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End on a Clean Note: How to Clean a Rental When Moving Out

End on a Clean Note: How to Clean a Rental When Moving Out

You’ve managed to move your stuff out of your old space. After the heavy lifting of getting your things from point A to point B, you’re now faced with the task of cleaning before handing the keys over to your landlord — all with the hopes of getting your deposit back.

Whether you’re leaving a rental property or relocating to a new one, it’s crucial to leave your old place in pristine condition. But how do you clean an apartment before moving out? We’ll address common questions about rental cleaning responsibilities and provide step-by-step guidance on how to clean effectively. From carpets to walls, here’s a move out cleaning checklist for renters.

Do Tenants Have to Clean When Moving Out?

One common question is whether tenants are obligated to clean their rental property before moving out. The answer depends on the terms of your lease agreement. Some landlords may require a professional cleaning service, while others expect tenants to clean the property themselves. Always refer to your lease agreement or consult your landlord for specific instructions.

How to Clean an Apartment Before Moving Out

As peak moving season approaches, it’s essential to streamline your move and make the transition process as smooth as possible. Cleaning your rental property before moving out is a crucial step to ensure a hassle-free experience. Maximize your chances of getting your security deposit back by focusing on these common areas.

1. Clean the Walls, Doors, and Ceilings

Repairing and cleaning the walls in your old place is probably the biggest task. After all, walls are everywhere, and getting them in tip-top shape can involve a few steps. Remove any visible marks or stains using mild soap and water or a suitable wall cleaner. Pay extra attention to areas around light switches and door handles. If necessary, touch up any paint chips or damage to restore the walls to their original condition.

Here are a few extra tips on how to clean walls when moving out to help increase the likelihood of getting your deposit back:

  • Dust and clean. Wipe down the walls, doors, door frames, light switches, baseboards, and ceilings. Use a damp cloth to remove any built up dust and dirt. If you notice any spots or stains, use an all-purpose cleaner to remove them.
  • Remove nails. Pictures and wall hangings are a great way to personalize your space, but they often leave behind wall damage. Now’s the time to take out all the nails your decorating efforts have incurred.
  • Patch up holes. Make a trip to your local home improvement store to get some lightweight spackle and a putty knife. Fill in any holes you’ve left behind by spreading the spackle with the knife.
  • Repaint (if needed). Most apartments will repaint all walls before new tenants move in, so repairing any damage you’ve caused should be enough, but be sure to confirm with your landlord.

2. Prioritize the Kitchen

The kitchen is often a focal point of the home, and it demands extra attention when it comes to cleaning. Start by emptying and cleaning all the kitchen cabinets and drawers. Remove any lingering food particles or sticky residue from shelves, and wipe them down with a gentle cleaner. You’ll also want to pay special attention to grease buildup, ensuring all surfaces are thoroughly degreased and sanitized.

To deep clean the kitchen before your walkthrough, check off the following items as well:

  • Clean appliances. Deep clean your appliances like the refrigerator, dishwasher, stove top, and kitchen range.
  • Wipe down all surfaces. Use an all purpose cleaning solution and cloth to clean countertops, as well as cabinet doors and cabinet shelves.
  • Sanitize the sink. Using two parts baking soda and one part vinegar, add the baking soda to your disposal then pour in the vinegar. Wait for the mixture to work its magic (about 15 minutes) then rinse with hot water. Clean the basin with soapy water, then dry with a microfiber cloth.

3. Scrub Down the Bathroom

Bathrooms are another area that requires meticulous cleaning. Begin by scrubbing the shower, bathtub, and toilet using appropriate cleaning agents. Remove any soap scum or mold buildup and polish fixtures to a sparkling shine. Wipe down the vanity, mirror, and countertops, ensuring they’re free of any residue. And don’t forget to clean the grout lines, as they tend to accumulate dirt and mildew over time.

4. Thoroughly Clean the Floors

Do you have to clean carpets when you move out? Carpet cleaning requirements may vary depending on your lease agreement. Some landlords might ask tenants to hire professional carpet cleaners, while others may only expect basic vacuuming. Review your lease agreement to determine the specific carpet cleaning expectations.

But whether your rental property requires professional services or not, it’s still a good idea to do some basic floor cleaning before moving into your new space. After moving out all your living room and bedroom furniture, thoroughly vacuum, sweep, and mop the entire property, paying close attention to corners, edges, and high-traffic areas. If professional cleaning is necessary, consider steam cleaning or hiring professional services to restore the floors to their original condition.

5. Take Out the Trash

Don’t forget to leave a few trash bags in your old place when you’re in the process of moving! You’ll need those bags to empty all garbage cans, including those in the kitchen, bathrooms, and any other areas. Double-check for any overlooked trash in closets or storage spaces. You’ll also want to dispose of all waste responsibly and in accordance with local regulations before handing over your keys.

Furnish Your New Home with Rent-A-Center

Moving into a new home is an exciting time, but it can also be expensive. Fortunately, furnishing your new space doesn’t have to break the bank. By shopping rent-to-own furniture and appliances from your local Rent-A-Center, you can save money while still creating a comfortable and stylish home. Plus, with free delivery, you don’t have to worry about incurring extra moving costs. Shop online or visit in-person today!

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Each week, we’ll bring you tips and tricks for infusing simplicity, style—even a little fun—into every aspect of your life and home. From decorating advice to money-saving strategies to opportunities to share with others like you, we’ll give you ideas that inspire. Live well, friends. And send your submissions, suggestions and questions for the blog to blog@rentacenter.com. For all customer service inquiries, please contact our Solution Center team at 1-800-422-8186.