If you happen to be leaving your house shortly – whether you are selling it or terminating a lease – you need to ensure that the place is in decent condition. For that purpose, you will need to prepare a proper move out cleaning checklist.
You can then either clean it up yourself or hire a professional cleaning service. If you’re renting an apartment, you will also need to get your security deposit back. Many landlords demand their tenants to restore the house to pristine condition before leaving as well.
If you are selling your own house, you will have to ensure that you’ve cleaned it properly before giving the new owner the keys. Although you don’t have to do it, it is courteous and polite to do so.
Having an organized move out cleaning checklist makes things much easier for you. You will not only avoid forgetting essential tasks but save time as well. Strictly speaking, your home’s size and its present status of cleanliness will determine your move out cleaning checklist. This guide aims to render a comprehensive move out cleaning checklist that you can use as a reference.
1. Take Out All Remaining Personal Possessions
The very first task in your move out cleaning checklist should be to remove all remaining personal property from your house. That includes items like furniture, electronics, accessories, and wall paintings.
2. Vacuum the Floors
After you have removed all your property from the house, proceed to vacuum the floors thoroughly. Make sure that you vacuum the stairs, corners, closets, and other obscure regions as well.
3. Clean the Surfaces
The third task in your move out cleaning checklist is to meticulously dust and wipe down all surfaces. These include countertops in your kitchen and bathroom, window panes, shelves, and fireplace mantles. You can use a clean cloth or roll of paper towels with a multipurpose surface cleaner for this purpose.
4. Clean the Inside of Kitchen Cabinets
Properly cleaning the kitchen cabinets is an important step but easily missed. Particles of food material and cooking ingredients often get collected in there. Therefore, make sure you highlight it in your move out cleaning checklist.
5. Wipe the Appliances Clean
Stainless steel appliances tend to collect marks and fingerprints with time. You can clean them effectively using a mixture of vinegar in water or a multipurpose spray. Make sure that you properly wipe and clean the microwave too.
6. Scrub and Clean the Bathroom
After you’ve done the dusting and vacuuming, it is time to gear up and clean the bathrooms properly. Needless to say, that is a demanding task. However, it is one of the essential parts of your cleaning process.
Ensure that all the showers, bathtubs, sinks, and toilets have been adequately scrubbed and cleaned. Before winding up, make sure that there is no rust, mildew, or mold left in the bathrooms.
7. Clean the Closets
After taking out your clothes and other items, you need to wipe the hanging rods and shelves in your closet clean. You will also need to vacuum its floors and ensure that none of your belongings are left behind.
8. Take Out All the Wall Anchors and Nails
You should remove all the wall anchors, hooks, and nails in the walls before moving out. That is unless the buyer or landlord requests you explicitly to let them be.
9. Patch Up Holes and Repair Drywalls
After having taken out wall anchors, nails, and hooks from the walls, you should fill the holes they leave behind. You can also hire a professional handyman to repair any drywall if required.
10. Obscure Markings and Scratches Using Paint
Visit a nearby paint shop and purchase a small can of paint that matches your wall’s color. Now use it to obscure any markings and scratches on the walls.
Areas with high-gloss paint, such as baseboards, are much more vulnerable to scratches than walls with a matte finish. Thus, you must pay special attention to them in this regard.
11. Clean and Sanitize the Refrigerator
After the painting is done, proceed to empty the fridge and freezer and clean them up properly. Ensure that all the surfaces have been wiped carefully using a disinfectant spray. Do not leave behind any food crumbs inside.
12. Wipe Clean the Stovetop and Oven
A significant amount of food crumbs ends to accumulate on the stovetop. In case you possess a gas range, you must take out the upper part of the same and clean beneath the burners. Create a paste of baking soda with water, and add in some vinegar if required. Use this to wipe the oven clean meticulously.
13. Finally, Mop Up the Floors
After you have made sure that you’ve cleaned all the surfaces and vacuumed them, finish the job by mopping up the floors properly. You can create an effective cleaning mixture by mixing vinegar in warm water. Alternatively, you can clean the floors using a Swiffer sweeper with a wet cloth.
Additional Move Out Cleaning Tips
If you have a busy schedule and do not have sufficient time, you can hire a cleaning service. However, if you are running on a tight budget, you should try cleaning the place yourself. Before deep cleaning the house, ensure that you’ve moved all your belongings and furniture. It will make the process much more comfortable and also help you clean otherwise out-of-reach places properly.
Moreover, movers repeatedly tracking dirt in the place can make packing much harder. Thus, you should clean up after they have left and all items have been removed from the house. You should try scheduling your move a couple of days before the move out deadline. As a result, you should have enough time to clean up the place before the new residents arrive.
You can also consider hiring professional cleaners with heavy lifting work as moving out is stressful on its own, and you can do without the additional burden of cleaning.