Transitioning to a new home is an exciting life chapter filled with anticipation and the thrill of exploration. However, leaving behind your current residence often brings about a sense of finality, prompting a desire to leave it in pristine condition. A thorough cleaning before moving out not only ensures a smooth change for the next occupant but also leaves you with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. We will guide you through the process of performing a comprehensive cleaning of your home, from top to bottom, leaving it sparkling and ready for its new inhabitants.

Gathering Your Cleaning Arsenal

Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s essential to assemble the necessary supplies to tackle the task effectively. Here’s a list of important items and tools to have on hand:

  • Cleaning equipment – brooms, mops, vacuum cleaner, bucket, sponges, microfiber cloths, mop bucket, rubber gloves
  • Cleaning solutions – all-purpose cleaner, disinfectant, glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner, kitchen cleaner, oven cleaner, carpet cleaner
  • Tools for hard-to-reach areas – duster with extension pole, feather duster, vacuum cleaner attachments

Once you have everything set and ready, it is time to create a checklist that will help you organise your tasks.

The Move-Out Cleaning Checklist: A Room-by-Room Guide

Having a clear idea of what you need to do in each room is important. You can add or remove tasks from the proposed checklist depending on your situation.


  • Thoroughly clean the refrigerator, remove all food and organise the shelves. Mix baking soda and water to eliminate odours and wipe down all surfaces.
  • Swipe the oven and stovetop using oven cleaner or a paste of baking soda and water.
  • Clean the sink and disinfect the garbage disposal.
  • Wipe down cabinets, countertops, and appliances, paying attention to areas prone to food splatters and grease.
  • Clean the floors using an appropriate cleaner for your flooring type.

bathroom cleaningBathrooms

  • Remove all toiletries, towels, and personal items.
  • Clean the toilet bowl with a toilet brush and toilet bowl cleaner.
  • Scrub the shower and bathtub using a cleaner designed for these surfaces.
  • Wipe down the sink, vanity, and mirrors.
  • Clean the floors with a disinfectant.

Living Areas

  • Vacuum all carpets and furniture upholstery.
  • Dust all surfaces, including ceiling fans, light fixtures, baseboards, and windowsills.
  • Wipe down walls, doors, and door frames.
  • Clean windows and blinds.


  • Strip the bed and wash all bedding.
  • Vacuum the mattress and box spring.
  • Dust and wipe down furniture, including dressers, nightstands, and shelves.
  • Wash windows and blinds.

Other Areas

  • Clean the laundry room, including the washing machine, dryer, and ironing board.
  • Clean the garage, removing any clutter and wiping down surfaces.
  • Clean the entryway and hallways.

Consider hiring professional cleaning services for top-to-bottom cleaning if you are short on time. They can tackle more intensive tasks, such as deep cleaning carpets, windows, and appliances.

move-out cleaningTips for a Thorough Move-Out Cleaning

Our help continues beyond just providing you with a move-out cleaning checklist. Here are some insightful tips to help you focus on the important tasks.

Break the Process Down into Smaller Steps

Don’t try to clean your entire house in one day. It will only lead to feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. Break the cleaning process into smaller, more manageable tasks and tackle one room at a time. You can also split down the chores within each room into smaller steps. For example, instead of trying to clean all the surfaces in the kitchen in one go, focus on cleaning the countertops first, then the cabinets, and then the appliances.

Work from Top to Bottom

It is a general rule of thumb for cleaning, but it is especially important for move-out cleaning. By working from top to bottom, you will prevent dust and dirt from falling onto areas you’ve already cleaned. Start by dusting high surfaces like ceiling fans, light fixtures, and shelves, then move down to lower surfaces like doorknobs, window sills, and baseboards.

Use Natural Cleaners Whenever Possible

Harsh chemicals can damage your home and potentially harm your health. Opt for natural cleaners made with vinegar, baking soda, or essential oils whenever possible. These cleaners are just as effective as their harsh counterparts but are gentler on your home and health.

Address Stains Immediately

Don’t let stains set in. The sooner you handle them, the easier they will be to clean. If you know how to remove specific stains, do so. If you need help, you can always research online or ask a professional for assistance.

cleaning an ovenClean Appliances Thoroughly

Appliance interiors can get very dirty, so pay attention to them during your move-out cleaning. For refrigerators, remove all food and wipe down the shelves, walls, and drawers. For ovens, use an oven cleaner to remove grease and grime. For stoves, scrub the burners and grates and wipe down the cooktop.

Clean Hard-to-Reach Areas

Remember to clean hard-to-reach areas like behind appliances, under furniture, and corners. These places can harbour dirt, dust, and pests, so it is important to clean them thoroughly. Use a duster with an extension pole or a vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool to reach these areas.

Replace All Burned-out Lightbulbs

Having a well-lit home will make it easier to clean and inspect for any damage. Replace any burnt-out lightbulbs throughout the house.

Patch Holes and Repair Damages

If you have made any holes in the walls or damaged surfaces during your tenancy, make sure to repair them before moving out. It will demonstrate that you have taken responsibility for the damage and are leaving the property in good condition.

Clean the Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts play an important role in preventing water damage to your home. If they are clogged with debris, water can back up and cause problems. Before you move out, take some time to clean out the gutters and downspouts.

Deep Clean the Carpets

Consider having your carpets professionally cleaned before you move out. It will show the landlord or buyer that you care about the property’s condition and that you are willing to invest in its upkeep.

Inspect for Pests

Before you move out, check for any signs of pests, such as ants, roaches, or mice. If you find any pests, take steps to eliminate them before moving out.

What to Avoid Doing

clean house after moving outWhile cleaning your home before moving out is essential for leaving it in a presentable condition for the next occupants, there are certain mistakes you should avoid to ensure a smooth handover and avoid potential problems with future housebuyers. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when cleaning your home before moving out:

  • Not Starting Cleaning Early Enough – Don’t wait until the last minute to start cleaning your home. Dedicating adequate time to the process will allow you to tackle each area thoroughly and avoid feeling rushed.
  • Failing to Patch Holes or Repair Damages – If you have made any holes in the walls or damaged surfaces, make sure to repair them before moving out. If you leave them as they are, they can affect your home’s selling price.
  • Leaving Personal Belongings or Trash – Ensure that all personal belongings, decorations, and trash have been removed from the property. Keeping these items behind can create clarity and potential storage charges for the buyer.
  • Forgetting to Notify the Buyer – Inform your buyer about your move-out date and provide them with your contact information in case they need to contact you regarding any property issues.
  • Not Documenting the Cleaning – Take photos or videos of the clean home before handing over the keys to provide evidence that you left the property in a satisfactory condition. It can help avoid disputes or price deductions.

As you embark on your new chapter, leaving your current home in pristine condition is not just a courtesy. It is a mark of respect for the next occupants and an investment in your future relationships. Following our comprehensive tips, you can transform your home into a sparkling sanctuary, leaving your buyer with a positive impression and increasing your chances of receiving the desired price. From creating a detailed checklist and gathering essential cleaning supplies to addressing stains, repairing damages, and documenting the results, we hope we provided you with the knowledge and strategies to leave your home immaculate, ready for the next chapter to unfold.

Stephanie Cooper

Stephanie is a content marketing specialist for Top Cleaners for the past several years. She has extensive experience working with cleaning companies and knows her audience. Stephanie creates engaging and useful content helping the customers of Top Cleaners with their struggles and providing them with the most accurate insight.