Move-Out Cleaning Checklist

Moving out of your apartment can be a stressful time! Add the drama of not understanding how or what to leave squeaky clean in your old place and many of us end up feeling overwhelmed and anxious about the move. Almost every apartment complex or landlord will require the apartment be left as clean as when you moved in, so be sure to reread that part of your lease. Getting back your security deposit will depend on it!

Here is a quick and easy move-out cleaning checklist to remember to wipe down, sweep, and vacuum all of those hard to reach places.

First, move your things out!

With your belongings out the door, cleaning becomes so much easier! No bulky furniture to work around will make your cleaning process fast and painless.


  • Wipe down all counter tops with disinfectant
  • Throw out all items in refrigerator
  • Wipe down inside of refrigerator
  • Wipe down outside of refrigerator
  • Clean microwave (if leaving)
  • Sweep or mop the floor
  • Wipe down fronts of cabinets if needed
  • Clean out oven with sponge
  • Scrub stovetop to remove any baked-on food
  • Dust any surfaces that collect dust
  • Remove all items from cabinets and dishwasher


  • Dust fan blades
  • Vacuum carpet neatly or mop / sweep floors
  • Vacuum closet
  • Remove all clothing and items from closet space
  • Dust any shelving in bedroom or closet
  • Wipe down window blinds
  • Wipe down windows with glass cleaner
  • Fill any holes in the walls with putty, then sand down to be flush with the wall


  • Clean toilet bowl with disinfectant
  • Clean outside of toilet with disinfectant
  • Wipe out the sink
  • Wipe down sink knobs and handles
  • Clean shower using disinfectant and shower scrub
  • Wipe down shower knobs and showerhead
  • Sweep or mop floors
  • Wipe down mirror with glass cleaner

Living Space

  • Dust fan blades
  • Dust all shelves and surfaces
  • Vacuum carpet neatly or mop / sweep floors
  • Wipe down window blinds
  • Fill any holes in the walls with putty, then sand down to be flush with the wall
  • Wipe off doorknobs
  • Wipe down windows with class cleaner
  • Clean doors where they show signs of use (i.e. dirt or grime)

Cleaning your apartment well shouldn’t take you more than an hour or two, especially if you start once your belongings are moved out! If you have the time to move your belongings out in one day, take the next day to unpack and head back to your place to do your cleanup. Remember, check your lease to ensure your landlord doesn’t have any other requirements than those listed above!

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Author My First Apartment

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Sarah is a dog lover and advocate for conversation & laughing at your own jokes. Since finishing her college career in communications, she began working (and living) in Atlanta. After living in a few different apartments over the last few years, she's ready to share experiences. Stay tuned for adventures, tips and advice!

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