How to Clean Out an Apartment Before Moving Out

Moving out of an apartment can be a difficult experience. Make sure that you are sufficiently prepared for your move-out inspection by properly cleaning out your apartment before moving out. You would not want to lose out on your security deposit or accrue any additional damage fees. Also, if you are looking to move into another apartment, consider beginning your search with sites like PropertyGuru . Here are some tips and tricks for cleaning out your apartment before moving out:

Contact Your Utility Companies

It is best to start the cleaning process by contacting your utility companies and ensuring that you have a date set to turn off your utilities like water, gas, and electricity. If possible, you should try to transfer these utilities to your new house or apartment to avoid any introductory or set-up fees.

Clean and Fix Up The Walls

Clean those walls! This means removing any and all staples and nails you have in the walls, ceilings, and doors of the apartment. You should also wash the walls with a magic sponge (you can get them at Daiso). Remove any scuff-marks on the walls, doors and floors. Make sure to test your magic sponge first, as it can clean some paints off the wall. If necessary, paint over the scuff-marks with a fresh coat of paint. However, you might want to check with your landlord to make sure that this is allowed in your contract. Many landlords don’t allow you to paint the walls. If you are allowed to paint the walls, make sure that it is a neutral colour the landlord approves of. Colours like white, tan or beige are suitable.

Clean Up Your Kitchen

Start the kitchen cleaning process by filling a sink with warm water and adding plenty of dish detergent to the water. Then you can begin cleaning various parts of the kitchen:

  • Refrigerator: You should remove all of the shelves and drawers from the refrigerator and freezer before beginning the cleaning process, according to Apartment Therapy. At this point, you should have removed any leftover food from the fridge, since you are nearing the end of your lease anyway. Place these shelves and drawers in the dishwasher or simply wash them by hand. Then dip a sponge into the dishwasher and wipe down the interior of the fridge to remove any nasty food buildup. Make sure you clean the tiny compartments in the fridge where you keep your butter, eggs and condiments. Wipe down and dry the shelves, then place them back in your fridge.
  • Oven: You can use one to two cans of oven cleaner to clean the oven. Make sure that you read the safety directions carefully, since some cleaners require gloves or goggles. Protect your floor from dripping cleaner by placing newspaper or something in front of the oven to protect it. Coat the oven with cleaner and let sit for 24 hours. Make sure you do not turn on the oven during this time period. Use a sponge and paper towels to wipe down all surfaces and rinse with clean water. Then make sure that the vent above the stove is clean and the light bulbs in the overhead hood are functioning.
  • Cabinets: Use a multi-purpose cleaner on your cabinets, making sure to clean both the interior and exterior.
  • Light Fixtures: Make sure that the light fixtures are clean and do not have any dead insects in them. Give your glass fixture covers a wipe down as well.
  • Surfaces: Make sure that you thoroughly wipe down the front of the fridge, the stove range and all counter tops as well as the exterior and interior of all your appliances.
  • Sink: Drain the water from the sink and wipe down both the sink and faucet. You can use a powdered cleanser and old toothbrush or small brush to scrub around edges of fixtures.
  • Floor: Sweep and thoroughly mop the floor. You will need to move the stove and refrigerator to really clean the floor well.

Clean Your Bathrooms

Clean the sink, tub, toilet and shower and make sure to remove any buildup and wipe down all fixtures. You should also clean the mirrors and medicine cabinet and don’t forget the light fixtures! Then sweep and mop the bathroom floor, making sure to get any residue built up around the toilet.

Clean Your Bedrooms

Wipe down your closet shelves and clean any mirrors. Treat any carpet spots and vacuum the carpet. On wooden floors, use oil soap and mop the floors thoroughly. Make sure to also clean any windows and windowsills.

Fix Up Your Living Room and Dining Room

Clean the windows and wash the blinds in your living room, den and dining room. Measure and replace any broken blinds if needed. Make sure to clean the blades of the ceiling fan, if you have one, and as always, don’t forget those light fixtures! If necessary, replace burnt out light bulbs and make sure to upgrade to brighter bulbs. Vacuum or mop the floors and treat the carpet spots if needed.

Sweep The Exterior

If you have a rental house, make sure to clean the exterior such as the balcony, patio and doors. Also, make sure to remove any garbage bags from the apartment and place the garbage cans at the curb if necessary before your inspection. If needed, make sure that outside lights are working as well.

Photograph The Apartment

Once your house is ready for inspection, make sure that you take plenty of pictures of your apartment to keep for your records in case you are ever wrongly blamed by the landlord for damaging your apartment. You can send these photos and a written description to your landlord or property manager and ask them to sign off on it. Mail the photographs to yourself as well, so that you have a postmark on the envelope to help prove the date that you cleaned the apartment before leaving.