8 Hacks to Quickly Clean Your Apartment Before Moving Out


Trying to quickly clean your apartment before moving out doesn’t have to be a chore. 

Not only can decluttering make your move less stressful but cleaning your apartment can actually save you money.

It’s true: 

Usually, if you leave your apartment in super clean condition, you can earn your deposit back!

Most leasing companies and landlords reserve your initial deposit for cleaning and repair fees after you move out.

By cleaning it yourself, you save them money and time while getting back the cash you put down in the first place!

It’s a win-win situation, right?

So, for this Spruce Your Space post, we sat down with our friends at Berry Swift Cleaning for their most helpful apartment-cleaning hacks EVER.

Take note of these 8 expert-approved cleaning tips that will help you move fast—and get your deposit back—when you’re moving out of your apartment.

Table of Contents

1. Start With a Clean Canvas

You probably think starting with a “clean” canvas sounds like a contradiction, but it’s really not. 

Larger pieces of furniture, kid’s toys, shelves, and cabinets full of items you haven’t used in ages… 

Who wants to clean around all of that

It’s a recipe for disaster. (It makes it easy to lose all motivation, procrastinate, or totally skip cleaning altogether!) 

Instead, Berry Swift Cleaning recommends making sure you prepare to clean your apartment by removing all the clutter in the way.  

“Get everything out—including trash—before you start to clean,” says Jazzmine Berry, co-owner and Brand Ambassador for Berry Swift Cleaning.

This could mean doing a deep declutter or moving your furniture out completely.

And, you know who can help with that?

That’s right.

Movers.

So, first thing’s first: schedule your move a day or two before your apartment lease officially ends. 

Doing this will give you an extra 24 hours to deep-clean your apartment, request repairs, and leave everything a little better than you found it.

It’s much easier to clean your apartment after your furniture and any debris are gone. Plus, you can call maintenance to fix any minor dings or problems for FREE. 

  • You won’t be charged for damages…
  • You will (most likely) get your deposit back…
  • Your leasing office will be happy…

It’s a total win for everybody!  

You can space out your responsibilities rather than trying to clean at the same time as your move—an already super stressful day. 

Takeaway Hack:

Move out 1-2 days before your lease ends so you can clean and schedule apartment maintenance without anything around.

2. Completely Clean From Top to Bottom

Sure, this is an old saying, but Berry Swift advises you to take this advice as literally as possible: 

“Start at the top and work your way down,” Jazzmine says.

It seems obvious, but for people who hate cleaning or who get easily distracted or overwhelmed, it’s a great way to streamline and track what to clean next.

If you don’t find cleaning enjoyable on its own, scrubbing down your apartment before a move can be extra stress on top of an already hectic time. 

That’s why picking an area and cleaning it from top to bottom is so important. 

Chunking parts of a room into smaller, more manageable sections and cleaning it from top to bottom will help you:

  • Easily tackle dirty areas—even if they’re a huge mess
  • Ensure you don’t miss cleaning any spots before moving on to the next 
  • Manage your breaks, especially if you get interrupted or have helpers
  • Document any parts that need to be replaced or repaired (doorknobs, lights, stove drip pans, cabinets, etc.)

Even if you’re not sure how long it will take to clean your whole apartment, it’s so much better and faster to clean from top to bottom, one area at a time.

Takeaway Hack:

Focus on one area of your apartment at a time, and clean it from top to bottom before moving on.

3.  Cut Through Dusty Layers With a Dryer Sheet

What do mini-blinds, stove vents, air conditioner vents, cabinets, and baseboards have in common? 

First of all, they’re common areas where dust tends to accumulate. 

And when dust accumulates over long periods of time, it can tend to be a bit, well, greasy.

This is especially common in areas with higher levels of moisture (like bathrooms or kitchens). 

Gross, but true. 

It can also be pretty difficult to clean sticky dust, particularly if the thing you’re cleaning can’t be sprayed with liquid or a chemical. 

Yes, sprays are great for disinfecting, sanitizing, and imparting a fresh scent, but they just won’t do for certain areas. 

Sticky stove hood vents, dusty blinds, and furniture made from delicate, natural materials all need a different touch. 

In such places, Jazzmine recommends using dryer sheets to get rid of caked-on, dusty layers. 

“Try using a dryer sheet for dust, especially if it’s caked-on,” she says. 

“Especially for buildup on mini blinds, use dryer sheets. Dryer sheets also work for a buildup of grease on cabinets or stove covers!” 

Since dryer sheets are designed to reduce static and they’re coated with a thin layer of wax, they have the added bonus of actually repelling dust, too.

Try swiping a dryer sheet over areas that attract lots of dust, spattered oil, and pet hair. 

Places like electronics, corners, upholstery, shelves, and above-the-stove kitchen appliances are perfect spots.

Takeaway Hack:

Use dryer sheets to remove caked-on or greasy dust and pet hair.

4. Sweep Apartment Baseboards With a Broom

Jazzmine highly recommends using a stiff broom to clean baseboards. 

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a broom, but whatever you use should have stiff bristles. 

“Hand-wiping alone doesn’t work,” she explains. 

“Elbow grease is required to clean baseboards in your apartment. If baseboards need to be wiped down after dusting, you can use water and mild soap and clean them.”

Just don’t be too overzealous when trying this hack…

The stiffer the bristle, the more damage you risk on painted baseboards. 

Brooms typically aren’t coarse enough to scratch through paint. 

You should still be wary of the potential for paint damage if you use anything stiffer than a broom to clean baseboards.

If you rub or sweep too vigorously with a rigid brush, it could scrub off the paint. In turn, you’d have to call maintenance to quickly paint it before you move.

A move is enough to worry about. 

So, you definitely don’t want a lot of avoidable mistakes when cleaning your apartment before moving day. 

Try not to be too rough on your baseboards with this hack.

Takeaway Hack:

Gently clean the baseboards in your apartment with a broom, then wipe down with soap and water.

5. Take Advantage of a Self-Cleaning Oven, (or Use This DIY Recipe Instead)

When’s the last time you even thought about cleaning your oven? 

(Yes, your oven needs to be cleaned, too!)

Jazzmine admits that this hack is more akin to a reminder, but only because so few people actually recall to do it before moving out of their apartment.

“Self-cleaning ovens offer a lot of convenience,” she stresses, “Oven cleaner isn’t required!” 

Lack a self-cleaning feature on your apartment oven and don’t have any oven cleaner?

Berry Swift Cleaning even has a remedy for that.

“Even if you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, you can remove gunk at home,” Jazzmine says.

Below is her do-it-yourself solution for a greener style of oven cleaner:

  1. Mix 1 part baking soda with 1 part dish soap
  2. Spread it all over the interior of your oven, especially on the inner door
  3. Scrub off with a rough sponge or scouring pad  
  4. Wipe it off again using a microfiber cloth and white vinegar

Let’s be honest, it’s also a great idea to clean your oven before in your new place, too. 

I mean, who knows how many years’ worth of splattered food particles is in there?!

Takeaway Hack:

Use the self-cleaning setting on your apartment oven, or clean it with a #DIY baking soda + dish soap + vinegar recipe!

6. Remove Everything From Your Fridge Before Cleaning It

If you’re planning to move out of your apartment, you will probably already have a plan for clearing out your refrigerator and consuming your most perishable food. 

But cleaning the actual fridge isn’t necessarily something you think about before moving out of your apartment.

It’s also one of the dirtiest areas for food spills, odors, and more. 

If you don’t clean it, someone else will have to, and that’s what your deposit is for.

But if your goal is to get your deposit back, don’t stop at packing up your food when it comes to your apartment fridge.

Luckily, our friends at Berry Swift Cleaning have a hack to keep it simple:

“Refrigerator cleaning is easiest if you remove all the food first,” Jazzmine advises. “Fill up your sink with soapy water to instantly remove, wash and dry each shelf as you go!”

Next, all you have to do is individually wash the shelves, drawers, and remaining caddies with a degreasing soap.

Simply dry the pieces with a microfiber cloth and place them back into the refrigerator. 

You’re done!

Takeaway Hack:

After tossing or packing your food, remove all drawers and shelves from the refrigerator for a more thorough clean.

7. Get Your Carpet Professionally Cleaned

We love fur babies and kids here at 3 Men Movers!

Yet, for all their endearing charm, they can absolutely be messy

If you have children or pets, chances are that you’ve had at least few carpet mishaps.

For pet-parents who live in apartments, you’ve often paid the risk to your apartment upfront with a separate, pricey pet deposit… 

A deposit that exists largely to assume there will be animal-related damage to your flat.

And if they’ve ever left a lingering stain or odor, you’ll definitely be charged for it.

Even excessive pet hair can cost you (and we all know how notoriously pet hair clings to everything no matter what.)

In this case, the best and easiest remedy is to get your carpet professionally cleaned. 

You can certainly do it yourself, but it may be more trouble than it’s worth if you’re trying to simultaneously take care of other pre-move errands…

  • You’d be responsible for renting, maneuvering, and returning any equipment you borrow within the same day… 
  • Plus, it may not be readily available during peak moving season—meaning you could have to wait… 
  • Then, you’ll still have to remove any stubborn stains, odors, or pet hair from the carpet on your own if the rented equipment doesn’t work well enough. 

Not good if you’re on a tight moving schedule!

The good news is that professional cleanings are very affordable and include much more than just a vacuum and shampoo of your carpet.

For example, Berry Swift Cleaning offers a package that will handle 100% of your apartment cleaning needs for under $200. 

It’s a fantastic deal if you don’t have the time to personally clean your apartment before moving out.

Takeaway Hack:

Hire a team to professionally clean carpet to remove stubborn stains, odor, and pet hair.

8. Check the Most Forgettable Areas of Your Apartment

Finally, Berry Swift Cleaning suggests you make a special effort to check the most forgettable areas in your apartment. 

By that, they mean the spots most people completely forget to clean when moving out of their apartments.

The top places most people forget to clean before moving out are:

  1. Top shelves in closets
  2. Bathroom drawers, shelves, and medicine cabinets 
  3. The warming drawer at the bottom of your oven (which often doubles as extra kitchen storage)

Except for the bathroom drawers, these areas also tend to gather the most dust, and—for those with pets—hair, as well. 

It’s important to check them not only so you don’t leave anything behind when moving, but also to clean any grime that’s accumulated over the long term.

Takeaway Hack:

As you clean around your apartment, make sure to open drawers, cabinets, and closets in your bedroom, bathroom & kitchen. This will *visually* remind you to clean them.

Wrapping Up

Now that you’ve got some quick tips on the best ways to clean your apartment, you’ll be ready to move in no time!

Still need some guidance on how to get started? 

We recommend decluttering before you start cleaning. It will help you avoid getting too overwhelmed by trying to clean around items that you should discard.

Get ready to have less stress on your moving day (and more money in your pocket) with these 8 handy hacks for cleaning your apartment!

Like or Share This Page With Friends!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

62 Easy, Room-by-Room Decluttering Tips to Refresh Your Home + [CHECKLIST]


Wondering how to declutter every room of your home? 

Are you overwhelmed with where to start first? 

Decluttering your room is an essential part of spring cleaning which instantly makes you feel better and makes your home look better. 

Although it’s frustrating, decluttering room-by-room is your ideal first step before scrubbing down your place. Once you’re done, you’ll have more space and fewer items to clean up or around.  

In this Spruce Your Space post, we’ve got you covered with a guide on how to declutter room by room—including a FREE printable PDF decluttering checklist!

So read on for our tips on tidying up the most crowded parts of each room, as well as where to start and what to consider as you declutter every room in your home or apartment.

Table of Contents

Use This Ultimate Declutter Your Home Checklist PDF + Calendar to Organize Without Stressing

Make decluttering your home easy with this printable PDF checklist! 

This simple checklist guide will also help you declutter each room fast and stay organized with:

  • Cut-out labels (Donate, Discard, or Sell) to tape on each box or bin as you sort through everything
  • A calendar to help you plan when to declutter each room—especially if you’re planning to move and need to start weeks ahead 
  • Checkboxes for each room to track your progress on the most commonly cluttered areas
  • Space to add notes for each room (great for adding tasks you may have to circle back to for some reason)

How to Declutter Your Bathroom

Bathroom Areas to Declutter:

  • Countertops
  • Under sinks
  • Cabinet shelves and drawers
  • Linen closets
  • Product storage areas in your shower or tub 

What to Declutter First in Your Bathroom:

Under your sink and other storage compartments are where you should declutter first.

It makes sense that bathroom storage areas are usually the most crowded since this is where your everyday hygiene products are kept (especially for product junkies out there!) 

Heat and moisture degrade active ingredients in your cosmetics, skincare, haircare, and even your medicines, making them decay or become ineffective at a faster rate. 

So you’ll want to pay attention to anything that is past its expiration date and ditch it. 

Questions to Ask Yourself When Decluttering the Bathroom:

  1. Do my appliances and accessories still work? Do I still use that curling wand or blow dryer, or can I give it to someone who needs it more?
  2. Is there anything here that I can put into smaller containers? 
  3. Are my makeup and skincare products past their expiration dates (or, over 2 years old)? If so, it’s time to ditch them, especially if they’re in dark glass bottles, meaning the contents are light and heat-sensitive, and therefore more likely to decompose faster!
  4. Do I have products that are almost empty? Prioritize using them up first, or dump out what’s left and recycle the containers.
  5. Do I have duplicates of items that do the same thing? If so, scale down, choose the preferred brand and stick to one—not multiples). Then, discard what’s left. 
  6. When did I last replace—or at least disinfect—the shower curtain, loofahs, sponges, or bathmats? Now’s a good time to check for any moisture traps that could lead to mold or bacteria overgrowth.

How to Declutter Your Bedroom

Bedroom Areas to Declutter:

  • Nightstands
  • Closet
  • Drawers
  • Under your bed
  • Floors

 

What to Declutter First in Your Bedroom:

Many people will vouch for starting out with decluttering your closet.

But, since a closet is practically a whole different room with its own challenges to tackle, we suggest focusing on decluttering the drawers in your bedroom furniture first

Drawers are often full of junk and items we don’t actually need. They function as places to put away things we don’t want to see, or things we’re saving for later, rather than storage.

Clearing out your drawers first helps you quickly figure out what you don’t need. In turn, it ultimately lets you make room for what you’re going to keep and how to organize them within your drawers.

One thing to keep in mind when decluttering your drawers is never to simply shove items inside. 

Decluttering is pointless without organization. With an unorganized drawer, you’ll be tempted to add more items, viewing it more as a junk drawer which ultimately invites—you guessed it—more clutter!

So try to keep your items organized and avoid keeping them jumbled together, especially when it comes to your clothing.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Decluttering Your Bedroom:

  1. Do I need extra storage space (such as an ottoman at the foot of the bed, under-the-bed compartments, or shelving around the headboard) to help declutter my bedroom and still keep it cozy?
  2. Is there anything that I don’t regularly use or enjoy in my bedroom that can be put out of sight or thrown away?
  3. What’s currently on top of my dresser that can be discarded or organized inside of a drawer or a decorative surface tray?
  4. Can I fit more items into a drawer by rolling clothing or adding drawer dividers?
  5. Where can I store off-season items in my closet?
  6. Is there any way to maximize empty vertical space inside my closet by adding extra shelving or racks, cabinets, or hooks?
  7. Is there anything scattered on top of my bedroom chair or bench that needs to be put away? Where should I always put these pieces so my seating area is available when I need it? 
  8. Do I already have a basket or shelf where I can store blankets and bed pillows when not in use?
  9. Do I need a single organizer for accessories (like neckties or jewelry) instead of having multiple boxes or strewing them in drawers?
  10. Are there enough hampers and are they put in a good spot, like my closet or bathroom, to store dirty clothing/linens as they’re used?

How to Declutter Your Kitchen

Kitchen Areas to Declutter:

  • Pantry
  • Cabinets & shelves
  • Countertops
  • Fridge/freezer
  • Drawers
  • Hutches, islands, and other storage areas

What to Declutter First in Your Kitchen:

Since it’s home to loads of snacks, dry foods, and kitchen supplies, clearing out your pantry is a great place to begin when decluttering your kitchen. 

You can begin decluttering your pantry by throwing out expired foods, empty boxes, containers without lids, old spices (yes, they do go bad and lose their potency) and condiments or snacks you tried but actually hated.

The next biggest step is to organize your pantry and fridge. Keep similar items together to ensure they stay organized and are easy to reach. 

Figure out what you need to discard or donate (in the case of canned foods), you’ll need to remove everything from your refrigerator or pantry shelves. 

Questions to Ask Yourself When Decluttering Your Kitchen:  

  1. Do I have any clear containers where I can store and easily see food supplies?
  2. Do I have more dishes, glasses, pots, or pans than I actually use? Can some of them be donated?
  3. Are there areas of empty space (6 inches or more) where I can add storage racks, shelves, or cabinets?
  4. What can I throw away in this kitchen junk drawer that I no longer need or that’s expired?
  5. Which food containers are open and going bad that I can throw away?
  6. Are there any appliances on top of the counters that can be grouped together so they’re not scattered across the kitchen?
  7. Are there any essential tools, ingredients, cookware, or appliances I can put into  easy-to-reach containers?
  8.  What loose items are on the countertops that I need to discard, or that can store out of sight in a cabinet, shelf, or drawer?
  9. Are there cooking utensils that I can sort together by type into their own containers/areas (like spatulas, knives, dishes, cups, et al.)?
  10. What’s in my freezer that I can use right away or discard if it’s too old?
  11. Is there room to store round kitchen utensils (like whisks, measuring spoons, pots, etc.) on hooks? Can the hooks be placed on walls or inside cabinet doors for additional storage space?
  12. Do I have space for a hanging rack or extra shelf space to organize pots, pans, and lids?
  13. Are there serving pieces that can double as storage (e.g. using a bowl or cake stand for fruits and spices?)
  14. Can I add two-tiered storage racks or pull-out organizers to space under the kitchen sink?
  15. Are there seasonal items or cookware that I can store out of sight until I need them again?
  16. Can I prep fresh foods for the week in containers so there aren’t too many loose items in the fridge at once?
  17. How can I better organize my fridge and freezer by using labels, clear bins, or by sectioning containers?

How to Declutter Your Dining Room

Dining Room Areas to Declutter:

  • Buffet tables
  • Dining table
  • Dish cupboard/China cabinet

What to Declutter First in Your Dining Room:

If you’re not doing dinner parties every night, there’s a strong chance your dining room table is a magnet for clutter. 

Whether setting things down “for a minute”—which can turn into days—or using it for anything but dinner time, your dining table and chairs can end up as coat racks, mail drops, and more. 

Instead, change how you approach your dining area. 

Think of yourself as a guest (or as if you’ll be expecting company at any moment) and you’ll be able to keep it much cleaner.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Decluttering Your Dining Room:

  1. Are there pieces on your buffet table that aren’t supposed to be there? Can you place them in a closet or cabinet storage?
  2. If there’s extra silverware, can I roll it into extra placemats and place it in a drawer for future use?
  3. Are there any items on the dining room table or buffet that belong in a totally different room? Where can I put them quickly and easily next time so that I don’t junk up the same area?
  4. Are there any extra candles or decorations I can store in the buffet or dish cupboard for the next time I need them?
  5. What’s the best way to set up my dining table and buffet decor so it looks ready for guests at any time?
  6. If the dining room table tends to double as a home office, are there folders, binders, or boxes I can use to store the papers that don’t belong there?

How to Declutter Your Living Room or Foyers

Living Room/Foyer Areas to Declutter:

  • Cord areas behind tech devices
  • Side tables 
  • Coffee table
  • Media center/Entertainment center 
  • Sofas and Sectionals 

What to Declutter First in Your Living Room/ Foyer:

While there aren’t many places where tons of clutter can build up in a living room, your end tables and coffee tables are where this usually occurs. 

From paper mail to cups and snack containers, your coffee tables and end tables often end up with items that don’t belong and make the space less cozy or less presentable. 

For this reason, we suggest clearing off the tabletops in your living room before decluttering elsewhere.

If you can create a system for decluttering and downsizing your living room surfaces, having a clear living room is definitely doable. 

Questions to Ask Yourself When Decluttering Your Living Room:

  1. Is each seat close to the coffee table or a side table where items can be set so they don’t pile up on the sofa?
  2. Are there specific and separate storage slots or drawers that have been set aside for mail and magazines?
  3. Can your old DVD or video game collection be housed in a flip-top Ottoman with storage?
  4. Can your media center be organized by zones (sentimental items vs. photo frames, etc.)?
  5. Are there lots of cable cords behind my TV or stereo systems that can be zip-tied together and run along the corners of the wall to be more inconspicuous?
  6. Is there a basket or hall closet where I can store pillows and blankets when I need them, instead of piling them on the sofa all at once?
  7. Do I need to read through or discard any stray mail or magazines that are cluttering up my living room?
  8. What kind of habits can I start that ensure I clear clutter off my coffee table and end tables every evening?
  9. Is there a convenient tray or end table drawer where I can store my remote control or other devices?
  10. Do I really need these sentimental items sitting out, or can they be placed in a digital photo frame or storage?
  11. Where can I fit some decorative boxes or trays to house small but necessary items, like reading glasses, remote controls, coasters, etc.?
  12. Is there any unused wall space where I can add floating shelves or a bookcase to store reading material, knick-knacks, etc.?
  13. Are there any end table drawers that can be used for storing items that I want to keep but don’t immediately need?

How to Declutter Your Home Office

Home Office Areas to Declutter:

  • Desktop
  • Bookcases/Shelves
  • Filing cabinet

What to Declutter First in Your Home Office:  

The home office seems to be one place where clutter is more acceptable, but it shouldn’t be since this is where you want to be the most productive! 

The solution? Clear your paper clutter from your desk and don’t fall into the to-do list trap… (You know, where you don’t feel accomplished unless you’ve checked off everything on your daily checklist.)

Yes, there are *some* projects that require more urgency than others. But, the truth is, your desktop work will never be 100% clear unless you retire. 

So, focus on clearing off your desktop first so you’ll have a fresh start every day. 

This way, you’ll still clean up without feeling overwhelmed or ashamed at not finishing what’s still on your plate. 

Questions to Ask Yourself When Decluttering Your Home Office:

  1. What papers can I scan and store as digital copies in order to discard the paper clutter on my desk?
  2. Can I switch to paperless billing to ensure I don’t have a build-up of paper in my office? 
  3. Is there a new way to rework my workflow so I don’t have tons of sticky notes and reminders lying around my office space?
  4. Do I have a corkboard where I can pin ideas and super important reminders within view?
  5. What’s the best way to organize my to-dos, important documents, and current project papers on my desk? A three-tier tray?
  6. How often should I go through my filing cabinet and desk papers to ensure I’m not accidentally hoarding too much paper?
  7. Do I have enough shelf or cabinet space to store the notebooks, binders, etc. that I need to keep?
  8. What financial files should I shred vs. keep (we recommend keeping 7 years for tax purposes due to IRS audit timeframes)?
  9. Do I have enough filing cabinet space to store all my folders and papers, or do I need a bigger size?
  10. Do any technical power cords need to be corral with zip-ties or velcro to give my office a more tidy look?

Wrapping Up

Use these tips to efficiently declutter every room in your home with the checklist, and you’ll be relaxing worry-free in no time!

If you’re preparing to move and need help packing, just give us a call. You can always book our professional packers to help streamline your move.

Like or Share This Page With Friends!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email