Move In/Move Out Cleaning Checklist in Alexandria, VA

Move-in move-out cleaning checklist in alexandria va
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Moving out of a home or apartment can be extremely stressful. Not only do you have to pack up all of your belongings, but you also need to thoroughly clean your property to get your security deposit back. Having a detailed move-out cleaning checklist is essential to make sure you clean everything properly before movers arrive.

In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive move-out cleaning checklist for Alexandria, VA residents. We will cover what needs to be cleaned in the bathroom, kitchen, living areas, and other spaces. We’ll also provide tips on cleaning tools to have on hand and when it’s best to hire apartment contracts for professional move-out cleaning services. Follow this move-out cleaning checklist and you’ll be set to move out without any hassles!

Advantages of a Move-In/Move-Out Cleaning Checklist

Using a comprehensive move-in/move-out cleaning checklist offers many great benefits for Alexandria, VA residents:

  • Ensures a Thorough Clean – A detailed checklist acts as a guide so you don’t miss any areas. This guarantees every last inch gets cleaned properly before move-in day or your apartment inspection walkthrough.
  • Saves Time and Energy – Checking tasks off as you go makes cleaning efficient. You won’t waste time backtracking or getting overwhelmed trying to remember what still needs cleaning.
  • Peace of Mind – Thorough checklists give confidence that your new home will be spotless or old home will meet end-of-lease cleaning requirements. This helps alleviate stress during an already hectic move.
  • Gets Your Deposit Back – Meticulous cleaning to your landlord’s standards helps guarantee a full security deposit refund. Remember, apartment contracts look closely for dirt and damage during walk-throughs.
  • Hassle-Free Moving Day – No one wants to scramble to clean last minute before movers arrive. Tackling cleaning well in advance makes packing and actual moving day smooth sailing.
  • Highlights Any Repairs Needed – A detailed clean may reveal appliance issues, wall scratches, or carpet stains needing repair. Documenting these early allows time to fix problems properly.

Toilet room with mop

Bathroom Move-Out Cleaning Checklist

The bathroom involves some of the dirtiest areas of a home. When moving out, be sure to scrub and disinfect the following areas:

Bathtub, Shower & Sinks

  • Use a multi-purpose bathroom cleaner to scrub away soap scum, mineral deposits, and mildew from the bathtub and shower walls
  • Clean the shower curtain by spraying it down and scrubbing mildew spots
  • Use a non-scratch scrub pad or sponge to clean sink basins, faucets, and countertops; polish with a dry cloth
  • Unclog shower and sink drains; flush with hot water and drain cleaner


  • Flush to remove water; scrub the entire bowl with a toilet brush and bathroom cleaner
  • Clean outer toilet surfaces like the lid, seat, tank, and base with disinfectant
  • Wipe down the exterior of the toilet including the piping underneath

Mirrors & Glass

  • Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle; spray mirrors and glass surfaces before wiping clean with a soft cloth

Walls, Floors, and Baseboards

  • Sweep and mop floors with an all-purpose floor cleaner
  • Wipe vanity cabinets inside and out; disinfect countertops
  • Dust baseboards and wipe away grime with a multi-surface cleaner
  • Spot clean walls and touch up the paint where needed

Microwave Oven

  • Remove the microwave plate and clean inside by mixing baking soda with water to make a paste
  • Scrub paste over inside surfaces with a sponge before rinsing clean
  • Wipe down outside microwave surfaces removing all food, oil, and grime build-up

According to home services company HomeAdvisor, the average cleaning time for a move-out clean spanning 2,000 sq ft is anywhere from 5 to 12 hours based on the number of bedrooms. More meticulous cleaning is required for one and two-bedroom apartments used over several years.

Oven stove cleaning

Kitchen Move-Out Cleaning Checklist

The kitchen often requires some heavy-duty scrubbing and cleaning before moving out. Be sure to go through this checklist before the movers come:

Cabinets and Drawers

  • Remove everything from cabinets and drawers; wipe down all shelves
  • Use a degreaser like an all-purpose kitchen cleaner to remove grime, food build-up, and grease from interior and exterior cabinet surfaces

Counters and Backsplash

  • Clear counters of small appliances and wipe down
  • Use a multipurpose cleaner and scrub pads to clean soap scum, food stains, and spills from backsplash tiles


  • Mix a baking soda and vinegar paste to scrub away grime and odors from the sink basin
  • Pour boiling water down the drain before using a plunger to unclog drains
  • Clean sink fixtures like the faucet and handle with an abrasive sponge


  • Defrost and unplug fridge; clean shelves, drawers, and walls with baking soda and water solution
  • Scrub the inside of the oven by mixing baking soda with water to make a paste; use a non-scratch sponge
  • Clean grease and food particles from stove drip pans and surfaces with a degreaser
  • Descale kettle by filling it with equal parts water and white vinegar, boil and allow to sit overnight before rinsing
  • Empty and wipe down the dishwasher tub, racks, and door and seal


  • Sweep and mop floors paying close attention to corners and tight spaces
  • Get on your hands and knees to scrub stains off floor tiles
  • Clean baseboards with a multipurpose cleaner and soft brush

Garbage Cans and Recycling Bins

  • Empty cans and bins and remove any garbage bags
  • Use hot water and detergent to wash out any lingering food or liquids
  • Allow to fully dry before moving them outside

Maid cleaning a desk

Living Area Move Out Checklist

The living room, bedroom, and other living spaces also need to be thoroughly cleaned when you move out. Go through this checklist:


  • Dust all furniture like coffee tables, bookshelves, and TV stands
  • Vacuum and spot clean upholstered furniture; apply fabric cleaner to any stubborn stains
  • Polish wooden furniture; use a scratch cover on any furniture defects


  • Dust TV screens, speakers, and entertainment systems
  • Clean phone, laptop, and tablet screens with a microfiber cloth

Windows and Sills

  • Wipe down windows and tracks to remove dirt buildup
  • Clean windowsills to eliminate dust, bugs, and debris

Light Fixtures and Fans

  • Use microfiber dusters to remove dust from all light fixtures and ceiling fans
  • Wipe down light switches and outlet covers

Walls, Ceilings, and Baseboards

  • Spot clean walls and ceilings taking note of any excess dirt or stains
  • Dust baseboards and clean them with a multi-surface cleaner
  • Steam clean carpets and rugs or hire professional carpet cleaning services
  • Sweep and mop hard floors paying attention to grout and corners
  • Remove all items from the closet; clean out shelves and wipe down rods
  • Sweep and mop closet floors to eliminate dirt, debris, and stains
  • Check walls and corners for dirt and scuffs; spot clean as needed

Cleaning supplies

Cleaning Tools for Moving

Having the right cleaning tools on hand will make tackling your entire move-in move-out cleaning checklist much easier. Be sure to gather all of the following:

  • All-purpose cleaner/degreaser
  • Bathroom cleaner/disinfectant
  • Baking soda and white vinegar
  • Scrub pads and abrasive sponges
  • Toilet brush
  • Dust rags
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Mop and broom
  • Bucket
  • Rubber gloves
  • Cleaning caddy to transport supplies
  • Vacuum
  • Scratch cover
  • Fabric cleaner

7 Tips for Using Your Move-In/Move-Out Cleaning Checklist

Checklists make cleaning efficient, but proper planning and preparation ensure you use your listing effectively. Keep these tips in mind:

  1. Start Early – Don’t leave cleaning tasks until the last minute. Give yourself ample time in case extra scrubbing or touch-ups are needed.
  2. Set Timelines – Create a cleaning schedule over multiple days to prevent fatigue. Assign rooms and checklist sections over various sessions.
  3. Pack First – For move-outs, pack belongings before cleaning so spaces are cleared out. For move-ins, only bring essentials on the first day so cleaning isn’t obstructed.
  4. Buy Supplies in Advance – Check cleaning product levels beforehand and restock anything that’s low to prevent shortages or having to stop mid-task.
  5. Focus on Trouble Areas First – Use your checklist to identify the dirtiest spots like ovens, floors, and bathrooms. Focus energy here first when energy levels are highest.
  6. Double Check Work – Walk through all rooms again once finished to catch anything potentially missed in the first round. Perform test cleans on appliances.
  7. Take Pictures – Photograph properly working appliances, and the condition of floors and walls without furnishings. Document any lingering damages for move out.

Professional organizing company The Spruce recommends doing an initial thorough clean of your new home before move-in day. This allows you to spot any hidden damages or necessary repairs early.

Hiring A Move-Out Cleaning Company In Alexandria, VA

Cleaning an entire property before moving out can be extremely labor-intensive. Especially if you are on a tight moving timeline, it may be best to hire apartment contracts for professional move-out cleaning services. Reputable companies will have certified staff and commercial-grade equipment that can clean a property quickly and efficiently.

Look for a bonded and insured cleaning company that offers move-out cleaning packages. Be sure to get an estimate ahead of time and confirm what is included. High dusting, carpet cleaning, and appliance scrubbing are common add-ons.

Professional cleaners also know all the areas that rental companies typically check when doing move-out inspections. They can clean to meet industry standards, helping ensure you get your full security deposit back after moving out. This will give you valuable peace of mind during an already stressful move.


What should I clean when moving into a new apartment in Alexandria, VA?

When apartment contracts for your new place are finalized, do an initial comprehensive clean before moving in belongings. Scrub surfaces, mop floors, disinfect bathrooms, and spot-clean walls according to your checklist. This allows you to identify any damages or repairs needed so issues can be addressed before move-in day.

What is typically included in a professional move-out clean?

Reputable move-out cleaning companies thoroughly clean all rooms including vacuuming, surfaces, appliances, windows, baseboards, and floors. Most also include options like carpet cleaning, waste removal, yard cleanup, and touch-up painting. Discuss the extent of cleaning with companies ahead of time.

How can I get my full security deposit back when I move out?

Meticulously cleaning to your landlord’s specifications is key for full deposit returns after moving out. Address any apartment damages like wall scratches or stained carpets. And consider hiring professional cleaners highly trained in your rental’s move-out standards. Their cleaning aligns with what staff looks for during walk-throughs.

Should I hire professional cleaners for a move-out cleaning?

Professional cleaners use commercial equipment and eco-friendly disinfectants landlords prefer. They also know all potential areas of concern during walk-throughs. This gives great peace of mind that your rental will pass inspections for full security deposit refunds.

What cleaning supplies do I need for move-in/move-out?

Have all-purpose cleaners, baking soda, vinegar, scrub brushes, microfiber cloths, and gloves ready. Color code cloths to prevent cross-contamination on surfaces. Label spray bottles clearly and stash extra products so you don’t run out mid-cleaning.

How long does move-out cleaning take?

According to cleaning experts, move-out cleaning takes 5-12 hours on average depending on square footage. Break cleaning down into multiple sessions over several days focusing on your checklist. Scrub-intensive areas like appliances, flooring, and bathrooms first when your energy is highest.

Wrap Up

  • Create a comprehensive cleaning checklist breaking down all areas of your home that need cleaning
  • Pay special attention to scrubbing the bathroom, kitchen appliances, and floor grout
  • Use a series of DIY cleaning solutions including baking soda, vinegar, and multipurpose cleaners
  • Gather essential cleaning tools like scrubs, dusters, and gloves ahead of the cleaning process
  • Consider hiring reputable professional cleaners specially trained in move-out cleaning services

Following this detailed move-out cleaning checklist for your Alexandria, VA home will help you thoroughly clean from top to bottom. This will save time and hassle when movers arrive for the packing and planning stages. More importantly, it will help ensure you get your full security deposit back from apartment contracts once you move out!


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