Moving Out? Why You Need a Move-Out Checklist

Move-Out Cleaning

Moving Out? Why You Need a Move-Out Checklist

Oct 23, 2021

Preparing to move out soon? Whether ending a lease or selling your house, planning to get through the next few weeks of moving can be frustrating. Leaving your former home in excellent condition to get your security deposit check back or as a courtesy to the next owners is always almost necessary. Our move-out checklist will help keep you on track for a smooth and worry-free move.

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What Is a Move-Out Cleaning?

Before we dive into our move-out checklist, let us first clarify what a move-out cleaning is. Typically, a move-out cleaning includes a detailed and thorough checklist of everything that needs to be cleaned — from your doorstep to the very last corner of your home.

Incorporating a move-out cleaning before handing your keys to your landlord or home buyer will help you feel accomplished moving to your next home. Showing that your former home is well taken care of will excite and delight your landlord or new occupants as well.

Not to mention, you’re much more likely to get back every penny of your security deposit check.

Do I Need a Professional Move-Out Cleaning?

If you don’t have enough time, energy, money, or cleaning supplies to ensure your former home is spotless, you might need a professional move-out cleaner.

By booking move-out cleaning services, you’ll get the most detailed type of cleaning done by professional cleaners who have all the essential equipment and approved cleaning methods. Explore our site for more details about hiring a professional move-out cleaner to give you peace of mind and ensure a stress-free beginning to the next chapter in your life.

Now that we have evaluated what a move-out cleaning is and whether or not you need professional cleaning, let’s discuss what is included in a typical move-out clean.

Living Room and Bedroom Move-Out Checklist

  • Mirrors are streak-free
  • Window sills and window tracks are dust-, dirt-, and mold-free
  • Baseboards’ buildup are wiped or vacuumed
  • Door frames are cleaned and doorknobs are sanitized
  • Light switches are wiped to remove finger oils and germs
  • Walls are smudge-free
  • Garbage has been emptied
  • Carpet and hardwood floor areas are vacuumed
  • Closets don’t have accumulated dust

Kitchen Move-Out Checklist

  • Appliances such as stovetop, oven, refrigerator, freezer, microwave, dishwasher, range hood, etc. look as good as new
  • Countertops and shelves are dusted
  • Backsplash is wiped and smudge-free
  • Cabinet interiors and exteriors are wiped and sanitized
  • Sink and drain don’t have stains, rust, or food splatters
  • Light switches are sanitized
  • Floor is swept and mopped to remove splashed oil and other food stains

Bathroom Move-Out Checklist

  • Sink, bathtub, shower walls, and glass doors are spotless and sanitized
  • Toilet and toilet seat have no stains or odors
  • Mirrors are streak-free
  • Cabinets, countertops, and shelves are wiped and dusted
  • Inside window sills and window tracks are cleaned
  • Doorknobs, door frames, and doors are wiped and sanitized
  • Light switches are sanitized
  • Garbage has been emptied and the garbage can is clean
  • Floor is vacuumed/swept and mopped

Keep in mind, before you work through your moveout checklist, you’ll need to pack up your belongings. Save money by finding free moving boxes in your area before you start cleaning.

Boxes, Boxes, Boxes: Where Can You Get Them for Free?

To be able to clean each and every corner of your former home, you’ll need to organize and pack up your belongings. Cleaning will be much easier and more efficient if your living space is empty.

Small, medium, large boxes? You might need all sizes! Not everyone stores boxes from prior packages or gifts. The good news: You likely won’t have to spend a penny on them.

Here are the best places to find free moving boxes so you can stay within your move-out budget:

  1. Local Restaurants and Shops: Many restaurants get their essentials and produce delivered almost every morning each week. When you stop to buy food to support a local restaurant, feel free to ask the employees if they have left-over boxes. Most of the time, local business owners and employees are willing to give away extra boxes. Doing so can save them from having to spend time disposing of the boxes elsewhere.

  2. Retail Stores: It is expected that your local Walmart, Target, Costco, and other retail stores have shipments delivered every day. During your next errand trip to one of these stores, make sure to ask for free boxes — there’s likely plenty in the back.

  3. Book Stores: In addition to Barnes and Noble bookstores, you can also visit your local university to ask for free boxes. Books, university merchandise, and other supplies are delivered to these bookstores frequently, causing dozens of boxes to pile up in their storage.

  4. Facebook Community Groups/Marketplace: More often than not, when you post to ask for moving supplies on Facebook Community groups, many generous and friendly people are willing to give you what you need. Additionally, by searching “free boxes” and filtering your location for easy pick-up on Facebook Marketplace, you will be surprised by the number of people that are willing to give away free stuff.

  5. Office Supply Stores: Office Depot, Office Max, FedEx Office Print and Ship Center, and other office supply stores get shipments every week. By asking permission to take extra free boxes off their hands, they will likely be glad to share as many as they can.

Simplify Your Move With a Move-Out Checklist

Having a moveout checklist on hand can make cleaning much easier and ensure you’re not missing anything important. A comprehensive checklist will guide you through each step of the cleaning process and help you transform your former home into better condition.

That said, moving requires other time-consuming to-dos, including packing, decluttering, and planning. You can always hire professional cleaners to save you the hassle and ensure your former home will be in good hands. Additionally, if you’re renting and hoping to get a full security deposit refund, hiring a professional move-out cleaner may be worth it.

To learn other tips for moving or to hire a move-out cleaning professional in your area, visit


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Article written by Mia Sofia Pimentel


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