Woman prepping for apartment cleaningGetting ready to move to a new apartment is both exhausting and exciting. But before you start decorating the new place, you have to tackle apartment move-out cleaning at the old one.

Unless you’re just really into housekeeping, apartment cleaning is not fun. However, it is necessary. After all, your security deposit depends on it. Below you’ll find six apartment move-out cleaning tips that can help you get the job done right.


1. CREATE A MOVE-OUT CLEANING PLAN


Time is an important factor when it comes to apartment move-out cleaning. You have a set number of days to make your old residence sparkle before moving into your new home. In addition, you’ll need to leave enough time for your landlord to do a walkthrough in order to get your deposit back. Set manageable deadlines for yourself, so everything gets completed within this short timeframe. And write deadlines down to give yourself a visual representation of the progress you’re making as you work.

2. CHECK YOUR LEASE


Some apartments, especially those in historic buildings or districts, strictly forbid the use of certain cleaning products. Assume that your landlord knows the details of the structure better than you, and don’t even think of using taboo products. You don’t want to damage floors or pipes, as doing so could cost you much more than your security deposit.

3. BE MINDFUL OF EASY-TO-FORGET SPOTS


Your landlord will be performing a figurative white-glove test before you go, and will be well aware of nooks and crannies that might slip your mind. So when creating your apartment cleaning checklist, remember to do the following:

Apartment Cleaning Checklist
1. Clean forgotten upper shelves of closets and cabinets
2. Polish faucets in the kitchen and bathroom
3. Scour the backsplash and wall next to the stove (Hello, spaghetti sauce splatters.)
4. Dust ceiling fans, windowsills and the tops of baseboards
5. Wipe down the magnetic strip on fridge and freezer doors
6. Clear dust bunnies from standing or window AC units
7. Empty lint traps and wipe down washers and dryers
8. Sweep outdoor areas, like porches and steps (It’s so easy to forget the outside.)

4. CONSIDER DEEP CLEANING YOUR CARPET


If your apartment’s carpeted surfaces have taken a beating since you moved in, it may be worth it to deep clean your carpeting . Do your best to remove pet stains before your deep clean, and give carpeted rooms a thorough vacuuming. You can opt to rent a carpet-cleaning machine and do the job yourself. But if you’re worried about time constraints or possibly damaging the carpet, you can also hire a professional carpet-cleaning service.

5. DO A FINAL SWEEP (WITH YOUR EYES AND A BROOM)


Take a good look around to make sure you haven’t left any personal items in any rooms, closets or cabinets. As the final step of your move-out cleaning, go through each room with a broom, and sweep up any dust or dirt that got stirred up while you were moving your boxes.

6. RECOGNIZE WHEN YOU NEED HELP


Apartment cleaning is a lot of work, especially when you’re busy trying to move your things to a new home. Sometimes, you may not have the time to clean your apartment thoroughly. If you find yourself in this situation, it might be a good idea to have a cleaning service come in and do the job for you. In the long run, hiring a housekeeping service is probably cheaper than losing your entire security deposit.

Arm yourself with these tips and a little elbow grease, and you should have no problem getting your apartment ready for your landlord’s scrutiny. And before you know it, your apartment move-out cleaning will be a distant memory.