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Checklist for Moving From an Apartment or Rental

Your lease is ending, and you're moving to another home. You want to ensure a good reference from your landlord and get your security deposit back from your rental property. 

First, refer to your lease agreement. Then, locate the portions of your lease that mention your move-out cleaning responsibilities. Your lease may already specify what you will be responsible for paying and cleaning before moving out.

Here's a room-by-room checklist for moving out of a rental.


  • Remove all food from the refrigerator and freezer. Wipe down the shelves with a disinfectant and replace the lightbulb, if necessary. Defrost the freezer and turn off the ice maker—Dust the top.

  • Clean the stove and oven, replacing burner rings if necessary.

  • Remove any food or debris from the dishwasher and replace the filter if necessary.

  • Remove any debris from the disposal and sink. Ensure the water flows properly through the drain. Scrub the sink and faucets.

  • Wipe all the walls, especially the area behind the stovetop where grease may have built up.

  • Clean and scrub the insides of cupboards and pantry shelves. Leave the cabinets and pantry empty. Use a vacuum cleaner extender hose to remove any remaining crumbs.

  • Clean the inside and outside of the microwave and degrease. Replace the turntable if needed. Be sure to remove any crumbs that might lie beneath it.

  • Ensure all appliances are working correctly.


  • Clean and disinfect tubs, showers, and toilets. Remove the ring from inside the toilet bowl. If the shower has tiles, clean the grout. Remove any mold or mildew.

  • Use a glass cleaner to clean all the mirrors and windows.

  • Ensure drains flow freely, with no clogs.

  • Clear the vanity and any shelves and drawers and wipe them clean.

  • Sweep and mop.

  • Clean the exhaust fan.


  • Remove any temporary wallpaper you may have put up or repaint walls in the original color.

  • Remove nails or hooks and fill the holes.

  • Check for any scuff marks and repaint if necessary.

  • Empty closets.

  • Vacuum and shampoo the carpet, removing any stains. Mop the wood floors.

  • Clean the blades of ceiling fans.

Living Room

  • Remove any ash from the fireplace and close the flue.

  • Vacuum and shampoo the carpet, being careful to remove any stains. Mop the hardwood floors.

  • Fix any tears or burn marks on the carpet.

  • Check for scuff marks and paint over, as necessary.

Laundry Room

  • Remove all clothes from the washer and dryer if you have them. Then, clean out the dryer's lint filter.

In All Rooms

  • Clean the windows inside and out, including the window sills.

  • Clean the blinds, including between each blade. If the curtains are yours, take them. If not, wash and rehang them. Mend any holes in the curtains.

  • Wipe off cobwebs from ceiling fans and chandeliers or from inside corners. Clean them.

  • Clean all the doors and ensure that all the door knobs and locks operate correctly.

  • Clean the light fixtures and replace bulbs.

  • Clean the outlets and light switches. Replace any broken ones.

  • Replace the batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as necessary.

  • Replace any burned-out light bulbs.

  • Remove all your trash and recyclables.

  • Take photos of each room after you've completed your cleaning work.

Moving Done Right

Make sure your rental property is clean for the next tenant, or expect your landlord to charge you for a cleaning service to restore it to its original condition. The above checklist will help you cover all the bases.

As you prepare for your move, remember that a professional mover can make moving to your new home much more manageable. Contact us for a quote today.