Moving Out Cleaning Checklist

An easy-to-follow move out cleaning checklist to get every room looking spick and span.

We get it: moving can be a whirlwind of emotions and to-dos. But trust us, taking the time to clean your old place can make a big difference – not just for the next occupants but also for your deposit refund.

Whether you're buying your first home, or you're moving to a new rental, deep cleaning boosts your chances of getting your deposit back in full, and let's face it, every dollar counts, especially with all the moving costs.

Moving is time-consuming and you've got a lot on your plate, so if you don’t have time to do it yourself, you can always hire someone to do a one-time move out cleaning. They'll handle the cleaning while you focus on other moving-related tasks.

But if you opt for DIY, here’s an easy-to-follow checklist to get every room looking spick and span. Let's dive in!

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What you’ll need

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Sponges
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Glass cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Scrub brushes
  • Duster
  • A vacuum cleaner with attachments
  • Mop and bucket
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Trash bags
  • Paper towels
  • Rubber gloves
  • Putty knife 
  • Spackling paste or wall putty
  • Disinfectant wipes or spray

Moving out cleaning checklist: Do this in every room

For every room in the house, do the following.

Remove nails, screws, or hooks from walls

Before you leave your old home, take down anything hanging on the walls, like pictures or decorations, so they look clean and ready for the new tenants to move in.

Patch up holes

Fill the holes left by nails with wall putty. Apply it with a putty knife, let it dry, and sand it lightly to level it with the wall.

Wipe down walls and baseboards

Clean walls and baseboards with a damp microfiber cloth or sponge. Pay extra attention to areas near doorknobs and light switches.

Clean inside and outside of cabinets and drawers

Empty your cabinets and drawers and give them a good wipe so they're clean and tidy for the next family.

Dust and clean the ceiling fans

Ceiling fans collect dust over time, so give them a good wipe with a microfiber cloth. If there's any hard-to-remove dirt, use a soft cloth and a solution of dish soap and water. 

Clean windows and mirrors

Spray glass cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water on windows and mirrors, then wipe them with a lint-free cloth. 

Sweep, vacuum, and mop all floors

Sweep the floors to clear away loose dirt and debris. Then, vacuum carpets and mop your hard floors to get them shining.

If your carpets have a noticeable odor, sprinkle baking soda on them, let it sit for a while, and then vacuum. 

Remove trash and unwanted items

Dispose of all trash properly and consider donating or recycling items you don't need.

Check for wall scuffs and touch up paint

Inspect walls for scuff marks, and touch up the paint if necessary to leave the walls looking fresh.

Dust and clean light fixtures, ceiling fans, and vents

Use a duster or a slightly damp cloth to clean light fixtures, ceiling fans, and vents to remove dust and grime buildup.

Sweep or hose down the patio/balcony

If you have an outdoor space, sweep or hose it down to remove dirt and debris.

Dust and clean window blinds and curtains

Wipe down blinds with a damp cloth or use a vacuum cleaner brush attachment to clean it. On the other hand, if you have curtains, launder or dry clean them.

What to clean in the kitchen before moving out

Clean these items in your kitchen before moving out to get your security deposit back and leave a tidy space for the next family.

Kitchen move out cleaning checklist

  • Clean the oven and stove top.
  • Wipe down kitchen appliances.
  • Sanitize the kitchen countertops.
  • Empty and clean inside cabinets and drawers.
  • Clean the interior of the refrigerator and freezer and defrost if needed.
  • Dust and clean light fixtures in the kitchen.
  • Wipe down kitchen cabinets and backsplash.
  • Clean the kitchen exhaust fan or range hood.
  • Remove any stains from kitchen walls.
  • Sweep, vacuum, and mop the kitchen floors.
  • Clean and disinfect the kitchen sink, faucet, and drain.

What to clean in the bathroom before moving out

Use this checklist to thoroughly clean your bathroom before you move out.

Bathroom move out cleaning checklist

  • Clean and disinfect the bathtub and shower walls.
  • Remove soap scum and hard water stains from shower doors and tiles.
  • Clean the toilet thoroughly, including the bowl, seat, and exterior.
  • Scrub and sanitize the bathroom sink and faucet.
  • Wipe down bathroom countertops and vanity surfaces.
  • Clean mirrors and glass surfaces in the bathroom.
  • Dust and clean light fixtures and bulbs.
  • Remove any cobwebs from the corners and ceiling.
  • Clean and disinfect bathroom handles and doorknobs.
  • Wash and sanitize the shower curtain and liner (if applicable).
  • Wipe down the inside cabinets and drawers.
  • Wipe down bathroom towel bars, hooks, and toilet paper holders.
  • Clean and shine bathroom fixtures, such as towel racks and faucets.
  • Polish any metal fixtures, like showerheads or bathroom hardware.
  • Sweep and mop the bathroom floor, paying attention to corners.
  • Clean grout lines between tiles, if applicable.
  • Check and clean bathroom exhaust fans and vents.
  • Remove any water stains or mold from bathroom walls and ceilings.

Move out cleaning: Hire a cleaner or DIY?

Cleaning your home yourself before you move out can be a cost-effective option, especially if you have a lot of other moving expenses. That being said, it’s time-consuming and labor-intensive, especially when you're juggling other moving-related tasks. 

Hiring a professional cleaner will certainly save you time. It also goes a long way toward providing you peace of mind: one major task off your plate so you can focus on getting settled in your new home. 

Ready to hire a cleaner?

With Homeaglow, you can easily book an affordable, top-rated cleaner in your area for a one-time move out cleaning or regular services. Read reviews, compare your options, and schedule online in minutes.

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