Cleaning Tips You Should Know Before Moving Out
To make the turnover as smooth as possible, you want to make sure that the place is clean and looking its best before handing the set of keys back to your landlord.
Moving is stressful, but it’s also an opportunity to clean your space thoroughly for the next tenant—and avoid any cleaning charges from your landlord.
When you move out, it’s your responsibility to leave the space as it was when you moved it. Cleaning a whole house is a serious undertaking, especially when you’re in the process of moving. You’ve got to ensure every corner of the house or apartment has been cleaned.
With all the packing, cleaning and organising you need to do before moving day comes around, it’s easy to overlook important details. As a renter, it’s best if you do as much cleaning as you can before your move-out day arrives.
Today, we’ll help you catch the most frequently overlooked—but essential—steps that you should take to ensure that the home is ready for new tenants coming in after you leave. Do all this, and you’ll be less stressed during your move (and less likely to have money deducted from your deposit to pay for additional cleaning).
Things to do a Month Before You Move Out
Let’s start with the important cleaning tasks you should do in the month before moving out.
Dusting, sweeping, and wiping down surfaces should always be part of your daily and weekly cleaning routines. That way, when you have to move you don’t have to scrub too hard. But, even so, here is a breakdown of what exactly needs to be done for a deep clean:
- Clean windows and blinds
- Wipe down window sills and skirting boards
- Dust any ceiling fans
- Sweep and mop down all floors
- Spot clean all walls
- Clean all doors and door frames
- Clean all light fixtures
- Clean Oven
- Vacuum all carpets & use a carpet cleaner
You should be getting your carpets thoroughly cleaned every 6 months, and if you’re not, then you will definitely need to clean them when you move out. If you have pets, you’ll want to clean them to remove dander and other dust that can cause allergies and build up in the fabrics.
All of this can take a lot of time on the actual move-in day, so do this sooner rather than later. Many landlords also expect you to be out by noon on your last day. That doesn’t leave a lot of time to clean—especially since you’re moving your entire life from one home to another.
Save yourself the stress by cleaning sooner rather than later. Plus, if you have time to do it once more the day of, it will be a lot quicker to clean if you’ve done it all recently.
What to do a Week Before Moving Out
In the last week, you’ll likely have packed up many of your non-essential items. This means it’s easier to clean each room of your space and make sure that everything is sparkling. We’ve broken down each room you need to clean and some tips to help.
Clean Your Bedrooms & Living Rooms
The bedroom and other living areas don’t usually require any special cleaning. However, we still have some tips for you, too. The week before you move out, make sure you do the following in every room of your home:
- Dust the corners, especially on the ceiling
- Remove scuffs & stains on baseboards
- Wipe down your walls
- Fill in any holes you created with spackling
- Paint over holes with matching paint
- Replace all burnt-out lightbulbs
Pro tip: Bring a chip of paint from the wall to get a colour that matches when you go to the hardware store. This will save you time and money having to go back if you purchase the wrong colour—and nobody wants that.
Also, check with your landlord to see if they would prefer to paint themselves since they might actually know the correct colour already. You should also know that in some places this is their responsibility, as small holes are considered typical wear and tear.
When in doubt, it’s better to simply ask.
Clean Outdoor Spaces
If you’re in a home with a lawn, deck, patio, balconies or another outdoor area, you need to clean it as well. While you should generally be maintaining the outdoor areas, it’s smart to do it once more before you leave.
Here’s a quick list to help you get started:
- Mow the lawn
- Sweep any leaves and debris
- Mop any outdoor deck space
- Wipe any glass doors
- Cleaning any cobwebs
It’s easy to neglect outdoor areas, especially in winter when we aren’t using them as much. So, if you do have some, try to clean them in the week before you move out. That way, you’ll have plenty of time to clean them.
Clean Your Bathroom
In the bathroom, grime can build up quickly. As such, this room can often take a lot longer to clean than you might expect. Bathrooms hide all kinds of bacteria, like E. Coli and Mycobacterium avium. These bacteria aren’t good for our health and can have major consequences when left unchecked.
Clean your bathroom thoroughly before you move out by doing the following:
- Use glass cleaner on the mirrors, faucets, and showers with glass doors
- Keep an old toothbrush on hand for tiles and small areas
- Clean out your cabinets with a damp cloth & a dry cloth
- Wipe down the bathtub and shower walls
- Wash or replace old shower curtains
- Pour white vinegar or baking soda down drains and follow with hot water
For bathrooms with excessive dirt build-up, especially around the toilet, you might have to invest in a small light-duty steamer. If you don’t have the budget to splurge, hiring professional cleaning services can be cheaper for you.
You should also clean your cleaning tools and supplies after you use them. Bleach and other strong cleaners will help you with this.
Clean Your Kitchen
The kitchen can also take a long time to clean because of all the appliances. Plus, cooking can be a messy activity, even if you clean as you go. Make sure you set aside at least half a day to ensure every corner of the kitchen is clean—even the parts you want to ignore.
While you should clean behind and below your appliances once every 3 months, few people actually do. Because of this, it can be quite dirty and difficult to clean. Be prepared to find a few spiders or unwanted guests when moving heavy appliances. You should also get help so as not to injure yourself when moving your oven or refrigerator.
Here’s a quick list breaking down what you should clean in your kitchen:
- Wipe inside and outside the refrigerator
- Move the oven and refrigerator to clean underneath
- Clean interior and exterior of cupboards
- Wipe down your stovetop and rangehood
- Pour white vinegar or baking soda down drains and follow with hot water.
- Clean out the microwave thoroughly
Also, for the microwave, fill with a bowl full of the juice from half a lemon then microwave it for a few minutes. That should loosen food particles making it easier for you to clean. If it doesn’t, then use a baking soda paste to clean the inside.
We use our kitchens multiple times a day for cooking and eating, so dirt and food particles can seriously build up. That means it’s a monumental task to clean it all by yourself.
Instead, you can always hire a professional cleaning service to come in and deep clean the property, so you won’t worry about missing anything on this list. A professional cleaning service is a time and life-saver for movers, especially if you’re looking to get your security deposit back.
Hire Experts to Clean Your Home
Preparing for a move can be stressful. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and know what you need to do at least two weeks before moving. While we all have our own methods of getting prepared, some people find they don’t get everything done on their list. And it might be because there are some tasks they avoid or put off until the last minute.
Our list should help you make sure your home is clean and tidy for the next tenants. One sure tip for a successful turnover is to do a deep clean, so it’s fresh and ready to go. But if it’s been a while since you last had a deep clean, consider hiring a professional cleaning service.
Clutter Monkey has experience preparing homes to ensure that everything is neat, tidy, and in place before new tenants or owners move in. If you’re in Auckland and you need an extra pair of hands to come in and deep clean the property, contact us!