Moving out of an apartment means endless to-do’s, but one you should never forget is cleaning. Even if you were clean while living there, leaving an apartment dirty could reduce the amount you get back from your security deposit. To ensure you get as much back as possible, you should clean the unit thoroughly.
A Quick Rundown
Before you pull out the mop and bucket, make sure to:
- Remove any remaining nails that are in the walls and cover them with spackle.
- Dust light fixtures, nooks, ledges, and areas where dust bunnies can hide.
- Remove any scratches from the walls.
- Vacuum all floors.
- If there are carpet stains, try to remove them or have someone come in and remove them.
- Wipe down wall-to-wall and ceiling to floor.
- Clean the windows.
Sanitize the Bathroom
Use an all-purpose cleaner that is safe for all surfaces. Scour the bathtub, removing any residue or hard water spots. Then clean the toilet thoroughly, including under the rim. If you notice a stain on the grout, try to remove it with a grout pen. Wipe everything off as you remove items from the bathroom and then finish off the room by mopping the floor.
Deep Clean the Kitchen
Remove everything from the kitchen, including in the pantry and cupboards. Wipe out the inside of the drawers, cabinets, and storage areas in the kitchen with a clean rag or paper towel. Use the all-purpose cleaner to get any food spills and to sanitize. Wipe out the refrigerator and freezer, cleaning up any spills.
Bedrooms Need Cleaning Too
The bedrooms often just get a quick vacuuming and you’re out, but does your lease require a deep cleaning? If so, clean up spots and spills on the carpet. Then clean windows, scrub, and vacuum out closets and wash the walls. If you painted the bedroom, you might be required to paint it back to a neutral color or the original color before moving out.
Main Living Areas
Your living room needs a good cleaning too. Follow the same process at the bedroom, and vacuum to finish. The same goes for the living areas — if you were allowed to paint, see if you’re required to repaint the walls back to a neutral color in order to get your deposit back. If your furniture left dents in the carpet, place ice cubes in the dent and let them thaw. Use just a single layer so that you don’t oversaturate the carpet. This should help remove the dents. Once the carpet is dry, vacuum to finish.