Move In & Out Cleaning | A Checklist for Every Room

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We all know, moving is not fun for anyone and at the end of a stressful exhausting day, the last thing you should have to do is clean a house. The most common problem with doing a move out clean is that people underestimate how much work is involved.

As you read over the list, think about moving into your new home.  Don’t you want your new home to look, feel, and smell wonderful?  Don’t you want your new home to be in the same condition as the home you just moved out of?

 Kitchen Cleaning Checklist


  • Cabinets: fronts and inside cleaned thoroughly.  Make sure all surfaces are free of dirt, cooking splatters, and other marks.  Check the top of the upper cabinets to ensure they are dust free and clean.
  • Counter-tops / shelves: dusted and/or wiped clean.
  • Sinks and backsplash:  washed and wiped dry.
  • Appliances: cleaned thoroughly inside and out (stove top, oven, fridge, microwave, and dishwasher).
  • Windowsills, framework, and window tracks: Washed and wiped clean.
  • Baseboards: washed and wiped dry.
  • Marks on walls and baseboards cleaned. The new owners might be repainting but get the marks off the walls.
  • Doorknob, door frames and doors wiped clean.
  • Light fixtures:  Wash the fixture and replace burnt out bulbs.
  • Light switches wiped.
  • Floor vacuumed and washed.
  • Trash emptied.

Bathroom Cleaning Checklist


  • Sinks: cleaned and sanitized. Use special chemicals to remove water stains and calcium build up.
  • Bathtub, shower walls and glass doors cleaned and sanitized.  Another area to use chemicals to get rid of soap scum and watermarks.
  • Toilet cleaned and sanitized inside and out.
  • Mirrors cleaned.
  • Cabinet fronts and insides cleaned.  Get rid of the drawer liners.
  • Countertops and shelves wiped clean.
  • Light fixtures cleaned and burnt out bulbs replaced.
  • Windowsills and window tracks cleaned.
  • Baseboards wiped clean.
  • Marks on walls and baseboards cleaned.
  • Doorknobs, door frames and doors wiped.
  • Light switches wiped
  • Floor vacuumed and washed
  • Trash emptied

Bedroom Cleaning Checklist


  • Closet fronts and insides wiped clean.
  • Carpeted floors vacuumed.  Arrange for carpet cleaning after the movers have left with your belongings.<
  • Hard surface floors vacuumed and damp-mopped.
  • Mirrors cleaned
  • Windowsills and window tracks cleaned
  • Baseboards wiped clean.
  • Marks on walls and baseboards cleaned.
  • Doorknobs, door frames and doors cleaned.
  • Light fixtures wiped clean and burnt out bulbs replaced.
  • Light switches cleaned
  • Trash emptied

The rest of the house


  • All surfaces dusted and/or wiped clean
  • Closet fronts and insides dusted, wiped clean.  This includes the shelves and walls
  • Carpeted floors vacuumed.  Arrange for carpet cleaning after the movers have left with your belongings
  • Hard surface floors vacuumed and damp-mopped.  Pay special attention to stairs and landings
  • Mirrors cleaned
  • Windowsills and window tracks cleaned
  • Baseboards wiped clean
  • Marks on walls and baseboards cleaned
  • Doorknob, door frames and doors cleaned.  Don’t forget the front door!
  • Clean unfinished basement areas.  Dust the ceiling
  • Clean ledges and cubbies
  • Sweep, vacuum and wash stairs to the basement
  • Light fixtures wiped clean and burnt out bulbs replaced
  • Light switches cleaned
  • Empty the Trash

Commonly Overlooked Areas


  • Carpeted floors should be vacuumed.
  • Arrange for carpet cleaning after the movers have left with your belongings.
  • Wash the windows, inside and out.  Clean the screens.  A clean window allows more light into the home and brightens up space. It is very easy to spot grimy windows.
  • Dust the hot water tank and the furnace.  Change the filters and leave any extra filters for the new owner.
  • The exterior yard work needs to be addressed as well.  Cut the grass so that the new owners do not have to get the lawnmower out immediately.  They will appreciate it!
  • If you have a deck or patio, clean it
  • Sweep the front steps and wash them if possible
  • Sweep out the garage.  Remove any unwanted items
  • Clean the mailbox and make sure you have changed your address
  • Wash out the garbage cans and leave them empty

Do take all discarded items to their proper resting place.  Unwanted paint and electronics can be dropped off at most landfills or fire halls.  Take larger unwanted appliances, furniture and garbage to the landfill.  Do not leave garbage for the new owners to deal with.

After cleaning the house from left to right, top to bottom and back to front, take the time to ensure that the extra keys are placed in a kitchen drawer with the appliance manuals and the garage door opener.

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