Move Out Cleaning: The Most Important Tasks You Don’t Want To Forget

Move Out Cleaning: The Most Important Tasks You Don’t Want To ForgetWhen you move into a new residential or commercial space you put down a deposit, but you won’t get that deposit back in full if you don’t complete the most fundamental move out cleaning tasks.

Depending on the state of the building when you move out, you will get a certain percentage of your deposit back. If the place looks any different than when you moved in, you could be charged a hefty sum in cleaning fees or other fees, which comes directly out of your deposit.

A simple cleaning job that should cost $300 could end up costing you $500+. Unless you take care of the cleaning yourself, you are at the mercy of your landlord and whatever they want to charge you. Don’t give them the opportunity to withhold more of your deposit than they deserve. You can take care of the most important move-out cleaning tasks before the final walk-through.

Tidy Team has ample experience deep cleaning residential and commercial move outs, helping our customers secure as much of their deposit as possible.

Move-Out Cleaning Checklists

Start the process by making a checklist that details all areas that need to get cleaned. If you ask, many landlords will provide you with a cleaning checklist to work off of so that you don’t miss any of the spots they are personally looking for.

Some of the most common things you’ll find on move-out cleaning checklists include:

-Remove nails and screws from the walls and cover the holes left behind with some type of putty.

-Dust ceiling fans, lighting fixtures and so forth.

-Dust all ledges, baseboards and other wall accents.

-Thoroughly clean the windows, both inside and out. Bonus perk: We offer exterior window cleaning services so that you don’t risk your life getting those fifth story windows clean.

-Wipe clean all door handles and the actual doors—they accumulate a lot of dust in a very short amount of time.

-Clean the walls and remove any scuffs, cobwebs, etc.

-Clean all flooring surfaces with a vacuum and mop. You might need to use more extensive methods too, such as steam cleaning carpets or tile floors.

The Bathrooms

-Remove any soap scum stains from tiles.

-Bleach grout so that it shines like new.

-Clean the toilets, sinks, countertops and floors in the bathroom.

-Clean the mirrors and remove any streaks or blemishes.

-If the exhaust fan is very dirty you may want to vacuum it out.

The Kitchen/Break Room

-Remove everything from cabinets and drawers. Drawer liners are a great way to keep your drawers looking like new, simply lift them up and out at the time you move out and avoid leaving behind any stains.

-Clean and disinfect countertops and other surfaces.

-Remove all food items from the fridge and freezer and thoroughly scrub and disinfect. This may include removing shelves and drawers to clean every inch of surface space. You don’t want to leave behind any lingering smells.

-If there’s an oven, make sure to thoroughly clean it as well. Use steel wool to clean stubborn stains. If the little metal pans on the stovetop are impossible to get clean, you can replace them for very cheap at stores like Home Depot.

-Pull out all appliances and sweep out debris gathering behind and beneath them.


If you are responsible for any exterior spaces, it’s important to clean these up too. That includes cutting overgrown grass and pulling up weeds, as well as removing any stuff you have outside.

4 Ways You Can Protect Yourself & Your Deposit

1. Take photos of the place after you move everything out and thoroughly clean, make sure to focus on details. If need be, this helps you prove that you left the place spotless. If the landlord tries to take your deposit for “cleaning fees” you have physical evidence that the place was in perfect condition when you left.

2. Conduct the walkthrough with the inspector. For the most part, human nature makes us kinder to others when they are directly in front of us. That could mean your landlord takes off less money from your deposit for cleaning if you’re there on site during the walkthrough.

3. Don’t leave anything behind! While leaving a roll of toilet paper or paper towels is helpful, there’s no need to leave old pots and pans or desks sitting around. You might think it’s helpful, or that the next tenant will get good use out of it, but in the end you could be charged for removal of these items.

4. Know local laws regarding what a landlord can and cannot take out of your deposit so that you can stand up for yourself if need be. Small claims court is always there to help you settle any unfair charges.

Let Tidy Team help you recoup more of your deposit with our superior move out cleaning services. We get every last detail to perfection!