One of the most time consuming and difficult parts of moving into a new home is cleaning the home you are moving out of. Whether you are moving out of an apartment that you were renting or a house that you just sold, it is important to leave your home looking spotless. In a rental situation, you don’t want to give the owner any reason to take money out of your security deposit, and if you just sold your home, you don’t want to give the new owners any reason to feel dissatisfied with their recent purchase.

One way you can ease the difficulty of this cleaning process is by having a checklist and following some basic cleaning tips. We hope this cleaning guide will help ease some of the stress of getting your home ready to move out of. If you need any other moving services, don’t forget to call Watson Moving & Storage in Northern Colorado.

a young couple sitting on the floor next to a cardboard box

General Cleaning Tips:

Buy cleaning supplies beforehand

Make sure that you have all the necessary cleaning supplies before you get started. Having to stop what you are doing to run to the store to grab some extra paper towels can put an end to your momentum. Here’s a cleaning supplies checklist that you may want to follow.

    • Glass cleaner
    • All-purpose cleaner
    • Soap scum remover
    • Bleach
    • Floor cleaner
    • Plenty of paper towels
    • Plenty of large trash bags
    • Broom and dustpan
    • Microfiber mop
    • Vacuum cleaner
    • Microfiber scrub pads
    • Grout brush
    • Microfiber duster
    • Toilet bowl brush
    • Plastic scrapers
    • Knee pads (highly recommended)
    • Disposable cleaning gloves

Prepare and Repair

Before you start cleaning, make sure you have checked off these tasks that should always be done before moving out.

    • Remove any nails, hooks, or screws from your walls and ceilings — don’t forget to fill the holes with spackling or putty and paint over them.
    • Pack all of your belongings into boxes and move your furniture away from the walls — or better yet, into the garage. This way, when you are ready to deep clean, you will be able to get to every surface with ease.
    • Repair or replace any damaged light fixtures, shelves, clothing racks, or other permanent fixtures that may have been damaged during your residency.

Always Work Top to Bottom

Remember, whenever you deep clean a room, it is important to start up high and work your way down. That way any dust or dirt that you knock loose while cleaning off shelves, ceiling fans, etc. doesn’t ruin what you have already cleaned. The floor should always be the last step of any room.

Throw a Cleaning Party

Now that you have all of your supplies and your home is ready to be cleaned, one of the best ways to get your deep cleaning done fast is to invite over some friends and family, offer them some pizza and soda, crank up some tunes and get to work! You can print out checklists for each room, hand one to each person, divide, and conquer. This can also be a great way to spend some time with the people you love before you say your goodbyes.

Cleaning Checklists

Some landlords may have their own checklists they will want you to follow that are specific to your residence. However, if you sold your home or your landlord has not provided you with such a checklist, we hope the following general checklists will help you to ensure you don’t miss any of the most important deep cleaning tasks.

Bedrooms, Living Room, Den, and Other Living Areas

    • Dust all surfaces — window sills, the tops of trim-boards, shelves, window and door frames, doors, lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, etc.
    • Clean all surfaces — use all purpose cleaner to wipe down surfaces.
    • Spot clean where needed — use microfiber scrub pads to scrub any spots or gunk that didn’t already get wiped up.
    • Sweep/Vacuum — sweep all hardwood floors and vacuum carpets and rugs — don’t forget to go all the way into the corners!
    • Fireplace — if you have a fireplace, make sure to clean it well.
    • Air vents — don’t forget to wipe down vent covers and replace any air filters if necessary.


    • Wipe down and clean the exhaust fan.
    • Dust all surfaces — top of the mirror, light fixtures, etc.
    • Clean all surfaces — use all purpose cleaner for the counters, vanity, faucets, and walls.
    • Toilet — use toilet bowl cleaner for the bowl and make sure to scrub away any left over grime with the toilet bowl scrubber. Don’t forget to clean behind the seat, as well as the base and the floor surrounding the base.
    • Bathtub/Shower — if your shower area has tile, make sure to use a grout brush to clean out any dirt in between the tiles. If your tub is made of porcelain, you can let a mixture of blean and water sit in the tub for about an hour, drain the water, and scrub and rinse with water for truly great results. Don’t forget any built in soap dishes!
    • Drawers — clean out any old garbage still in your drawers including old liners. Use a vacuum hose to clean out all the remaining dust and bits of garbage.
    • Sweep & mop floors
    • Mirror — use a glass cleaner to wipe off the mirror. It’s best to save this step for last.


    • Dust all surfaces — don’t forget on top of the fridge, the tops of cabinets, ceiling fans, light fixtures, etc.
    • Clean all surfaces — use an all-purpose cleaner to first wipe down the upper cabinets (inside and out), then appliances, counters, and finally, the lower cabinets
    • Oven — if your oven has a self clean feature, feel free to use it. However, you should always try to get out any large chunks of food first as they can sometimes become even further baked into the surface and become harder to remove. Make sure to keep your exhaust fan on during the entirety of the self-clean cycle as noxious gases can sometimes be released during this process. Once the oven has had a chance to cool down, make sure to wipe down anything left over.
    • Clean appliances — make sure to clean out the insides and outsides of your microwave and refrigerator and any other permanent appliances in your kitchen
    • Stove — when cleaning your stove, make sure not to spray the control knobs with cleaner as this can actually cause certain electrical components to short circuit. It is better to spray your cleaner onto a paper towel or washcloth and then carefully wipe down the knobs and surrounding area.
    • Sink — make sure to thoroughly clean the inside of your sink and wipe down the faucet fixtures.
    • Sweep and mop floors

Entryways and Hallways

    • You may want to save these areas for after the move as they can often get dirtied during the process of moving all of your stuff through them into the moving trucks
    • Make sure to wipe down all surfaces
    • Sweep and mop floors

Call Watson Moving & Storage

Hopefully by this point in your move, you have already arranged your moving services. However if you have recently decided that you would like more help or you are still in the planning stages of your move, make sure to call Watson Moving & Storage. Our family-owned operation has been in the moving business for generations and we have the tools and resources to help Northern Colorado residents with all of their moving needs. If this guide was helpful, be sure to check out our Watson’s Moving Guide for more helpful information!