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Apartment Cleaning Checklist - Leave Your Apartment Spotless When Moving Out

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July 12, 2023

Moving out and starting a new chapter? It's an exciting time to envision a fresh living space that meets your evolving needs. Yet, there's one essential task to tackle before you leave: end-of-tenancy cleaning. It's crucial for a smooth transition and securing the return of your full deposit. Ensuring your apartment is spotless not only paves the way for a hassle-free move but also protects your financial interests.

Hiring professional end-of-tenancy cleaning services is without a doubt one of the most simple, effortless, and time-saving ways to attain a completely clean space. The specialist cleaners can thoroughly clean your apartment, guaranteeing that you receive your entire deposit back.

However, if you're determined to take on this challenge independently, it is essential to be well-prepared and equipped with a carefully devised strategy. For your convenience, we've developed this ultimate apartment cleaning checklist that will walk you through every single step of this vital process. So, we encourage you to continue reading!

Why is it important to clean your apartment when moving out?

Giving your apartment a proper cleaning is an essential step of the moving-out process. After all, it will give you the peace of mind that you will receive your deposit money back. When you initially rented the apartment, you likely handed over a significant amount as a security deposit to the landlord or property management company.

Failing to leave the apartment tidy and neat could result in the withholding of a portion or the entire deposit. Not to mention that it could lead to a negative reference from your landlord, which might hinder your ability to secure future rentals. Keep in mind that many landlords request references from previous landlords to evaluate a tenant's suitability.

So, cleaning your apartment when moving out is not only a practical requirement but also a matter of respect, responsibility, and consideration for others. It comes with advantages to both you and the property owner and contributes to a positive rental experience for everyone involved. If you feel unsure about handling the task effectively or find yourself lacking the time, consider seeking help from a professional cleaning company.

Apartment move-out cleaning: Where to start from?

Before diving into the cleaning process, it's wise to first check your rental agreement for any specific cleaning requirements or guidelines you should adhere to. Once you have familiarized yourself with the terms, create a detailed apartment cleaning checklist that outlines all the tasks you need to complete.

Think about what you need to clean in every room in your apartment, for example, walls, windows, baseboards, carpets, etc. Though the moving-out cleaning process may appear daunting, if you've maintained a proper cleaning schedule before, accomplishing it on your own won't be too challenging.

Once you made your cleaning checklist it is time to grab your cleaning supplies and tools and start tackling each room. Always adopt a top-to-bottom approach, starting with the ceilings and walls and working your way down to the floors.

Room-by-room apartment cleaning checklist

Here, we will provide you with the ultimate apartment cleaning checklist starting with common areas such as the kitchen and living room, and moving to the serene spaces of the bedroom and bathroom.

Kitchen cleaning checklist

Hands of woman spraying and wiping kitchen cabinets

The kitchen stands as one of the most demanding rooms to clean. It is not surprising considering its constant usage in any household. Since it is used for cooking and food preparation, this place often accumulates grease and tough stains that require extra effort to be removed. Moreover, the diversity of surfaces and appliances in the kitchen demands specific cleaning supplies and approaches, further adding to the complexity of the task. Here is a simple checklist that will empower you to provide your kitchen with the thorough deep cleaning it requires.

  • Ceiling and walls. To begin, take down all wall-mounted items like shelves and picture frames. Next, use a microfiber cloth to get rid of any dirt, cobwebs, or dust that might have accumulated on the ceilings and walls. If there are any stains or grease you may clean them with a soft cloth and a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap. Don't overlook the importance of cleaning light fixtures and switches as well, as these areas often collect dust and grime.
  • Windows and frames. Employ a glass cleaner and a lint-free cloth to wash the windows and banish dirt and dust effectively. Don't forget to give attention to the window frame, sills, handles, and tracks by thoroughly dusting them off.
  • Kitchen cabinets, drawers and shelves. Start by clearing out your cabinets, shelves, and pantries, discarding any unnecessary items or expired foods. Then take a damp cloth and wipe down all exterior and interior of your cabinets, including the handles and top of high surfaces. If there are any stubborn stains or grease utilize a suitable cleaner to tackle them effectively.
  • Countertops and backsplashes. To clean counters and backsplashes you can simply use damp microfiber cloths or a paper towel. Using a ready-to-use cleaner is a convenient option, too. However, it's crucial to select a cleaner that matches the material of your countertops to ensure the best results and proper care.
  • Kitchen appliances. First, make sure that all of the appliances are turned off. Then, bravely tackle the dirty work of cleaning each appliance one by one. Thoroughly wipe down the outside and inside of the dishwasher and microwave with care. For your refrigerator, remove all shelves, drawers, and racks and wash them using warm, soapy water. Treat the oven racks the same way. When it comes to cleaning the interior and exterior of your oven, it would be best to use a cleaner specifically designed for ovens. Remember to include the cleaning of other small appliances, such as the coffee machine or electric kettle, in your tasks as well.
  • Sink, faucet and fixtures. Clear away any dirty dishes and debris left in your sink, and then give it a thorough cleaning using a mild detergent. Pay attention to removing any limescale buildup and water spots from the faucet and fixtures to restore a sparkling, fresh appearance.
  • Flooring. Vacuum the kitchen floor to get rid of any dust, derbies and loose particles. Next, mop the floor using an appropriate floor cleaner to achieve a spotless finish. Don't forget to attend to the baseboards as well, ensuring every inch of your kitchen floor receives a thorough cleaning.

Living room cleaning checklist

Young woman cleaning the sofa with brush in the living room
  • Ceiling, walls and windows. Remove any picture frames or other decorations from the walls. Use a soft microfiber cloth to dust the ceiling and walls. Then wash the windows using a special cleaner, and don't forget to attend to the blinds if present. Moreover, remember to give the light fixtures and ceiling fans a thorough dusting to maintain their brilliance.
  • Furniture and upholstery. Dust all surfaces, including the coffee table, TV stand, and shelves, to improve the air quality of the space. Wipe them down with a damp cloth if needed. When attending to the couch and couch cushions, use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to achieve a pristine appearance. If there are any stains on your sofa spot-clean them with an appropriate cleaner. If you have wooden furnishings, consider polishing them to restore their shine and remove any surface scratches. You can read our post on how to clean a fabric sofa for more help on that.
  • Flooring. Thoroughly vacuum or sweep the floor to remove dust, dirt, and debris. For a carpet refreshment, consider the wonders of baking soda – simply sprinkle it generously, allowing it to work its magic for approximately an hour, and then indulge in a thorough vacuuming session. If your living room has laminate or hardwood flooring then mop it with a floor cleaner (all-purpose cleaner may also work well). Also, remember to dust or wipe down baseboards throughout the living room.

Bathroom cleaning checklist

woman cleaning shower stall in the bathroom
  • Walls, exhaust fan and vent covers. Wipe down any scuff marks or stains from the walls and bathroom tiles using a mild cleaning solution. Also, remember to tend to the air filters and exhaust fan – delicately dust them off and cleanse the cover to maintain their efficiency and appearance.
  • Shower, bathtub and toilet. Employ a tile or grout cleaner to effortlessly eliminate soap scum or mold from both the shower and bathtub. For limescale buildup on the showerhead, embrace the natural power of distilled white vinegar to restore its brilliance. Elevate the allure of glass shower doors with a gentle wipe-down, and don't forget to remove and wash shower curtains, if present. For the toilet, indulge in a thorough cleaning using a reliable toilet bowl cleaner. Use the toilet brush to quickly scrub the bowl. Also, be sure to polish the exterior of the toilet, including the handle and its surroundings.
  • Sink and countertop. Use a bathroom cleaner to clean the sink and faucet. Remove any soap scum or toothpaste stains. Wipe down the countertop with an appropriate cleaner to remove any residue.
  • Mirror and glass surfaces. Use a window cleaner to clean the mirror and make it streak-free. Be sure to clean any glass shelves or glass-covered cabinets.
  • Cabinets and drawers. Empty the cabinets and drawers and wipe down the interior surfaces.
  • Flooring. Remove all dust and debris from the bathroom floor. Wipe it down with a mop and a suitable floor cleaner.

Check out our more detailed bathroom cleaning tips article for more information.

Bedroom cleaning checklist

woman cleaning edroom and vacuuming carpet
  • Ceiling, walls and windows. Dust the ceilings and walls using a soft cloth. Use glass cleaner to clean windows, mirrors, and any other glass surfaces in the bedroom. Dust or vacuum blinds and wipe down any curtain rods or rails.
  • Furniture. Dust all furniture surfaces, including the bed frame, dresser, nightstands, and shelves. Wipe them down with a damp cloth if needed. Empty out the drawers and cabinets, and wipe them down with a mild all-purpose cleaner. If you have wooden items, consider polishing them to restore their shine and remove any surface scratches.
  • Mattress cleaning. Remove the bedding dust and thoroughly vacuum the entire surface of the mattress using the brush attachment. If there are any stains on the mattress, spot-clean them with mild liquid detergent and hot water. For a delightful scent, generously sprinkle baking soda across the mattress surface, allowing it to rest for at least 15 minutes (or longer, if possible) before conducting a thorough vacuuming session.
  • Closet. Meticulously empty the closet, ensuring no dirty clothes or belongings are left behind. Then wipe down the closet shelves and rods if needed.
  • Flooring. Thoroughly vacuum the carpet in your bedroom to remove dust, dirt, and debris. If you have hardwood, tile, or laminate floors, sweep and mop them with a suitable floor cleaner.

We've written an extensive bedroom cleaning checklist article and guide to help you with this. And if you need more help, check out our guide on how to clean a house like a professional.

Final touches and inspection

Carefully inspect all areas of the kitchen, living room, bathroom and bedroom to ensure everything has been cleaned and no personal items are left behind. Go through each area of your apartment one last time to check for any missed cleaning tasks.

Cleaning an apartment may seem daunting, but with the right strategy and following the checklist above you can leave the space in an excellent condition and get your full deposit back. If you find yourself uncertain about handling the job alone, don't hesitate to rely on professional end-of-tenancy cleaning services.

With skilled specialists at your side, your dirty apartment can swiftly be transformed into an illuminating space. This way you can save time for other essential tasks associated with your moving.

If you require help with general cleaning or end of tenancy cleaning in Canary Wharf, Islington, Clapton, Peckham, Putney, Surbiton or any other part of London, don't hesitate to give us a call or use our contact form to request a free quote!

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