Your Move Out Cleaning Checklist




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couple moving with cardboard boxes with happy faces drawn on them on their heads

Moving out of a home you have lived and laughed in can be bittersweet. The memories you have made in that home will always be with you, though. Hopefully, one more thing that will also be with you is the deposit you paid when you moved in.

To ensure you get that money, you should aim to leave the place at least as good, if not better, than it was the day you moved in. Following our fail-safe move out cleaning checklist is just one of the ways to achieve that goal.

We all know what a hassle moving can be. But just like overpriced lattes and bad hair days, it is a part of life you must get through.

If you are moving and you just can’t even deal, remember your TLC’s. At TLC Cleaning, we are ready and able to take the hassle of move-out cleaning of your already overly full plate. Check out our website now for your online estimate.

If you do decide to brave the wilderness of your home that is populated by the dust bunnies of days past, use this handy checklist to illuminate the way. We have compiled a move out cleaning checklist of the necessary steps to take before you officially vacate the premises.

Let’s dive right in:

Preparation is Key

blue bucket filled with cleaning supplies

Before you begin any task, you must make sure you have the proper tools and equipment. In this case, you must have the appropriate cleaning supplies.

Consider stocking up on the following:

-Disinfecting cleaners

-Glass cleaners

-Oven cleaner


-Baking soda







-Dusting cloths

-Paper towels



-Scrub brush

-Vacuum cleaner



Hopefully, you have most of this stuff on hand already. If not, you have most likely not cleaned since you moved in, and we have a bigger problem. Remember, cleaning is a necessary evil. You may not like it, but you must do it.

To avoid turning a minor inconvenience into a huge hassle, we recommend spot cleaning as you are packing. But your major clean-up should wait until the last box is packed and loaded.

All Over, Everywhere

a tool for spackle on a yellow background

Give your whole place a good once-over. Carefully inspect each room. First off, check for any holes or scratches on the walls. Fix this damage with spackle.

Once the spackle is dry, paint with matching paint color to cover the white spackle. If you painted the walls a different color than the original one, you might need to return the walls to their original state. Check with your landlord.

Before beginning your more extensive cleaning, give the whole place a good dusting. Also, take some time to clean any curtains or blinds.

Check every light bulb and replace any dead bulbs: dust and clean any light fixtures and fans.

Take your glass cleaner and a roll of paper towels and clean every window and mirror. Now you are ready to go room to room and give them all a deep clean.


a bathroom with plants, a toilet and yellow walls

Possibly the least fun areas of your house to clean, we suggest that you tackle your bathrooms first. If for no other reason, at least you get them out of the way first.


-Use gloves

-Use a disinfecting toilet bowl cleaner, make sure you let it sit for at least 15 minutes

-While you wait, use a disinfecting spray and a cloth or paper towel on the outside surfaces

-Scrub the inside of the bowl with a toilet brush

Bathtub or Shower

-Make sure the drain is functioning correctly- use a drain cleaner or snake if necessary

-Use a surface scrub to clear away any mold or soap scum

-If you have tile, make sure you disinfect and scrub the grout, use diluted bleach if necessary

Sink and Countertop

-Check drain for proper function- clear drain if necessary

-Spray and wipe down all surfaces

-Clean faucets and handles with a spot-free cleaner

-Use glass cleaner and a paper towel on the mirror

Before you move on, double-check all cabinets for any personal items you might have missed. Spray and wipe out all cabinet interiors and exteriors.

Lastly, sweep and mop the floor.


Begin by checking your closet for any forgotten items. Make sure you removed all dust and debris during your initial sweep.

Depending on the floor material, sweep, mop, or vacuum them clean. You may consider renting a steam cleaner if your carpets are particularly dirty.


a kitchen with pink cabinets

Your kitchen is probably one of the areas of the highest traffic in your home. All that activity can lead to a whole lot of mess.


Make sure water drains properly

-This is more complicated if you have a disposal- you need a special cleaner if you do

-Unless you are a professional or you have a lot of experience, avoid too much tinkering with your pipes- call     an expert


Wipe away any visible food residue

-Use oven cleaner, or make your own using vinegar and baking soda, to remove any stuck-on grease or grime

Microwave, Fridge, and Freezer

For all your major appliances, first, check for and wipe out all food residue. In some cases, a rag with hot, slightly soapy water is enough. You might need a more heavy-duty cleaner for that stuck-on muck.

An all-purpose disinfectant spray works well here. You could also try that vinegar and baking soda mix here. Choose whichever you feel more comfortable using.


Before you move on, clean and wipe down all surfaces. And with that last step, the kitchen is done! Bask in your accomplishments; the finish line is in sight.

Last, But Not Least

coupe removing smile face boxes from their heads and laughing

Now is the time to get those last few spaces. If you have a laundry room, clean here next.

If you are taking the washer and dryer, double-check that you have packed all the hookups. It would be a shame to realize you left a vital piece of one of your most useful appliances behind. Talk about a bad day!

Lastly, if you have a storage room or garage, roll up your sleeves and tackle them next.

-Check for any forgotten or left behind items

-Sweep the floors

-If you have grease stains, remove them with an anti-grease detergent

-Check walls for areas that you need to repaint

And there you have it. You got through the whole list. Treat yourself to a pat on the back (or a massive glass of wine) and relax. But not too long, because now the real fun begins; unpacking!

If this all seems a bit too overwhelming for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to TLC Cleaning. We have the skills and desire to make your move out day as hassle-free as possible.

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