How to Clean Your Apartment Before Moving

Remember that deposit you gave your landlord when you moved into your current apartment? It might have been a long time ago, but getting that deposit back is always a good thing. Plus, you won’t have to pay any damage fees if you leave your apartment in excellent shape.


Bucket of Cleaning SuppliesHere’s how to leave your apartment, so that you get your deposit back!


I. Remove all the nails, glue, and other hardware from walls, doors, and windows. This might be the biggest job that you will have to do. Nails and other hardware tends to leave holes or rips in walls, and that means that you will have to patch those holes before you leave. To do this, follow these steps:


1. Remove the hardware

2. Buy a small bucket of paint that’s the same color as the current paint

3. Purchase putty to fill the holes and cracks

4. Fill in holes with putty.

5. Allow putty to dry completely

6. Paint over the areas that you have just filled


This might seem like a ton of work to do, but filling holes means that your apartment will look perfect when you leave. But, that’s not all. There are still lots of things to do!


II. Completely clean all appliances. If appliances came with your lease agreement, make sure to clean all of those things completely inside and out. Purchase oven cleaner, grab some gloves and scrub the refrigerator, and clean out washers and driers completely. The best way to get rid of grime is to scrub with rough pads. This will take some time, but, again, it will be worth it.


Mop with an Angry FaceIII. Clean everything else. The idea is to make your apartment look like it was never lived in, and that may mean hiring a cleaning lady to get into all those nooks and crannies. For around $60, you can have your apartment professionally cleaned from top to bottom.


IV. Tidy up the outside. Even if you just have a small balcony, there’s a really good chance that this area has gathered a bit of dust and other dirt over the years. If your balcony isn’t in good shape, you may want to patch it up as well as you possibly can before you leave. Remove any plants or other items, sweep, and patch up the outside. If you have any kind of garden area, do make sure that everything is in its place, that garbage has been taken care of, and that your outside space looks pristine.


V. Fix broken fixtures or replace replaced fixtures. I know, that’s a mouthful, right? But, there’s purpose and sense behind it. First, the broken stuff. If your apartment came with blinds or sinks that are now less than perfect, you have to replace those before you leave. Second, the replaced stuff. Did you replace a fixture or other item while you were living in the apartment? You’ll have to put all the original parts back where you found them.


VI. Snap some photos. Is your place all cleaned up and back to its former condition? Now it’s time to take lots of photographs, so that you have proof that you have done your cleanup job. But, you’re not done quite yet.


VII. Get a copy of your checkout report. No report? Don’t let anyone investigate your apartment before you get a report. You can find lots of templates online, just download one and hand it over to your landlord. You’ll want to make sure that you have a chance to fix everything before you leave, so that you can get that deposit back (and so that you aren’t charged extra for damaged items).


Onto Your New Home!


The really exciting thing about cleaning up an apartment before you leave is that you are going to leave! That means that you’ve found a better or new place to move into, and it also means that you will need to hire professional movers to help you out. We want you to move with us if you are in our area of business (Exodus Moving and Storage is a full-service moving company with storage options too!). If you’re not in our area, though, you will find tons of moving articles and advice on this website to help you find residential moving companies you can trust.


You can also call us up to ask about anything to do with moving that you need help with. We’re here to make your moving experience a pleasant one. Did you recently move out of an apartment? Did you leave it in good shape? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below.