Guide to Apartment Cleaning for Moving In or Out

Whether you’re just moving in or about to move out, you might not have thought about an important factor for both: cleaning. Cleaning before or directly after you move in might not be your biggest concern, but cleaning your rental space before moving out could help ensure return of a security deposit. Read our tips and checklists below to make sure your apartment is sparkling:

Moving In

Cleaning can be tricky during the move-in phase. Depending on when your lease starts and when you physically move into your space can determine a lot. If you have a few days in between the two, take the time to visit the apartment and do some overall cleaning and double checking of appliances, faucets and other things that might need attention before you begin using them. If you notice something that wasn’t a problem during your walk-through, or if you didn’t have a walk-through, be sure to contact your landlord or property manager to ensure it’s fixed before your official move-in.

Before Move-In Cleaning Checklist

  • Vacuum and/or steam clean carpet
  • Lightly wipe down surfaces
  • Clean bathtub and toilet
  • Open a window (weather permitting) to allow fresh air in
  • Check vents and air filter
  • Check faucets for potential leaks
  • Clean refrigerator and freezer

Once you have officially moved your stuff in and the dust has settled, then you can clean and begin to “nest”. This cleaning will be a little more detail-oriented, since the space is officially yours and movers won’t be tracking anymore dirt into your space.

After Move-In Cleaning Checklist

  • Dust, wipe down and sanitize surfaces
  • Vacuum
  • Mop and/or clean non-carpet floors
  • Windex windows and mirrors

Moving Out

While moving in can be less stressful when it comes to cleaning depending on how tidy you are in general, cleaning when moving out can determine whether you get your full security deposit back or not. Follow the checklist below to make sure you leave your space in good shape for the next renters:

Moving Out Cleaning Checklist

  • Vacuum and/or steam clean carpet
  • Double check for potential stains on carpeting and remove best as possible
  • Remove all nails, staples and hanging strips from the walls
  • Remove scuffs from the wall using a magic eraser
  • Remove all food and trash from the apartment
  • Cancel all utilities for that specific rental
  • Do a move out inspection with your landlord to discuss any, or lack thereof, damages

Keep in mind that you were probably not the first person to live in your rental space and you most likely will not be the last, so treat the space as if it were your permanent residence. What are some cleaning tips you might have from renting experience? Share in the comments below!

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