when the time comes to bid adieu. Besides being basic etiquettes of moving out, if you were on lease, you are definitely expected to leave it in as good a shape as you the day you first arrived. In fact, that’s pretty essential so that you don’t have troubles with your landlord while collecting your deposit.

There are no major legal implications in case you don’t clean the house in the best way possible when moving out. But really, do we need a reason to show some respect to the house, the landlord or the new renters? You know as they say, “Manners maketh man”. But even so, it’s for some things to slip your mind because no matter how big or small the house is, there are a lot of nooks and crannies to cover, beyond whatever is right in front of you.

Hey, it goes without saying that not everything might be applicable to you, depending on your way of living, the size of your house and other such factors. Usually, some people get a deep cleaning of the apartment done before moving out. This is a common practice and definitely something that helps a lot. But beyond these, there are a few things which are more of your responsibility. And you can definitely do it on your own too.

All you have to ensure is that when you start the cleaning process, your personal belongings are out of the picture. Or at least they don’t get in the way of cleaning. Ideally, over 90% of your personal property, if not all, should’ve been removed or packed by now.


So here’s a move out cleaning checklist you can refer to when the time comes for you to start a new chapter.

Living Room

The living room can have various elements that need to be cleaned and managed separately. Each of them requires a manner of cleaning that’s specific to the object. So let’s dig deeper to help you go about cleaning the living room.


Consider this the quintessential first step to the cleaning process. The process of dusting would cover the ceiling, the ceiling fan, corner tables, coffee tables, curtains, room lights, chandeliers, table lamps, vases and anything else that your living room includes. If you’re someone who was living a minimalist lifestyle, you might not have many smaller belongings. In case you do, just make sure you don’t miss them, and be careful with dusting them too.

See also: How to Pack Pictures and Mirrors for Moving


This could very well be a great alternative to dusting, but not necessarily for everything. It would depend on the nozzle or the mouth of your vacuum. If you have a customizable vacuum cleaner, you will certainly be able to clean a lot more areas and objects. The vacuum will especially come in handy with the hard to reach spots. They make it easier to clean below your coffee table and couch, without a lot of hassle.

Scrubbing & Mopping:

All of your efforts will be in vain if you don’t get rid of those stubborn stains. The ones on the wooden furniture, glass tables and other similar stuff would require some scrubbing. Only if there are a lot of stained patches. Mopping might also be a good touch to add to the floor, unless it is covered with a carpet.


We are only getting started and there’s a lot of ground to cover yet. So let’s buckle up.


This would cover your doors, shelves, wall paintings, door frames, tables, Ceiling fans, Light fixtures, table lamps, air conditioners, any vents in the room, and any other hardwood furniture. It’s important that you clean up your wardrobe and any available cabinets too. Do use the more softer materials of brush for dusting off lamps and lights in the room, amongst other delicate objects. Your wardrobe, closets and cabinets might need some dusting too!


Focus on the corners of the computer or study tables, the surface below your bed, the edges of the walls and the room’s blinds. If you have a carpeted bedroom, you should definitely vacuum the entire floor in the room. The window panes, areas beneath and behind the dressing table, cabinets, wardrobes and bookshelves are areas that your vacuum cleaner would have to look into.

Scrubbing and Mopping:

If the room doesn’t have a carpeted floor, mopping would be the way to go. Depending on whether it’s hardwood floor or something else, you might have to scrub harder at some areas of the floor. The corners might have some stains which won’t come off easily. That’s where you can resort to scrubbing as it will be easier than having a mop reach deeper spots. Think of mirrors, windows and any other glass surfaces too.


This is where your cleaning has to be a lot more tactful. Dusting might not be the best idea in the kitchen. But there’s still more than enough to do.


You’ll have to make sure that your shelves, floor, walls, cabinets, and even the ceiling areas are vacuumed. But be careful not to keep any open food items while doing so. Cover all the possible nooks and crannies and don’t forget to vacuum below the refrigerator or in and around any gaps of your microwave.


You can use either a store purchased disinfectant or cleaner. You could just as well use a vinegar and warm water based homemade solution. The kitchen counter top, sink, stoves, microwave, insides of the refrigerator and any other appliances must all be scrubbed properly with a disinfectant. Make sure you plug off the appliances before cleaning. Remove the wires or the plugs and make sure you’re cleaning around the switchboards too.

Even before the cleaning process begins, your kitchen should be cleared almost completely. If there are any major cutleries, don’t forget to properly wash them thoroughly. It’s also important to clean the kitchen windows and the exhaust. You’ll also have to clean the rugs separately and thoroughly.


Consider this a staple for the floor of every part of the house, unless it’s carpeted. Like always, check for the corners and spaces in and around refrigerators, microwaves, shelves and counters.


You’re going to have to do your best to disinfect. Just like your kitchen, the vinegar solution will come in handy here. Make sure you have enough scrubbers, sponge and other necessary armoury to get ready for a wipedown.


No vacuums, no dusters, just scrubbers. Your sink, floor, ceiling, showers, bathtubs, toilet seat, and literally everything should be scrubbed and disinfected thoroughly. Do also check the bathroom cabinets and give the insides a good scrub. The mouldy spots might require a tad bit more effort.


Additional Cleanup And Tips

It’s a known and common practice to take out any screw anchors or nails. In the process, you will obviously end up leaving holes and probably even little cracks. Beyond these, the house might have parts of the wall or ceiling where the paint has been coming off. It’s good to get a proper touch up done and fill up those cracks and holes while you’re at it. These things are best left to an expert.

For those who might have a store room, attic or garage, that’s also something you should take care of. They will require their fair share of scrubbing, dusting and mopping too. Wherever necessary, seek help from professionals. An overall deep cleanup might not be a bad idea beyond these things anyway. Cleaning services might be helpful to restore the apartment back if you’re a renter looking for that security deposit back from your landlord.

Now, all of these require time and effort, no doubt. Even after you let some of those things be handled by professionals. Which is why you should plan in advance, organize yourself and make sure you have taken care of as much of your packing and moving by this time as possible. Having your belongings out of the equation will make your life easier. Make sure you do it all even before the moving day of the new renters or residents.


It’s important that you don’t miss out on even the tiniest of areas from this move out cleaning checklist. Simply because the little things matter too. Of course, it’s important for many reasons because you could get in trouble with your landlord. But also, by doing the best possible cleaning, you will be contributing positively to someone’s new beginnings. Isn’t that the kind of good karma you want to attract before starting a new journey yourself?


See also: Best Home Deep Cleaning Services | Cleaning a New Home