Apartment Cleaning Checklist for Move Out Day

Author: Alecia Pirulis


Moving is the beginning of a new chapter in your life. But before you can settle in, you have to cut ties completely with your old apartment. Getting your deposit back is the last step in moving out, and this requires cleaning and whipping the apartment into shape like it was when you first moved in. It is a mundane and daunting task, but as long as you have an apartment cleaning checklist on hand, you can do it effectively and efficiently!

Bedrooms/Living Room:

  • Empty these rooms completely, including the closets.

From Wall-to-Wall

  • Wipe light fixtures clean. Go an extra step and dump out the dead bugs, too.
  • Take out every staple, screw, thumbtack and nail from the walls.
  • Dust and clean the windows and sills.
  • Wipe down the doors and knobs.
  • Clean all electrical outlets and light switches.
  • Scrub the baseboards and walls for scuff marks.
  • Vacuum and steam-clean (if necessary) the carpet to remove dirt and stains.
  • Mop vinyl and/or hardwood floors.


  • Remove soap scum from faucets, the tiles and bathtub/shower.
  • Empty the drawers and cabinets, removing any liners, hair and small items.
  • Scrub and disinfect the toilet bowl, the toilet seat and lid, the sink and counter tops.
  • Sweep and mop the floor, especially the space around the toilet.
  • Clean the mirrors.


  • Empty all cabinets, drawers and shelves.
  • Wipe down and scrub the front of the cabinets, drawers and walls to remove spills and splatters.
  • Scrub and disinfect the sink and counter tops.
  • Remove hard water stains from the faucet and around the sink.
  • Clean and deodorize the refrigerator, including the racks, shelves and drawers.
  • Clean the stove and oven inside and out, including the burners, drip pans and shelving.
  • Clean and disinfect the dishwasher.
  • Deodorize the garbage disposal.
  • Move all big appliances and sweep behind and beneath them.

Don’t forget to take pictures of your work in case of there’s an inconsistency with the deposit!

Cleaning out the old apartment is one of those things that you have to grit your teeth and truck through it, but once you have checked off all the items on the cleaning checklist, the feeling of accomplishment is unbelievable. Now you can fully celebrate moving into your new home, and you might even have some money to throw a nice housewarming party!