Cleaning checklist to ensure you get your deposit back

With all of the excitement of moving out, it is easy to forget that there are some things that must be taken care of prior to being fully done in your current home. Really, packing and loading all of your belongings is only the beginning, you still have so many things left to do in the home you are leaving. Whether you are trying to get back a deposit as a renter, or just trying to be a good human being, you should do one last deep clean of your house. Below, we’ll go through all of the different items you should be sure to clean, before you say goodbye to this home forever.


  • Refrigerator
    Take any remaining food out of it and put it in an ice chest, and then unplug your refrigerator and move it outdoors if possible. Once you get it outside, you should open the doors and let it fully defrost for a few hours. When your fridge is completely defrosted, you will want to remove all of the shelves and bins for cleaning. The reason you will want to wait to clean everything until your refrigerator and freezer are no longer cool is because if it is cold at all, that creates moisture when cleaning and then mold can grow. The inside of your fridge is not all that you will want to clean. This is a great time to vacuum the space where the fridge goes and the coils underneath the fridge that are responsible for filtering out heat.
  • Oven & Stove
    For the oven, you will want to take out the racks and scrub them with a Brillo pad, and then make sure that any excess drippage at the bottom of your oven is completely scrubbed clean. The stove top should be scrubbed clean, and you should check that the overhead light works and that the hood and exhaust are clean as well. Don’t make someone else deal with a greasy hood.
  • Dishwasher
    For your dishwasher, you will want to remove the racks to get to the drain at the bottom and make sure that there is not any lingering debris. You will also want to scrub away any soap scum from the interior, and then put a cup of white vinegar in the top rack and then run your dishwasher on the hottest setting to sanitize the inside.
  • General Cleaning
    • Clean cabinets inside and out
    • Wipe down all counter and appliance surfaces
    • Wash out the sink


  • Toilet
    You will want to scrub your toilet, not just on the inside, but also the outside. Debris and dust tend to build up on the groves of a toilet, so you will want to make sure to thoroughly clean the outside.
  • Shower, Bathtub, Sink If any of your drains seem to be slow and sluggish, you can bet that there is a clog somewhere, and the main offender will be hair. You will want to get a flexible plastic snake from the hardware store, stick it down your drain and then pull it up to remove any hair that has been lodged. Once you have removed the bulk of hair, you should pour a liquid plumbing agent down the drain to help dislodge and clean out the rest of the debris following the instructions on the label. Once everything is cleared out, then you should scrub the sink basin and shower or bath, as well as the faucets and handles.
  • General Cleaning
    • If you have grout, you will want to clean it with a toothbrush to get maximum results, as it is porous and can be a bit tricky to clean
    • Clean drawers inside and out, and if the contact paper is unsightly, it would be a good idea to replace it
    • Wipe down the mirror

Bedrooms & Living room

  • Wipe down walls, ceiling fans, and any built-in furniture
  • Clear any cobwebs that may be lingering in corners, both low and high
  • Wash all windows inside and out
  • Clean window blinds
  • Vacuum and mop all of the floors in the house
  • Keep in mind that this should be the last thing you do so as to avoid spreading any dirty with your shoes
  • If there are stains on the carpet, use a cleaning agent PRIOR to vacuuming and scrub them out as best you can
  • Make sure all light switches and outlets are clean
  • Dust all window ledges
  • Give the baseboards a good scrub, you would be shocked about how much dust accumulates on those small surfaces
  • Wipe down door knobs throughout the home


  • Clear away all cobwebs
  • Make sure the yard is clean and lawn is mowed
  • Cut and pull weeds
  • Hose down porch or balcony
  • Sweep the garage and leave it empty
  • Remove any lingering nails or tacks from the walls
  • Clean exterior lights and make sure they work
  • Take pictures of everything completely clean


The best reason to opt for cleaning your home rather than hiring a cleaning service is that it will save you money. Money that can be used to hire a local professional moving company, because let’s be honest – cleaning is way easier than lifting appliances, dressers, beds and boxes of books!

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