Excited about moving into a new apartment? Don’t forget that you still have obligations to maintain the upkeep of your current apartment and keep it clean. Of course, you would want the move-out inspection to go smoothly and have high hopes of getting your security deposit back, but it all depends upon how thoroughly you have deep cleaned the apartment. If you do not clean out your current and soon to-be-old apartment, you risk not just losing on your security deposit, but you also risk a future reference check from your current landlord. Trashing an old apartment will reflect poorly on you and your landlord might not give a good reference check for you to the building managers. So, pull up your big pants and get started on the move out cleaning.

We don’t want you to risk losing your security deposit just because you missed cleaning the garage or a niche corner amidst all the chaos of moving out. So, we have created an apartment move out cleaning guide for your reference.

  • Read the lease agreement

Every lease comes with different expectations. Some lease agreements will require, you to professionally clean the apartment and some will be good with just a vacuum and mopping. So, read your lease agreement and read the move out cleaning instructions to understand the expectations of your landlord. Once you know what all you are expected to clean, it will be an easier process leading up to getting your deposit back.

move out cleaning

  • Repair the dents

Up-keeping the apartment involves more than just cleaning it. It involves repairing the dents, holes in walls, chipped paint and broken blinds or frames. Repair everything you broke, during your stay, that came with the apartment when you first moved in. Bulbs, lights, mirrors etc.

  • Start from the top

Cleaning is never a fun job and move out house cleaning is more difficult than a regular vacuum. You must clean everything that you never cleaned during your stay. Ceiling fan blades, chandeliers, blinds. Start your cleaning efforts at the top of a room moving onto the walls, windows, and floor. If you start cleaning from the floor up, you will have to clean your floors twice, as dust will fall when you are cleaning anything that’s above the floor.

  • Don’t forget the cobwebs

It is rather difficult to spot a cobweb but use a cobweb brush across the ceiling in every room. While you are at it, use the same brush to clean the air vents and crown molding as well.

We understand that cleaning is boring and a huge task, but alas, it must be done. So just throw on some tunes and get started. If your place is only superficially dirty, a quick round of mopping, sweeping and vacuuming will be enough. If you need help with the repairs on dents and chipped paint, it’s time to call in a professional or a friend who might know how to work around them.

Below is a checklist of repairs and cleaning based on different areas of the apartment:

The entire apartment:

  • Dust the ceiling fixtures
  • Vacuum the air vents
  • Wipe down the windows and blinds
  • Clean the doors and door knobs
  • Clean the light fixtures and switch boards
  • Brush down the cobwebs
  • Take out all the nails and screws from the walls
  • Repair the holes in the walls


  • Clean the bathroom closet and drawers
  • Clean the toilet, sink and counter-top
  • Sweep the floor
  • Clean the bathtub with bleach
  • Clean the mirror
  • Vacuum the exhaust fan vent


  • Scrub the refrigerator and the freezer
  • Clean out the oven and remove all the grunk
  • Clean the microwave, including the rotating plate
  • Scrub the sink and the faucet
  • Clean out the cabinets
  • Wipe down any appliances that came with the apartment
  • Scrub the counter-tops
  • Clean the dishwasher, if you have one
  • Wipe down the chimney

Bedrooms/Living Room:

  • Dust, sweep, and vacuum the rooms
  • Clean out the ceiling fan, if you have one
  • Clean out the closets and drawers

move out cleaning


  • Empty the garage, and clean it out


  • Mow the lawn
  • Pull the weeds and wild shrubs
  • Clean the patio/balcony/porch, if you have one
  • Clean out all the cigarette butts
  • Throw away beer cans and liquor bottles

Once you have completed the checklist and ticked off most of the pointers, it is time to lock up and drop the key in the mailbox. However, if you are not the cleaning kind of person and can splurge some cash on a professional cleaner, then just forget the checklist and search for a move out cleaning service online. You can find cleaners on the many websites and apps like Kijiji, Bunz or Adam Helps. All you need to do is post a job for free, and describe the cleaning work, mention the date and the money you are willing to pay for the job. Once you are done posting the job, you can sit back and relax, while someone else does all the work for you.

Bye Bye Messy and Hello Security Deposit!

P.S.: Don’t forget to change your address for all your bills and other mails.

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2 Response Comments

  • Airbnb CleanSeptember 4, 2018 at 4:59 am

    A quite ingenious way for cleaning. Pretty sure it will come in handy someday and I will definitely remember reading about it on your fabulous blog.


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