When shifting from a house, it is often a requirement to leave the house in a ready-to-use condition for whoever might come after you. But it can be exhausting to even think of cleaning the house after a whole day of moving out. It is better to move out a little before the day you have to give the keys away. That way, you get time to clean after moving out and before the closing day. You can always hire a professional cleaning service if you need more time to do it yourself. 

Irrespective of what method you resort to, you want to leave the house how you would like to move into one. You want to avoid entering a house full of filth that calls for major repairs or a major cleanup.  

For cleaning a house before moving out, you should create a move-out cleaning checklist. It may seem like a lot, but you can easily sail through this process with some planning and organization. Let us help you with it.

General Move-Out Cleaning Checklist 

Your move-out cleaning checklist will need to adjust to your house’s size and the things you have at your place. But here is a general list to get you started on the right foot: 

Pack all your personal belongings

The first thing you should do before even beginning to clean is to pack your personal belongings. Everything from frames to furniture should be packed and stacked in one corner or one room of the house. You can clean them as you pack. It is smarter to clean the house after loading the stuff into the moving truck. You will, then, only have cleaning supplies and the empty house to give it the final cleanup.

If you have hired professional help for the move-out cleaning process, it is best to pack all of your stuff before they arrive at your property.

Repair wall damage and clean the walls

Remove any hooks or nails you might have hammered into the wall for your art frames and pictures. You must then repair those holes by filling them and painting them. It also includes any other damage that might have happened to the wall. For example, leftover marks from removing tape or paint splashes. Make sure there are no stains or smudges on surfaces, then use a damp cloth to clean the walls gently. 

Clean the ceiling

You want to start cleaning from top to bottom. Take down all the cobwebs and the settled dust in the corners. If you find a stubborn stain, use a damp cloth to scrub it gently but be careful not to damage the paint on the wall. So once you have removed your stuff and repaired wall holes, take a rug, attach it to a long broom, and start cleaning the ceiling fans, exhaust fans, windows, and doors. 

Clean the ceiling

Dust and Wipe

You can now dust blinds in all the rooms and clean your light switches, lamps, fireplace, shelves, etc. meanwhile, try checking all the lights and replace any bulbs that might have fused. You can use a cleaning solution with a towel, paper, or rag to clean the surfaces. Alternatively, you can make a cleaning solution with vinegar and water. Store it in a spray bottle and spray it on the surface as you clean. You might find fingerprints and dust gunks on surfaces and appliances. Do not miss them.

That said, DIY solutions often don’t work as well as professional solutions. If you want to truly leave the place spotless, it is better to depend on professionals. 

Clean the Oven And Stovetop

The stovetop has all the food residue you have been too lazy to clean till now. Clean the oven and each burner of the stove to get to the underside of the surface too. You may also clean your oven with a simple DIY solution of water and baking soda but don’t forget to scrub it properly. Use the solution by spreading it evenly all around the oven. You can also add some vinegar if you like. Leave it on for some time and then scrub it. 

It’s also a good idea to sanitize the countertops, so they have a lasting shine and no bad odor or germs.     

Deep Clean the Sinks and Tubs

Most surfaces, especially in the kitchen and the bathroom, often get extremely filthy because they have spots we miss while cleaning regularly. You will probably find dust in multiple layers there. Your landlords will carefully examine these places. Anyone moving in will expect your kitchen to smell good and be clean, so you should clean them up beforehand. Use the same cleaning solution to scrub sinks, tubs, showers, and faucets. Clean the drains and leave the place shining.

Vacuum and mop floors

At the end of the cleaning process, use a vacuum cleaner to give your house the last layer of shine. Get under the carpets, don’t leave the corners, even the wooden floor. Run the cleaner through all floor surfaces. If babies or pets are in the house with you, look for any ‘accidents’ or stains that might have gone unnoticed. Use a carpet cleaning or stain removal solution over them. Do one room at a time and end at the main hall or entrance of the house. Once vacuumed, mop the floor with water. This will ensure that every corner is spotless. 

House cleaning is definitely a challenging task and consumes a lot of time. Considering the other engagements one is occupied with when moving out, like paperwork and packing, it only seems viable to hire professional cleaners. One, cleaning services leave everything sparkly clean, and two, the move-out cleaning cost is usually affordable, but the charge varies with your house’s size. 

However, if you decide to do it on your own, here are the room-by-room cleaning tasks you can complete. 

Room-by-room Cleaning

Now that you have an idea of the general things to keep in mind, here are some tips for move out cleaning in Redmond.


  • Use a cleaner in your empty cabinets to get rid of greasy stains and accumulated dust. Clean all the countertops with warm, soapy water or vinegar and water solution and sanitize them to ensure that no stains or residues remain.
  • Clean all glass material with a cleaning solution specially made for glass and paper towels. It includes windows, glass shelves, table tops, side tables, and doors.
  • To restore the sink’s original appearance, scrub it with a cleaner or chlorine-free bleach. Use a long brush to run it down the drain and remove any blockage. 
  • Drop lemon slices, salt, and ice cubes into the garbage disposal to eliminate any foul odors.
  • Let your refrigerator defrost while you clean everything else. Once done, empty it completely and then deep clean it taking out all the shelves and containers.
  • Your oven and dishwasher also need a cleanse. The easiest way for the microwave/oven is to run it on high for several minutes with a bowl of lemon water. Let it cool, and then wipe it with a cloth. Using sanitizing wipes, remove the soap scum and hard water spots in the dishwasher.

Room-by-room Cleaning


  • Begin with cleaning the mirror, first with an ammonia-based solution and then with a dry wipe. 
  • While at it, scrub the tub, shower, drain, tub fixture, and taps. You may want to use a disinfectant or leave a layer of baking soda and water mixture with soap scum to ensure it gets easily removed.
  • Rinse and scrub the tiles well. Leave them with a shine for the people to come. You can use a disinfectant here too. Depending on how dirty the floor is, you can even mop it.
  • Remember to clean the dust from the vanities, cabinets, shelves, and drawers. Use a wet sponge so you can reach even the hardest-to-reach corners. 
  • Dust the vent and clean the exhaust fan.
  • Use a brush and a toilet-cleaning agent to sanitize the toilet bowl. Roll the brush along all the edges because a dirty toilet is the last thing someone wants to see.

Laundry room

There isn’t much to do in the laundry room, but if you have a washer and dryer, you want to ensure that there are no lint or detergent spots left anywhere. You can run a microfiber dipped in warm water over the machine and also check if the room requires any repair for damage that might have happened due to moisture and water.

Outdoor Space

This section only applies if you have access to an outdoor area like a backyard, garden, balcony, or patio.

  • First, remove all your personal property from the area and then begin cleaning.
  • Start from the door because it likely has settled dirt and mud that came with you from outdoors. Use a vacuum or a broom to pick up the debris and allow the door to move freely.
  • Sweep the floor with a stiff-toothed broom or mop it if you have a balcony that needs more than just a sweep. Also, remember the railings.
  • Outdoor lighting is often a pray to neglect while cleaning up. If lights are in your outdoor area, ensure they are in working condition.
  • You can even trim the grass of your garden if your landlord is particular. Plus, who does not like the sight of a beautifully maintained green garden?

Sweep the floor with a stiff-toothed broom

Bedroom And Living Room

  • Take a dusting cloth and run it over the window sill, any frames, glass panels, furniture, and blinds.
  • Clean the edges and grooves of sliding doors. They often get dirt stuck in the corners.
  • Giving them a wash or dry clean can be a good idea if you think the curtains are too dirty.
  • Clean the rugs and carpets. A thorough soap and water scrub is what will make them bright and fresh again.
  • You can spray polish over wooden surfaces if they need some shine. If they need color repair, you can add a layer of paint or varnish.

How long will the move-out cleaning take?

It depends on a lot of things. Firstly, check your lease to see the cleaning you need, i.e., how much your lease mandates you to do. It will also change depending on the size of your house and how dirty it is. If you do the cleaning yourself, it will take more time than a cleaning service would because they know exactly what to do and how. Of course, you can undertake some cleaning yourself to reduce the amount of billable time required by the professionals, but that can compensate for the meticulousness of the task.


In conclusion, if you want your security deposit back, you will have to clean as much as the house contract obligates you to do. Therefore, get it reviewed with your real estate agent once and have all tasks required on your part completed before handing over the keys. It includes removing what needs to be removed and repairing the things that should be functioning when someone else moves in. As a former resident, you must do your part before moving out and do not hesitate to hire professional help. 

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