A Housekeeper’s Guide to the Move Out Cleaning

Posted Moving Essentials / August 20, 2021
Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.

Planning and executing a relocation involves a lot of hard work and good organizational skills. It’s a stressful event because there are too many tasks to take care of. This includes move-out cleaning, but it’s something we can do without stress with the right amount of determination.


It’s that time of the year again, when either our career has decided to take us in a completely different direction, or we hear a call of a distant city, and we’re about to move to a new state. Some are about to reach a milestone and invest in cross-country moving services so they can move in together with their significant other. For whatever reasons we move, the preparatory steps are always similar. We have to pack and take care of many tasks, and above all, spruce up the abode so it can be squeaky neat after we cross the doorstep and head out into the world.

Why Is It Important to Do the House Move-Out Cleaning?

Let’s start with some fun facts – two hours of tidying up will burn 200 worth of calories. And truthfully, different chores around the residence will burn varying amounts of calories in the body. But the main reason behind a thorough scrubbing before we leave is more important than simply sprucing up and doing some exercise. In fact, it’s an essential part of preparing your home for sale if you want to show your place in the best possible light and negotiate the wanted price.

Do I Have to Clean When I Move Out? Important Advice for Renters

More than 100 million Americans live in rentals, and their leases usually last from twelve to eighteen months. But leaving rental property usually increases anxiety about moving out. That happens because the renters are aware that there’s an apartment move-out cleaning ahead of them if their lease is about to expire. The rental has to be in almost perfect condition so you can get the security deposit back, and that’s why tidying up should be high on your to-do list.

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What Is Included in a Move-Out Clean?

The simple answer would be – everything. If you are a homeowner, keep in mind that the residence should be spotless from the inside out, and even the entrance should look neat and shiny. There’s nothing as important as the first impression when you want to get the best possible price when selling. And paying attention to details, such as scrubbing the window blinds or taking care of the curb, is among the best relocating hacks a seller can implement. But, it’s not simply the tidying process we should pay attention to. One of the preparatory steps includes obtaining the right supplies.

Move Out House Cleaning Supplies Checklist

As you’ll require quality packing materials to be able to pack your households (or to avoid it, you should invest in packing service,) you will also require proper supplies on your checklist to be able to achieve spotlessness. Don’t even think about starting without these:

  • Don’t hold back when you start picking the chemicals in the store. You’ll need disinfectants, multi-surface sprays, limescale remover, furniture oil or polish, glass spray. A specialized oven product is a must to make the kitchen shine, and the toilet is not squeaky clean without bleach.
  • Before you get your hands soaked with chemicals, make sure you obtain several pairs of sturdy rubber gloves. This is to avoid your skin coming into contact with both dirt and all the sprays you’re going to use.
  • Obtain enough cloth and sponges for the whole house. Although any type of cloth could do the trick, microfiber ones are probably your best choice. They are washable and can be used on any surface.
  • A broom and a dustpan will come in handy for sweeping roughly over the floors. You probably have it already lying around somewhere, and it’s time to take it out of the closet.
  • A feather duster is a tool that will enable you to reach all those tight spots that are otherwise unreachable. With it, you can even dust up to the ceiling.
  • A vacuum cleaner is a must-have in every home. It’s an appliance that will prove to be of utmost help during this task and will enable you to tidy up all corners and surfaces.
  • A mop and bucket will be a necessity after you scrub and clean everything. Once you polish the floors with a mop, the clock will say it’s time to leave and head on to a new home.
  • An additional tool that can be of great help is a steam cleaner. Since most homes don’t own one, you can call professional service and rent one, just for this occasion.

Keep in mind that all the chemicals on this checklist are among the items movers won’t move, but you probably shouldn’t worry about disposing of them. Many of these items are certainly on the new apartment checklist so that you can pack them with you in the car.

You Don’t Need Professional Services if You Put Your Mind to It

Hiring cross-country movers and investing in relocating solutions, such as auto transport service and also relocating insurance, is always a wise choice. But tidying up by yourself instead of using a professional service seems like an excellent way to avoid a dent in your relocating budget. We won’t lie – sprucing up is hard work, and we’ll need a tremendous amount of determination to do it, but with the right approach, it will be as easy as pie. But, what is the difference between deep cleaning and move-out cleaning? It’s the same thing, as you’ll need to leave everything in a neat condition when you leave, and deep scrubbing and tidying up will do the trick.


Determine Your Strategy

Fear not. Good tips for moving out of state include determining the strategy for the home cleaning process. There are many ways you can go about tidying up your place before you leave it. You can divide it by stages and go from one room to another or perhaps from top to bottom. Combining these two strategies can also work – you can roughly sweep from top to bottom and then commit your time and energy to one room at a time.

Free up the Space to Reach Every Spot

Before you get to work, you should ensure that the space of your abode is free of personal possessions. If you’ve followed some good advice and relocation tips, you have probably made a list of what to get rid of and thoroughly decluttered before jumping on to the tidying up part. It will make things a lot easier, as you’ll have less furniture and appliances to scrub. Check each closet and cabinet to see if there’s anything left, and pack up before you grab a broom and start sweeping.

Pay Special Attention to the Kitchen Space

Our cooking area may be the trickiest and most challenging to overcome, whether we are worrying about packing kitchen items or tidying each corner. There’s a lot to pay attention to – faucets and sinks require one approach and appliances a completely different one. The cabinets are perhaps the easiest to spruce up, and you can do it by applying a cloth soaked with a solvent made out of warm water and detergent. Wipe away with a clean cloth afterward.

Appliances Should Be Scrubbed, Degreased, and Disinfected

Before you move a refrigerator and the freezer and scrub them from each side, ensure that it’s unplugged and defrosted. Thoroughly wash the inside and the outside, and apply a disinfectant that you can wipe with a dry cloth. Secure the cord afterward so that it can be safely loaded on the truck.

The Sink and Faucets Should Be Cleansed With Care

Our cooking area, besides the bathroom, is the place where we should apply some stronger solutions to kill off bacteria. There’s also the problem with limescale that stays on faucets over time and mold that is usually found near or in our sinks. To be able to show off the home in the best possible light or get that security deposit back, these issues have to disappear. That’s where bleach and limescale remover will save the day – apply them generously, leave them for at least ten minutes, scrub and rinse. Repeat if needed.

The Bathroom Needs Extra Care and Some Scrubbing

Specific hacks will help us pack bathroom items to prevent the spilling and breaking of more delicate objects, such as perfumes and creams. But there’s no way around it – no hack will let you avoid a thorough scrubbing of this area. The tiles should be sprayed and scrubbed to get the limescale off, while the faucets and sinks require the same approach as those in the cooking area. The toilet needs a good amount of bleach, but be careful while you handle it. Soak the inside and let it stay for a while, then use the toilet brush to scrub. Wipe the outside, too. If the toilet seat is in bad condition, consider buying a new one, and you can do the same with the shower curtain.

Vacuuming Will Bring Out the Best in Your Home

As the move-out date approaches, your relocating stress levels are probably going through the roof. But a bit of good old hard work can help you relieve some of the tension. Handling a vacuum cleaner will probably get the best results the quickest way, and you can reach even the far corners with it, to get both dust and cobwebs out of the way. If you have furry companions and you’re relocating with pets, you already know how much it means to have a vacuum cleaner close at hand. It’s the ultimate hair gathering device.

There’s a Rule for Items That Go Into Storage

Investing in storage service while we move is always a wise option, but there’s a general rule for protecting items in storage units. While the furniture will require some vacuuming, wiping, and polishing with furniture oil, everything else needs to be thoroughly cleaned and dry. This is important to avoid mold while the items are in storage units. Making sure everything is dry is a great way to prepare for movers.

The Final Touch to Spruce up Before You Leave

The house cleaning after moving out is probably one of the most common things you forget to do when you move. After the movers have left your home, it’s the perfect moment to do the once over. There won’t be any need to do a deep scrubbing again, but simply mop over the floors where everyone walked over. Take care of the toilet, too, so that when you lock the place, you leave it in the scent of cleanliness.

Brace Yourself, Because There’s House Cleaning After Moving Ahead of You

When we pack our bag of relocating essentials, one of the most commonly forgotten things to pack is a supply of solvents and detergents for the new place. Although the former residents have probably left everything neat and clean, cleaning an apartment before moving in is a common thing to do after relocating. After all, we wouldn’t like to start unpacking if we didn’t do a once over.

Hire a Professional Service if You’re Short on Time

Just as you’ve hired a long-distance moving company to handle your relocation, if you’re not up to scrubbing the whole residence, you can always contact professional cleaners and ask them for their services. That way, you can get more free time to get some things you need for your first apartment and consider all the benefits of relocating. You can even throw a going away party and say goodbye to your friends and family.

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