When looking forward to the final date of your interstate move, you should make sure that everything has been cleaned properly by keeping a moveout cleaning checklist. This is especially important if you have a hefty deposit on the line since landlords will deduct it if they have to do any more work around the rental unit. Before moving across the country, check out these great tips for making your home feel brand new.

Depending on the size of your home, the process might take longer to finish, and you should only start after you’re done packing, which takes a lot of time to do. To speed up the process, you can donate and sell unwanted items or use some neat moving hacks, like decluttering. Still, if you want to finish the task quickly without delays, a professional packing service is one of the better things to get when moving out for the first time. Now that you’ve finished packing, it’s time for one last cleanup of the place.

What Should You Clean Before Moving Out? Make a Moveout Cleaning Checklist

One of the most common moving mistakes is not keeping a checklist of all the things that need to be done. When starting to clean, always work from top to bottom. Some of the best moving tips suggest starting from the ceiling, walls, and windows and ending with the carpet and floors. This way, you can save time by not having to repeat some steps. In case you were wondering: What does move out cleaning consist of, here’s a list of everything you need to do:

  • Remove cobwebs from the ceiling – use a vacuum and a broom on regular walls or a damp high-density paint roller in case you have a popcorn ceiling.
  • Dust the blinds – there are many ways, but any damp piece of cloth will do.
  • Wash windows – simply spray glass or window cleaner onto the surface and then quickly wipe it off with a lint-free cloth. Dust or wipe off any remaining surfaces.
  • Pull out nails and patch the walls – fill in any holes with putty and finish by painting it in the original color.
  • Clean walls – to remove any stains, apply an appropriate cleaner on a microfiber cloth. This way, you will resolve the problem but not damage the paint in the process.
  • Check the smoke detector and lights – ensure all smoke detectors have working batteries and replace any lightbulbs that have gone out.
  • Clean the carpets – remove any stains by applying a carpet cleaner. Let it sit for a few minutes, then extract the stain with a microfiber cloth.
  • Vacuum and mop the floor – do this last, and if you’re moving with pets, let your household know not to let them walk over the wet segments.

Dusting and some other tasks may cause allergies, so try using aromatherapy to minimize these effects and relax after a hard workday.

A person wearing gloves spraying a surface
It’s best to start from the top down to avoid repeating some steps.

It’s Better to Clean Your Apartment Room by Room

Now that we covered some basic things you need to do when going through every room, let’s see what you specifically need to clean in the kitchen, bathroom, and outdoor spaces.

Cleaning the Kitchen Will Take the Most Time

The kitchen is one of the areas in your home where you’ll probably need to put in most of the work, so you need to start right away:

  • Clear out pantries and cabinets – start removing and packing everything while carefully placing visible moving labels on boxes. If you’ve never packed dishes before, look up how to pack plates for moving. Finish by vacuuming any crumbs and wiping all surfaces.
  • Wipe the fridge – dispose of all expired items and clean all fridge compartments by spraying some home-made baking soda solution.
  • Clear the oven – let the oven auto-clean or do it yourself by making a paste from baking soda and water. Brush the oven with the mixture and when it dries out, spray some distilled white vinegar before wiping off.
  • Sanitize the drain, sink, and disposal – baking soda comes to the rescue again. Use two parts water and one part baking soda to clear a slow drain. For the disposal, add baking soda first, then slowly start pouring the vinegar. The sink can be cleaned with a bit of basic dish soap and some hot water.
  • Sanitize countertop surface – use a simple sanitizing wipe or, if you have some discoloring grout or stains, once again, baking soda and vinegar paste applied to the area will do the trick. After sitting for a few minutes, use a scrubbing brush and a damp paper towel or a cloth to restore the surfaces.

Carefully Clean the Bathroom

Before you start, pack everything you don’t need to use regularly, and only keep items you’ll need for the last few days before moving. Look up how to transfer utilities if you haven’t done so already. For the bathroom, you need to:

  • Polish the mirror – spray a glass cleaner and use a lint-free piece of cloth when wiping from top to bottom in a circular motion.
  • Sanitize the toilet – use an all-purpose or a bleach-based cleaner. If using bleach, ensure you’re ventilating the bathroom.
  • Scrub the bath or shower – vinegar is the right choice here as well. It also removes water stains from faucets.
  • Dust the ventilator – if you can’t turn the circuit breaker off, dust off your exhaust fan with a can of air. For a thorough clean, remove the cover.

Clear Any Outdoor Spaces You Might Have

If you have access to a balcony or a house with n outdoor area where you have furniture you won’t need, contact a cross country moving company and put them in storage. You can sweep these areas with a stiff-bristle broom and by applying a cleaner if necessary. Make sure you also clear out the sliding doors by removing any stuck debris or dirt by hand or with a vacuum.

Baking soda
Baking soda and some vinegar are enough to make many surfaces pristine.

How Much Does a Move Out Cleaning Cost?

If you don’t feel like doing all of this yourself, look up professionals cleaning companies to help you out. Remember to add this to your moving expenses checklist, which is also useful to keep when you need moving services from a cross country moving group. According to Home Advisor, the average cleaning costs for a moveout are $360. An apartment usually goes for $110-$350, while a house up to 3,500 sqft costs about $450-$650 or more. The price of the service depends on the size of the home, level, and amount of work necessary.

A person wiping a window with a sponge
Besides hiring cross-country movers, consider getting a service from a cleaning company.

Maximize the Chances of Getting Your Deposit Back

Every lease has a termination clause, so whatever your reasons to move are, before starting to look for long-distance movers near you, make sure that you’ve done everything you can to get your deposit back. This money could be used to hire a long-distance moving company to help you out with moving interstate. Here are a few tips on how to get your money back:

  • Hire a handyman or do some small repairs yourself, like patching holes or painting,
  • Don’t leave anything behind, or the landlord will have to pay someone to remove the items from the premises,
  • Return all of your keys,
  • Pay your last rent on time,
  • In case you own multiple vehicles, get auto transport services to move them, so the landlord can’t say he’s providing parking,
  • Plan a moveout inspection with the landlord.

Responsible Renters Won’t Have Any Issues

After you relocate to your new home with the help of state-to-state movers, keep in mind everything you had to do to get your money back. One of the first things to do right after moving into a new home is to check if the property is in the same condition as when you signed the contract. Look up some things you should photograph when moving in to ensure you easily get your deposit back next time. You won’t have any problems if you’re careful and take good care of the new place.

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