You are about to move into a new apartment, and you are both excited and tired about the move. Before you move out of the old place, however, you will need to clean it.
Cleaning an old apartment is not something that most people like to do. Unfortunately, you really have no choice. Your ability to get back your rental deposit depends on how clean the apartment is when you leave. Here are six tips on move-out cleaning that will help you do it correctly.
1. DRAW UP A GAME PLAN IN MOVE-OUT CLEANING
You probably have a move-out date. Since you have a deadline, you have a finite number of days to clean your apartment from top to bottom. Do not forget to allow time for your landlord to walk through the premises for an evaluation after you clean. This will determine whether or not you have met the criteria to get your deposit back. Make a cleaning plan, break down the tasks and plan out mini goals with their respective deadlines. Write these down. As you accomplish each task, check it off so you can see your progress.
2. REVIEW YOUR RENTAL CONTRACT
Check your lease for any language around cleaning products that are restricted. If your apartment has special qualities, like if it is in an old building with historic significance, your landlord might have described cleaning restrictions in your lease. You want to comply with the restrictions so you will not damage any structure when you clean. Otherwise, you can be held liable for expensive damage.
3. PAY ATTENTION TO AREAS THAT ARE EASILY OVERLOOKED
When your landlord does the walk-through, he will be especially mindful of small areas that many tenants tend to forget to clean. Therefore, make a checklist of places to clean that include the items below.
Checklist For Apartment Move-Out Cleaning
– Dust top shelves in your cabinets and closets
– Clean bathroom and kitchen fixtures to a shine
– Scrub the walls adjacent to the stove (likely stained by splatters)
– Wipe down baseboards, windowsills, and ceiling fans
– Clean the rubber strip around the refrigerator and freezer doors
– Vacuum dust that has accumulated on your air conditioning unit
– Clean the washer and dryer, including the lint trap
– Sweep the porch, steps, and other outside areas that are easily overlooked
4. DOES THE CARPET NEED TO BE DEEP-CLEANED?
The carpeted areas might need to be deep-cleaned if they have endured heavy foot-traffic after you moved in. Before you deep-clean, vacuum the carpet thoroughly and remove any pet stains. You can rent a carpet-cleaning machine if you want to do the deep-cleaning yourself. If you are unsure about your cleaning skill, or if you don’t have the time, you can hire a professional carpet-cleaner.
5. CONDUCT ONE LAST SWEEP VISUALLY AND WITH A BROOM
Do one last visual inspection to confirm that you didn’t leave any personal things in a drawer, closet, etc. As you do this, take a broom and give each room a final sweep to get rid of any dust caused by your moving things out.
6. DON’T PASS UP HELP
Move-out cleaning of your old apartment takes a lot of energy, particularly if you are getting ready to move into a new place. You might find yourself running out of time and worry that you won’t clean it well enough. In that case, you might want to hire a professional cleaning service to clean the apartment for you. It might cost you some money out of pocket, but it would be less expensive than risking forfeiture of your whole security deposit.