Preparing for a move can be a daunting task and sometimes you get so caught up in moving your stuff out and to the new place, you don’t properly prioritize the cleaning that needs to be done in the rental. Failure to properly clean the space before moving can often cause you to forfeit your deposit or be knocked over the head (that’s what it can feel like) with outrageous cleaning fees and repair fees. I once moved out of an apartment that wanted to charge me $100 to repair a plastic piece on an air conditioner that cost $5 at Home Depot. Do the work, it’ll pay off.
A good rule of thumb is to leave your old home the way you would want it left for you.
You can either hire a local cleaning company (make sure they are licensed and insured)…or slap on a pair of rubber gloves, a sweatband, and turn on your favorite play list. Let’s get started.
Depending on how much cleaning needs to be done, this checklist could take you several hours or even days. Don’t wait until the last minute to start on your cleaning checklist.
Below is a cleaning checklist that should be taken care of before shutting the door on your rental for good.
Clean your oven and stove, inside and out. This might not be a fun task, so you may want to get it out of the way first. Do it right by using oven cleaner, scrubbing and wiping it down thoroughly.
The entire kitchen will need to be cleaned and sanitized. This includes the insides and outsides of kitchen cabinets and drawers. I recommend using a vacuum with a tube extender and nozzle.
Don’t forget the refrigerator. Clean out all the food. All of it. Remove all the trays and drawers, spray them with cleaner or degreaser as needed and wash the inside and outside in the sink or a bathtub. Spray, clean, and dry the interior of the fridge before replacing trays and drawers.
Make sure the freezer is e defrosted. Wipe down the exterior of the fridge and freezer (top and sides) and bleach-based solution to remove any remaining stains.
Let’s head into the bathrooms. Scrub down your shower, tub, sink and toilet until there is no trace of dirt, grime or stains. Next, spray a nice coat of Windex over everything and shine away. Clean the mirror after the sink to make sure there is no splatter and leave it streak-free. Sweep and mop the floors last.
Take a look at your walls. Scrub them gently or wipe them down in areas where there is visible dirt or fingerprints. The Arm and Hammer Magic Eraser has definitely saved me a few times.
Get out your dusting cloth and dust what is left behind such as windowsills, fans and lights (a high reaching vacuum can help in a lot of these places also).
Baseboards are easy to forget and can be dusted by running a broom along the edge of the wall. Streaks, stains and smears can often be removed with the Arm and Hammer Magic Eraser (I love that thing!).
Use a broom to remove any cobwebs that are hanging out in corners on the inside and outside of the house.
Clean and shine the inside and outside of your windows, using Windex.
Clean the floors in every area of the home. Vacuum wherever there is carpet and mop wherever there is tile.
Porches, balconies, and yards often get over looked before moving out so be sure to remove trash and debris and sweep wherever needed.
Following this cleaning checklist should ensure you leave your rental as good (or better) than when you found it and will hopefully end up saving you big bucks.