Moving Out: A Cleaning Checklist

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Moving is exciting. It’s a fresh start to a new life in a new home. The downside to moving is cleaning. If you are moving out of an apartment then you have to leave the place clean to get your deposit back and not get charged a high amount for something as easy as wiping out the microwave. If you are moving out of a house and trying to sell it then you want it sparkling so that you can get top dollar.

Once the boxes are out and in storage or your new home it hits you that your move is far from over. Dirt can get anywhere and we tend to be surprised when we see just how much dirt can accumulate in a home that we kept clean.

The following is a checklist for you to go down when you are cleaning to make sure that you leave your home spotless.

Walls and Lights

  1. __ Scrub the walls and make sure that you get off any dirt, hand prints, scuff marks, etc. Magic erasers can work wonders.
  2. __ Paint if the walls are too bad. If you have smoked inside your home then it will raise the value of your house to make sure that you get the yellow out. If the walls are too dirty this is going to save you money in the long run.
  3. __ Fill in holes from pictures or other objects that you have hung. This is easy to do with wall tacky or putty and paint.
  4. __ Clean all windows (insides and out), blinds, drapes, etc. Anything that you are leaving behind should be touched with soap and water before you are done. It is best to work from the top down so if the water drips you clean the trail.
  5. __ Make sure that you change all light bulbs and lighting fixtures.


  1. __ Wipe down all cabinets, drawers, microwave, oven dishwasher, sink, etc. Every single space should be covered with cleaner.
  2. __ Deep clean the refrigerators and freezer. You can unplug the appliance since nobody will be using it and let the freezer defrost. Wipe all the shelves, doors, handles, etc.
  3. __ Replace the burners on the stove. If you do not have a gas stove make sure that you replace the burners.
  4.  Burners tend to acquire old food and new ones are very inexpensive.
  5. __ Use your oven cleaner. Make sure that you get your oven clean. Use the oven cleaner option if your oven has one. Check the racks in the oven and if they are not salvageable buy new ones.
  6. __ Sweep and mop. Make sure the floors are very clean.


  1. __ Scrub everything. Make sure you get everywhere in the toilet, counter, sink, drains, floor, mirrors, etc. Soap or cleaner should hit every spot in the bathroom.


  1. __ Carpet clean and mop every single inch of your floor to leave it in the best condition that you can.
  2. __ Doors all need to be wiped down including closet doors.
  3. __ Make sure that your outside is clean. Power washing is a good idea if you have one that is available. You can power wash your house and the sidewalk giving it a brand new look.
  4. __ Clean the gutters. Leave the gutters clean from debris.
  5. __ Double check. Double check everything and make sure that you have not missed anything. Take out all the trash and stuff left behind.
  6. __ Fix anything broken. If you have any doorknobs or anything that needs to be replaced, do it.

This list should make sure that you get top dollar when selling your home. Have fun moving!

Paul Benjamin is a District Manager for EZ Storage, a self storage company providing clean and secure storage rental in a variety of sizes. Visit for current St. Louis self storage specials.


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