Let’s face it: moving is not our favorite thing in the world. Preparation, though, is key. If the landlord walks through after you moved out and he/she doesn’t have to hire a cleaning service, you have just saved him/her money and time and you will most likely get your full security deposit back (baring any damage beyond wear and tear of course)!
1. Use Some Elbow Grease
Scrub fridge and stove. This means replacing the foil lining under the stove’s burners, and scrubbing the corners…like the shelving in the fridge, etc.
2. Clear the Soap Scum
Thoroughly scrub soap scum and dust from bathtub and corners of the bathroom. Wipes with cleaner in them work great for this- they dislodge the scum to make scrubbing easier.
3. Use Your Green Thumb
If your home is a single-family house, make sure to weed and water in the weeks before turnover. Again, if the landlord has to pay to revive the lawn, you will have that chunk removed from your security deposit.
4. Take Out the Trash
Don’t miss your final trash day, and make sure any trash or pet waste is cleared out of the yard.
5. Spick and Span Kitchen
Show the kitchen cabinets some TLC: wipe down the insides of the doors, and put fresh contact paper down on the shelves.
6. No Loose Screws
Tighten hinges and screws on doors and cabinets that have begun to fit poorly, if necessary to replace hardware malfunctioning because of wear and tear, it will cost you less to do it yourself, if you can.
7. See Clearly
Sponge both sides of windows and screens of dust and cobwebs. Make them look like they did when you moved in.
8. Break Out the Feather Duster
Dust the mini-blinds. If they have been wrecked by kids or dogs, replace them. A new set will cost you less than if the landlord has to pay labor and parts costs to a handyman.
9. Clean Up the Ashes
If there is a fireplace, clear out ashes and cinders (being careful not to get them on carpeting – which can cause staining)
10. Let There Be Light
Replace missing and burned out light bulbs. Make sure they match the others. Not sure? Bring the light bulb with you to the hardware store.
11. Keep No Souvenirs
Be sure to return not only the keys to the property, but also any parking permits, pool keys, garage door openers or key fobs which can be expensive to replace for the next tenant
12. Don’t Leave Your Fingerprints
Wipe down light switches, door handles, and high traffic areas that get covered with sticky handprints.