The Dos and Don’ts of Move Out Cleaning — How to Clean When Your Lease Is Up

Moving out is never easy and having to clean the entire apartment is never an easy task. However, it’s necessary to leave your apartment just the way you got it if you want that security deposit back. Here are the Dos and Don’ts of move out cleaning your apartment.

Do: clean your appliances
Your microwave, refrigerator, and dishwasher are often the first thing a landlord inspects when you move out. Scrub away the dust and grime to leave a sparkling last impression.

However, other appliances also need some tender, loving care. If your apartment came with a phone, be sure to sanitize the handle and brush away the dust: some phones can harbor 25,000 germs in one square inch.

Don’t: leave your pots and pans behind
Though it can seem helpful for future tenants, it’s likely your landlord nor their future lessees will want your clutter. While it might be helpful to leave a roll of fresh toilet paper behind, be sure to bring everything with you when you go. Clear away knick-knacks, pots, pans, kettle, and bed if your apartment didn’t come fully furnished. Sell your items on online marketplaces or donate your goods if you really don’t want to take them to your new home.

Do: clean your walls
Pollen, smoke, dust, and other particulate matter will accumulate on your walls, even if you aren’t directly responsible. While you don’t need to scrub your walls top-to-bottom, clearing away cobwebs in the corners of your rooms and scrubbing away dust at your baseboards is an oft looked over aspect to move out cleaning.

Don’t: do it all yourself
Even if your apartment is small, doing it all yourself can be exhausting. If you can’t get your roommates or friends to help out consider hiring a professional cleaning service to do the dirty work for you. This will give you more time to pack and you won’t need to worry about earning back your security deposit.

Do: clean your carpets
Sure, vacuuming does a pretty good job at cleaning the surface, but carpet cleaning is essential if you want to remove the dirt and grime from months of forgetting to take off your shoes. Hire a commercial cleaning company or carpet cleaning service if you have wall-to-wall carpeting that isn’t easily replaced.

Don’t: forget to leave the key
Once you’re finished with your move out cleaning, don’t forget to give your key to your landlord. If you aren’t able to give it to them directly, agree on a place to leave it in your old home beforehand to ensure it gets to them promptly.

Do: take pictures
To prove all your hard work truly paid off, don’t forget to take pictures of your home before you leave. Some landlords might try to keep your security deposit for events that happened after you left. Take pictures of the walls and appliances to prove your move out cleaning was performed satisfactorily.

Move out cleaning is often the most stressful part of your moving experience. Ensure the job is done right by hiring a professional cleaning service and by following these tips.

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