The Ultimate Move-Out Cleaning Checklist: Tips, Tricks, and Hacks for a Stress-Free Clean

You’ve survived the packing, the box labeling, and the “Why do I still have this?” moments. 

Now, it’s time for the final battle: the move-out clean. 

Whether you’re trying to get your deposit back or just want to leave a good impression (you never know when you might need a reference!), a thorough move-out clean is a must. 

But where do you even start?

Don’t worry; we’ve got your back with this ultimate move out cleaning checklist.

Why a Thorough Move-Out Clean is Crucial

Think of a move-out clean like a first date, but without the awkward goodnight kiss and with a much better chance of success. 

The aim is to make a great impression, right?

Well, with a move-out cleaning checklist, you’re in complete control. No awkward silences, no “I forgot my wallet” excuses, and no dreaded “ex” talk. 

Moving out

The only “ex” you’ll be dealing with is your ex-apartment, and we know you won’t miss it once you move into your amazing new place.

A sparkly clean apartment or house will not only impress your landlord (and hopefully score you your full deposit back), but it’s also good karma to leave the place looking awesome for the next tenants.

Essential Cleaning Supplies 

Essential Cleaning Supplies 

Before diving into the cleaning frenzy, make sure you have all the necessary tools and supplies. And maybe some extras—you don’t want to be elbow-deep in the toilet bowl, and your rubber gloves tear, or you realize you’re out of scrubbing brushes. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • HEPA vacuum cleaner 
  • Cleaning sprays for every surface imaginable
  • Sugar soap (to remove marks from walls)
  • Scouring powder or concentrated cleaning liquid 
  • Floor cleaner 
  • Microfiber cloths 
  • Microfiber mop 
  • Scrubbing brushes
  • Squeegee
  • Garbage bags 
  • Gloves 

Room-by-Room Move Out Cleaning Checklist

The Kitchen

The kitchen is where the magic happens (and by magic, we mean all those late-night snacks). 

Give it some extra TLC and get into all the nooks and crannies because nobody wants to discover last year’s leftovers:

  • Clean appliance interiors and exteriors (stovetop, oven, range hood, fridge, microwave, and dishwasher)
  • Wipe down small appliances (toaster, kettle, and coffee maker)
  • Dust and wipe countertops, shelves, and cabinet interiors and exteriors
  • Wash sinks and backsplash
  • Clean inside windowsills and window tracks
  • Dust and wipe baseboards, doorknobs, doorframes, and doors
  • Wipe light switches
  • Empty garbage
  • Vacuum and wash floors
The Kitchen


With no toiletries or towels in the way, now’s your chance to make the bathroom shine:

  • Clean and sanitize the bathtub, shower walls and doors
  • Clean and sanitize the sink and toilet (inside and out)
  • Clean mirrors, cabinet interiors and exteriors, countertops, and shelves
  • Dust all surfaces
  • Clean inside windowsills and window tracks
  • Wipe doorknobs, doorframes, doors, and light switches
  • Empty garbage 
  • Dust and wipe baseboards
  • Clean marks on walls and baseboards
  • Vacuum and wash floors


Let’s give each hibernation station a glow-up:

  • Dust all surfaces
  • Clean closet exteriors and interiors
  • Clean marks on walls and baseboards
  • Clean mirrors, interior windowsills, and window tracks
  • Dust and/or wipe baseboards, doorknobs, doorframes, and doors
  • Wipe light switches
  • Empty garbage
  • Vacuum and damp-mop hard surface floors
  • Vacuum carpet and area rugs

Living Areas

Show your common areas and living spaces some love:

  • Clean mirrors, inside windowsills, and window tracks
  • Dust and wipe baseboards, doorknobs, doorframes, and doors 
  • Wipe light switches
  • Clean marks on walls and baseboards
  • Empty garbage
  • Vacuum and damp-mop hard surface floors
  • Vacuum carpet and area rugs
  • Clean any closet fronts and insides
Living Areas

Tackling Challenging Cleaning Tasks

Some cleaning tasks are like taking on the final boss in a video game—they’re challenging, intimidating, and might make you want to rage-quit. 

But with the right strategy and tools, you can conquer even the most stubborn messes and emerge victorious. 

Here’s how to level up your cleaning game:

  • Stubborn stains (and “how did that even get there?” messes) Use a targeted cleaner and let it sit for a few minutes to work its magic. Then, scrub like your life depends on it (because, let’s face it, your deposit kind of does).
  • Grout and tile: Mix up a paste of baking soda and water, then apply it to the grout lines. Scrub with a toothbrush or groutbrush until your arm feels like it’s going to fall off. Rinse with water and admire your handiwork.
  • Blinds and curtains: Use a microfiber cloth or vacuum attachment to banish dust bunnies and cobwebs. For extra credit, take the curtains down and run them through the wash (just check the care labels first—nobody wants to end up with doll-sized drapes).
Tackling Challenging Cleaning Tasks

Move Out Cleaning Tips You Can’t Afford to Miss

We know cleaning isn’t how you really want to spend your weekend. You’d rather be literally doing anything else. 

Unfortunately, the move-out clean is a necessary evil. 

Fear not, though! 

We’ve got some tips to make the process as painless as possible:

Give yourself plenty of time

Waiting until the last minute to start cleaning will just end in tears.

Start a few days before your move so you can take breaks, blast some Tay Tay, and have a little fun with it. 

Start with storage spaces

Get a head start by cleaning out storage areas and basements as you pack them up.

Think of it like a warm-up before the big game. Instead of stretching, you’re dusting cobwebs and questioning your life choices.

Baby steps

Cleaning a little bit each day leading up to your move can make the final cleaning easier. 

Some tasks, like descaling or de-grouting the shower, can take longer than waiting for your favorite show to return from last season. 

Do yourself a solid and do a little bit each time you shower so you won’t be stuck scrubbing on move-out day until your fingers prune.

Defrost early

If you have an old-school freezer so packed with ice that it’s holding your half-empty bottle of vodka hostage, it’s time to take action. 

Defrosting can take a few hours, so turn the unit off, throw down some towels, grab a snack (or wrestle that vodka free), and let it work its magic.

Reward Yourself

After all that hard work, you deserve a treat! 

Whether it’s a pint of your favorite ice cream, a Netflix binge, or a well-deserved nap, reward yourself for a job well done. 

You’ve earned it, you cleaning maverick, you!

Reward Yourself

Bonus tips!

Here are some extra nuggets of wisdom to guarantee your place looks so pristine your landlord will be begging you to stay (or at least not curse your name). 

  • Remove all nails from the walls and patch the holes
  • Repaint, if needed, to cover any scuffs or marks
  • Dust ceiling fans
  • If you have a house, mow the lawn.
  • Clean and sweep the attic, basement, and garage if you have them.

Move-out cleaning doesn’t have to be a drag. 

With these move out cleaning checklist tips and a positive attitude, you’ll be dancing your way to a sparkling, clean space in no time. 

Let MaidThis Save the Day!

Look, we get it—move-out cleaning is about as fun as a root canal. That’s where we come in! At MaidThis, we’re all about making your life easier. 

We know you’ve got better things to do than scrub toilets (like practicing your best “I woke up like this” face or perfecting your sock puppet theater production).

Book a move-out cleaning service with MaidThis, and you can expect:

  • A top-to-bottom, no-holds-barred clean
  • Serious attention to detail
  • Eco-friendly, pet-safe cleaning products (because we love fur babies, too!)
  • Flexible scheduling
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee (because if you’re not happy, we’re not happy).

Our rockstar cleaners come fully equipped and ready to make your place sparkle like a diamond. 

So why stress about move-out cleaning when you can leave it to the pros? 

Fill out our quick and easy online form, and we’ll cover the rest. You’ve got a new chapter to start—let us help you end this one on a high note!

What should I clean when moving out?

Our ultimate move-out clean checklist has got you covered—just download, print, and check off as you go!

How much cleaning should I do before moving out?

If you want your deposit back (and who doesn’t?), aim for a deep clean. We’re talking every surface, every corner, every everything.

How clean should your house be when you move?

Aim to leave your place in the same condition as when you moved in (or even better!).

How do I clean my house before leaving?

Download our move-out cleaning list and work through it room by room, starting from the top and working your way down. 

What if I don’t have time to clean before moving out? (because life happens)

Sometimes, life just gets in the way of your cleaning plans. That’s where we come in! Our team of cleaning ninjas at MaidThis can swoop in and save the day (and your deposit). Just call us, and we’ll handle the rest—no judgment, no stress, just a sparkling clean space.

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