The essential moving out cleaning checklist

The essential moving out cleaning checklist

Moving out of your home is both exciting and overwhelming, with removalists to organise, packing to take care of, and emotions overflowing as the big day gets closer. Cleaning your house is essential before moving day, with this experience made much more enjoyable when you’ve planned ahead and organised your cleaning tasks properly. Making and following a detailed cleaning checklist is the best way to do this job properly and make sure that nothing is left to chance.

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Cleaning preparation

Whether you’re moving out of a rented house or passing on the title deeds to a new owner, you’ll want to ensure your old home is in tip-top shape before handing over the keys. Organisation plays a huge role in every successful cleaning effort, with individual tasks needing to be tackled progressively in the weeks before you move.

It’s no use leaving everything to the last minute. You need to get started as early as possible and find time for cleaning while you pack and make other arrangements. While it’s always better to do the final clean in an empty house after the movers have come around, there are lots of additional jobs you can do to prepare yourself for cleaning. 

– clean out the garage and shed.

– tidy up the yard and house exterior

– hold a garage sale

– dispose of unwanted items

– perform maintenance on cars and machinery

– pack large and difficult items

– organise a storage facility

If you plan on using the services of professional cleaners, it’s important to get them locked in a few weeks before you move. Generally speaking, it takes two professional cleaners between two and four hours to clean a small studio apartment, with two additional hours needed for a two to three bedroom apartment and an entire working day needed for a large detached house. If you’re doing the job yourself, however, these estimates can almost be doubled.


Cleaning products and equipment

Before you start cleaning your home, you need to purchase the right cleaning products and equipment. While you’re likely to have many of these items in your cleaning cupboard already, it’s important to check individual items before you get started. Natural products, such as vinegar and baking soda can be used for many cleaning jobs, with harsh chemicals only needed for particularly grubby tasks, such as cleaning the toilet and oven.

– vacuum cleaner

– bucket and mop

– brooms and brushes

– disinfectants

– baking soda

– vinegar

– rubbish bags and bins

– rubber gloves

– step stool and ladder

– window cleaner

– specialised polishes and cleaners


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Individual cleaning tasks

With an entire house to clean both inside and out, it’s easy to get confused and miss out crucial tasks. By following a detailed moving out cleaning checklist, you can ensure that no job gets left behind. While a final interior clean will be needed just before you move, exterior tasks and yard cleaning can be performed weeks before you move, if needed.

– clean and tidy the lawns and gardens

– wash down exterior walls and roof

– wash windows, inside and out

– clean the floors and walls

– remove cobwebs and dust

– clean curtains and blinds

– clean furniture if required

– clean sliding doors and fly screens

Bathroom and kitchen

Most of the time you spend cleaning will be dedicated to the bathroom and kitchen areas. While it’s important to clean the entire house back to front, inside and out, these two spaces get much dirtier and require more energy.

Bathrooms and kitchens are normally cleaned after the movers have come around and the house is empty. Professional cleaners are often brought in to clean these two rooms alone, with people often too busy packing and organising their move during these final stages.


– clean shower and bathtub

– clean sinks and faucets

– wipe down counter tops, medicine cabinets, and vanities

– thoroughly clean the toilet

– clean the floor and walls, including tiled surfaces

– dust and wipe down all vents and exhaust fans

– wipe down lighting fixtures and switches


– defrost and clean the fridge and freezer

– clean the stove and oven, including the oven door

– clean the dishwasher

– clean the microwave

– wash down walls and floors

– clean all countertops and backsplashes

– use glass cleaner on any glass elements


Download Our Free Moving House Checklist!