Your Move-Out Cleaning Checklist

Moving out can be an exciting and stressful time, especially when it comes closer to the date. Whether you’re selling your home or cancelling your lease, before completely moving out, you must ensure your old home is left in a clean or acceptable condition. If you’re renting, depending on your landlord, it may be stipulated in your contract that ‘end of tenancy cleaning’ must take place. If you are renting a property, you may need to speak with your landlord about the cleaning expectations. Sometimes your space must be cleaned to their standard to get their deposit back.

If your rented home is left without deep cleaning, you may be held liable for cleaning fees by your landlord or management. Those selling usually give their home a deep clean, as it’s customary before giving the keys over to the new owners. Below are the move-out cleaning tips you should do before moving out of your home. 

Move-Out Cleaning 

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Here are the 11 steps for cleaning and repairing each room to bring your former home back to its original condition before moving out.

Renters should follow all of these steps to ensure they get their deposit back. 

  1. Remove nails from walls and patch the holes Decorating your walls is a nice way to make a place your own, but before you leave, you’ll need to take out all the nails from the walls. Think of towel hooks, racks, TV mounts, furniture anchors, etc. that you will need to remove. The holes must also be filled and then retouched with paint. 
  2. Repaint if necessary Most rental homes use a standard colour of paint, so you may have changed the colour when you first moved in. Now it needs to be repainted back to its original colour. This is a requirement for most leases if you want the deposit back, unless your landlord states it doesn’t have to be repainted, in writing. Don’t forget to clean your walls, whether you’re repainting them or not.
  3. Wipe down all doors. Doors are an area of the household that are usually overlooked during regular cleans. Wiping down the doors means your doors will sparkle. 
  4. Dust the ceiling fans. Your ceiling fans may not be cleaned when cleaning your home normally, but before moving out, you must check and be sure they’re clean. 
  5. Clean the windows and mirrors Cleaning your windows and mirrors gives any place a new and refreshed vibe, allowing light and brightness into the home. Use newspaper to get streak-free windows, and remember to clean and dust your blinds, as well as the window sills. 

You may want to read how to clean a mirror

  1. Clean out all cupboards and cabinets. Empty all cupboards and cabinets in the bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room, and closets. Remove grime and crumbs, and don’t forget to remove any pest bait, sticky traps, or air fresheners. 
  2. Deep clean sinks, tubs, showers, and toilets Deep cleaning the shower and tub is the best way to remove as much dirt in the grout and drains as possible. Don’t forget to scrub the sinks and taps until they sparkle. Toilet bowls must be scrubbed, lids lifted and cleaned, and the outer surface of the toilet must also be wiped down. Read how to clean toilet stains so your toilet can be left as good as new. 
  3. Make your appliances shine Appliances can get grimey over time. Make sure that everything from the fridge is removed and placed in the bin or a cooler bag. You will also have to clean your stove, oven, microwave, dishwasher, and any other appliances. 
  4. Dust and clean baseboards Run a wet cloth or duster along the baseboards and trim. These areas are neglected over the years, so a little cleaning can make all the difference.
  5. Sweep, vacuum, and mop floors Thoroughly vacuum all carpets and mop any tiles, hardwood, or laminate floors. If you have pets, be sure to remove all their fur that’s built up, typically in the corners and underneath furniture. Also, look out for any of their ‘accidents’, especially on carpets, and spot clean to remove specific stains. Here you can find out how to clean and mop all types of floors in your home.
  6. Take out the rubbish Don’t forget to throw away your trash. Although it sounds strange, it’s easy to simply forget a black bag in the middle of the room. 

Should You Hire A Cleaning Service?

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When moving out, you can decide if you’d like to do the move-out cleaning yourself or if you want to hire a professional cleaning service like SweepSouth to professionally clean your home for moving out. Particularly for those renting, a move-out cleaning service will ensure that you get your deposit back. Cleaning your property yourself is the most practical option if you don’t want to spend any more on your property. If you have kids or a busy job and you don’t have the time to spend cleaning the property, a professional move-out clean from SweepSouth is what you need.

When To Start The Move Out Cleaning

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The best time to clean before moving out is after all your furniture and personal items have been removed from your former home. This will ensure everything is cleaned, and simplify the process as you won’t have to worry about vacuuming under rugs and other furniture items.

Also, packing and moving can be a dusty process, especially if you’ve had a mover tracking dirt into the house. Cleaning the floors and surfaces once the movers have left and everything is moved out of your home is the best time to clean the floors. You should schedule your move at least 2 days before your move-out date. That way, you have plenty of time to make sure the property is properly clean for the new residents to move in. 


Now that you have a move-out cleaning checklist, you can clean your former home one more time before you leave. If renting, make sure you have a specific cleaning checklist that will be used by your landlord during a walk-through inspection just to check that everything is in order. Following this checklist is a way to be sure that you get the property back to pristine condition. 

You can also book a professional move-in clean with SweepSouth to help you settle in to your new property. 

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