8 Free Move-Out Cleaning Checklists – Editable

Moving out of a home can be alarming and overwhelming. As you vacate the apartment or any other property, it is essential to ensure that you leave behind a spotless space that is ready to welcome its next tenants or occupants. This process is vital as landlords will typically require you to leave the rental house in good condition before reimbursing your security deposit. To create an effective plan for cleaning the house, you can use a checklist. It comprehensively outlines the tasks and tenancy obligations you must complete to fulfill the contractual terms outlined in the rental agreement.

The article will educate you on how to use a checklist for cleaning as you move out effectively. It will discuss the cleaning methods suited for different home areas and the tools and supplies needed for these activities. Also, it will provide insightful tips on how to utilize such a checklist efficiently. You can use the free printable templates we have given to create checklists that facilitate your move-out cleaning exercises. The templates have been provided in a variety of formats, including PDF and Google Docs.

Free Checklist Templates

Free Move Out Cleaning Checklist Template Example
Printable Move Out Cleaning Checklist Format Sample
Editable Move Out Cleaning Checklist Template in Word
Sample Move Out Cleaning Checklist Format
Move Out Cleaning Checklist Template for Free
Printable Move Out Cleaning Checklist Example
Word Format Move Out Cleaning Checklist Template
Move Out Cleaning Checklist Sample

    What is a Move-Out Cleaning Checklist?

    A move-out cleaning checklist is a comprehensive list of cleaning tasks and activities that need to be completed when vacating a rental property or home.

    It enlists a wide range of tasks, from decluttering to deep cleaning different areas. The checklist serves as a roadmap to carry out a thorough and efficient cleaning process inside and outside the premises. This ensures that the house is returned per the conditions or standards declared in the rental agreement.

    This checklist ensures that the property is left in a clean and tidy condition for the next occupants or the landlord’s inspection. This maximizes the chances of receiving a security deposit refund. This also helps maintain a positive landlord-tenant relationship as it demonstrates your responsibility and commitment to leaving the premises in good condition.


    A template streamlines your move-out cleaning process. It is a user-friendly roadmap that ensures all the essential parts of the rental space are cleaned. While it is a coherent guide that you can follow as you check off completed tasks, you can customize it to suit your apartment’s cleaning needs.

    Move-Out Cleaning Checklist

    The structure of the checklist allows you to complete cleaning tasks rationally and strategically to ensure all corners of the premises are cleaned. Ideally, it begins with the major areas of the premises, i.e., living room, kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms. Then, for each room, it highlights the cleaning methods to be used, such as deep-cleaning appliances, sinks, countertops, fixtures, ceilings, etc.  It is advisable to use eco-friendly cleaning agents to ensure the exercise is not only thorough but also safe.

    The checklist typically includes a variety of cleaning tasks that cover different areas of the property, such as:


    Typically, the first area in the commercial space is the kitchen. It is a hub of activity and requires meticulous attention. The following cleaning tasks and methods will typically appear under this category:

    • Deep clean appliances’ interiors and exteriors, including the oven, stove, fridge, range hood, dishwasher and microwave
    • Wash dishes 
    • Clean cabinets’ interiors and exteriors
    • Empty and defrost the refrigerator, then clean its interior and exterior.
    • Dust and wipe down countertops, shelves, cabinets, and drawers
    • Degrease the range hood and clean the backsplash
    • Clean the sink, faucet, and any stainless-steel fixtures
    • Dust and wipe all surfaces
    • Sweep/vacuum and mop the kitchen floor
    • Wipe doorknobs, doorframes, and doors wiped
    • Dust and clean the windowsills and window tracks
    • Wipe light switches
    • Empty the garbage bins
    • Remove the marks on walls and baseboards


    The most effective strategy for cleaning is working your way through tasks from top to bottom. For instance, if you are cleaning multiple bedrooms on different stories, start with the top floor on your way down. This rule applies whether you are cleaning a single room or the entire house. Bedrooms are your sanctuaries, and leaving them clean is a considerate gesture.

    Tasks under this category include the following:

    • Dust and wipe down all surfaces, including the interior and exteriors of closets and shelves
    • Clean the marks on walls and baseboards
    • Clean the mirrors
    • Light switches wiped
    • Vacuum carpets and area rugs 
    • Damp mop hardwood floors
    • Clean window tracks and wipe down interior window sills
    • Change bed linens and wash curtains if applicable
    • Empty and clean bedroom trash bins
    • Wipe doorknobs, door frames and doors


    A clean bathroom is essential for a fresh start, and it is thus vital to pay attention to every detail in this room. Below are the different tasks to outline in the checklist:

    • Scrub the bathtub, shower walls, and glass doors
    • Disinfect and clean the toilet and sinks
    • Clean and polish mirrors and glass surfaces
    • Wipe down countertops and shelves
    • Clean cabinets’ interiors and exteriors
    • Remove soap scum and mineral deposits from floor and wall tiles 
    • Wash or replace shower curtains if needed
    • Empty and clean bathroom trash bins
    • Clean inside window sills and window tracks
    • Wipe doorknobs, door frames and doors
    • Clean baseboards
    • Wipe light switches
    • Vacuum and wash floors

    Living areas

    This category encompasses the living areas (dining and lounge areas) and all common areas (stairs, hallways, and entryways). These are the spaces where you relax and entertain guests. To thoroughly clean the living areas, look for marks left by furniture and pay attention to high-traffic areas such as walls in hallways.

    Examples of tasks enlisted in the checklist to clean living areas include the following:

    • Dust and wipe down all surfaces, including baseboards
    • Clean all mirrors
    • Vacuum and clean floors, including carpets and rugs
    • Clean windows from the inside and wipe down window sills
    • Dust and clean doorknobs, door frames and doors
    • Wipe down light switches, fixtures, and ceiling fans
    • Clean closet fronts and insides
    • Dust and clean electronics and entertainment systems.
    • Empty garbage bins
    • Remove marks on walls and baseboards
    • Damp mop hard surface floors

    pro tip

    Rental apartments are built and designed differently. So, it is vital to tailor the template you select to align with the specific apartment layout and features. Personalization includes adding or removing tasks based on the apartment’s unique cleaning needs. This makes the checklist relevant to your circumstances.

    Outside (balcony, garage, lawn)

    If applicable, do not forget about outdoor spaces that need attention. This encompasses balconies, basements, garages, attics, and storage. Tasks and cleaning methods under this category are listed below:

    • Sweep and clean balconies, patios, or decks
    • Wipe down outdoor furniture and fixtures
    • Remove any personal belongings from outdoor areas, garage, basement, attic and storage
    • Sweep and tidy up all the outdoor spaces and clean any windows present
    • Mow and trim the lawn if required and pick up any trash or debris lying around
    • Gather all your belongings and ensure the rental house is empty. However, in some instances, you can agree with the new tenant on which items can be left behind

    Laundry room

    A functional laundry area deserves a clean farewell as well. Here are tasks you can enlist under this category:

    • Wipe down the washer and dryer, inside and out
    • Clean the lint trap and dryer vent
    • Sweep and mop the laundry room floor


    According to the American Cleaning Institute, there is an increase in demand for professional cleaning services, especially during the move-out or end-of-lease phases of the tenancy. The cost of these services varies based on different factors. Such factors include the location, size of the home, number of rooms, and any specialized services. As a result, the average cost in Houston is $4 and $6 per square foot for cleaning the kitchen, all bedrooms, bathrooms, entryways, and hallways. Alternatively, some professionals may charge $75 per bedroom. Therefore, the factors that influence the final cost of cleaning services are the particular cleaning services offered and the initial condition of the premises.

    Move-Out Cleaning Tools and Supplies

    Equipping yourself with the right cleaning tools and supplies is essential to tackle every cleaning task effectively during the move-out process. Having a well-equipped assembly of cleaning tools and supplies ensures that you are fully prepared to leave your living space spotless and ready for the next occupant.

    Other than a mop and vacuum cleaner, here are the tools you should have to clean the house effectively:

    • Duster
    • All-purpose cleaner
    • Floor cleaner
    • Toilet bowl cleaner
    • Glass cleaner
    • Paper towels
    • Microfiber cloths 
    • Trash bags

    Tips for Using a Move-Out Cleaning Checklist

    To avail all of the benefits of using a checklist, you must understand how to utilize it appropriately. Below are several useful best practices you can adopt to develop and integrate the checklist effectively in the cleaning process:

    Identify cleaning categories

    To effectively use the checklist, start by identifying the main cleaning categories (areas or rooms) that need attention in your apartment. Categorizing tasks helps you organize your cleaning process and ensures that no area is overlooked. Also, focus on one category at a time, as this helps you maintain a systematic approach to the cleaning process. This way, you will avoid feeling overwhelmed trying to draft a checklist for every category at once.

    List essential tasks within each category

    Once you have defined your categories, list the essential cleaning tasks within each category. Break down each area into specific tasks, such as wiping down surfaces, scrubbing appliances, and cleaning fixtures. Then, clean while following these task lists and checking off each task after completion. This detailed approach helps you stay focused, track progress, get an overview of what you must complete, and ensure that you cover all necessary cleaning tasks systematically.

    Break down complex tasks

    Some cleaning tasks will be complex or multilayered. Breaking them down into smaller, manageable steps makes them more achievable. For example, deep-cleaning the refrigerator can be broken down into tasks like emptying it, wiping down shelves, and cleaning the drawers. This approach prevents you from overlooking certain tasks and feeling overwhelmed and keeps you motivated as you complete subtasks in between.

    Leave space for additional notes

    Leave space for additional notes, observations, unique cleaning requirements, or comments under each task. If you encounter specific challenges or need to remind yourself of something, these notes can serve as valuable references throughout the cleaning process.

    Personalize your checklist

    While using a standard checklist is a great starting point, do not hesitate to personalize it according to your living space’s layout, specific cleaning needs, and preferences as you move out. Some areas might require more attention than others, and tailoring the checklist ensures that you allocate your time and efforts effectively.

    Review and refine

    As you work through the tasks, continuously review your checklist to keep track and ensure you are following it accordingly. As you review, determine which tasks need to be modified or added and incorporate these changes. This ensures no tasks are missed or duplicated and thus increases the effectiveness of the cleaning process. Also, mark them off or make notes of completed items. This visual progress can be motivating and helps you keep track of your accomplishments.

    Final Thoughts 

    Leaving your current living space clean and well-maintained ensures a smooth transition for the next occupants. Additionally, it reflects your sense of responsibility and consideration. Using a checklist sets you up for success in cleaning your home as you move out. A checklist outlines all the tasks you will undertake in the cleaning process.

    By categorizing tasks, listing essential to-dos, breaking down complex chores, leaving space for notes, personalizing the checklist, and continuously reviewing it, you will be equipped to tackle the cleaning process with confidence and efficiency. Also, it makes it easy to track progress. You can use the free printable templates provided to craft checklists that suit your cleaning needs and preferences as you move out.

    About This Article

    Brenda L.
    Authored by:
    PDF & Word Form Creation, Fillable Form Design, Word Template Design, Formatting Troubleshooting
    Brenda L. stands out as a specialist in PDF and Word form/template creation and document & book formatting. With a knack for maintaining the integrity of original designs, she expertly converts PDF documents to Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Publisher formats. If you possess a scanned form that needs to be made fillable or a PDF design requiring transformation into a functional Word template, Brenda is the professional you seek. Furthermore, authors aiming to tailor their books to meet print standards can rely on her expertise. Encountering Word formatting challenges? Brenda is adept at troubleshooting and resolving such issues. Partner with Brenda L. and ensure your document needs are met with precision and finesse.

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