Essential Guide to Cleaning the House When Moving Out

As you prepare for the big move to your new house, the daunting task of cleaning the house when moving out looms over you. It’s not just about leaving the property in a presentable state; it’s about ensuring every room, from the living areas to the kitchen cupboards, is spotless. Whether it’s dealing with dirty windows, dust-laden ceiling fans, or stained carpets, the challenge is real. And let’s not forget the potential loss of your security deposit due to an unclean property, adding financial stress to an already time-consuming process.

Imagine the frustration of spending hours scrubbing and wiping, only to realize you’ve missed crucial spots like the skirting boards or the floor beneath appliances. The thought of handing over a house that’s less than perfect to the new owners can be unsettling. Plus, the fear of not getting your full deposit back because of overlooked areas like plug holes or window sills can be nerve-wracking. And if you’re already juggling packing and organizing for moving day, finding the time and energy for a thorough clean can feel nearly impossible.

Fear not, for we’ve got you covered with our guide to cleaning your house when moving out. We’ll walk you through a step-by-step process, ensuring every nook and cranny, from the bathroom scrub to the garden patio, is taken care of.

Our guide is designed to make your move out day less stressful, guaranteeing that the property is left sparkling for its new owners and securing your security deposit. With our expert tips, from using a damp cloth for a good wipe to employing a steam cleaner for deep cleaning, you’ll transform this overwhelming task into an efficient, manageable process. Let’s dive in and turn your soon-to-be-former home into a spotless space, ready for its next chapter.

cleaning the house when moving out

Why Clean Before Moving Out?

One of the primary reasons to undertake a thorough house clean before moving out is to safeguard your security deposit, a crucial aspect often covered under home insurance services. Landlords and property managers conduct meticulous inspections, searching for any indications of an unclean property.

Every area, from the kitchen cupboards to the bathroom tiles, is scrutinized. Neglecting to eliminate stains, grime, or dust can result in deductions from your deposit, posing a significant financial setback. Ensuring a spotless property not only appeases landlords but also aligns with the standards typically expected by home insurance services.

Responsibility to New Owners or Tenants

Whether you’re handing over the keys to new owners or tenants, leaving the house in a pristine condition is a matter of responsibility and courtesy. Imagine moving into a new place and finding dirty windows, a grimy oven, or dust-covered ceiling fans. It’s not just about cleanliness; it’s about providing a welcoming and hygienic space for the next occupants. A good clean, including wiping down walls, floors, and windows, demonstrates respect and consideration for others.

Avoiding Additional Charges

In many tenancy agreements, there’s a clause that requires tenants to perform a deep clean before vacating the property. Neglecting this duty can lead to additional charges, often more costly than if you had undertaken the cleaning yourself. Professional cleaners, while effective, can be expensive. By investing time and effort in cleaning the house yourself, using tools like a steam cleaner or a damp cloth, you can avoid these extra costs.

Maintaining the Property’s Condition

Regular cleaning and maintenance help in preserving the condition of the property. Over time, areas like the bathroom and kitchen can accumulate limescale deposits, grease, and other forms of dirt that can cause long-term damage if not addressed. A deep clean ensures that appliances, surfaces, and floors are maintained in good condition, which is especially important if you own the property and plan to sell it.

Personal Satisfaction and Peace of Mind

There’s a sense of accomplishment and relief in leaving the house clean and tidy, especially when it involves elderly parents moving out. Knowing that you’ve taken the time to scrub the floors, dust the furniture, and ensure the windows are sparkling provides a sense of closure as you move on to your new house. It’s about taking pride in your living space and ensuring that you’ve fulfilled your obligations, both contractual and moral.

Room-by-Room Cleaning Guide

A systematic approach to cleaning ensures that no area is overlooked. This room-by-room guide will help you tackle each part of your house efficiently, ensuring a comprehensive tenancy cleaning.


  • Appliances: Clean the oven, refrigerator, and other appliances. Use specialized cleaners for tough grease and stains.
  • Cupboards and Surfaces: Empty and wipe down all kitchen cupboards. A damp cloth can be used for general wiping, while a stronger solution may be needed for stubborn stains.
  • Floors and Walls: Sweep and mop the floors, paying special attention to corners and edges. Wipe down walls where splashes and grease may have accumulated.

Living Rooms

  • Dusting and Wiping: Start with dusting shelves and surfaces. Use a dry cloth for delicate items and electronics.
  • Windows and Glass Doors: Clean the windows and glass doors using a quality glass cleaner. Ensure streak-free shine for a better impression.
  • Furniture and Upholstery: Vacuum sofas and chairs. If possible, use an upholstery cleaner for a deeper clean.


  • Wardrobes and Drawers: Empty and wipe down all storage spaces. Don’t forget the top surfaces which often accumulate dust.
  • Light Fixtures and Door Frames: Dust and clean all light fixtures. Wipe door frames with a damp cloth to remove fingerprints and marks.


  • Fixtures and Fittings: Clean the toilet, sink, and bathtub thoroughly. Use limescale remover where necessary, especially on showerheads and taps.
  • Mirrors and Glass Surfaces: Use glass cleaner for a sparkling finish on mirrors and any glass surfaces.
  • Floors and Tiles: Mop the floors and scrub the tiles. Pay extra attention to grout lines and any mould spots.

Hallways and Entryways

  • Doors and Frames: Wipe down the front door and other door frames. These areas can accumulate a lot of handprints and marks.
  • Floors and Mats: Ensure that floors are clean and mats are shaken out or vacuumed.

Utility Areas and Laundry Room

  • Appliances and Surfaces: Clean the washing machine, dryer, and any countertops.
  • Storage Areas: Wipe down any shelving and ensure the area is free from lint and dust.

Additional Tips

  • Start from the Top: Begin cleaning from the top of the room (like light fixtures) and work your way down to the floors to avoid re-dusting or re-cleaning surfaces.
  • Be Thorough: Pay attention to often-missed areas like the tops of doors, window sills, and baseboards.
  • Final Check: Do a final walkthrough of each room to ensure nothing is missed.

Special Cleaning Areas

clean the house when moving out

When conducting a thorough clean of your property, certain areas require extra attention to detail:

  • Ceiling Fans and Light Fixtures: Dust and wipe ceiling fans and light fixtures. A damp cloth can be used to remove any accumulated dirt or dust, ensuring they are not only functional but also visually appealing.
  • Skirting Boards and Door Frames: These often-overlooked areas can gather surprising amounts of dust and grime. A quick wipe with a damp cloth can make a significant difference, brightening up the room’s overall appearance.
  • Window Sills and Glass Doors: Use a quality glass cleaner for window sills and glass doors to remove fingerprints and smudges. This not only enhances natural light but also improves the overall aesthetic of the room.
  • Behind and Underneath Furniture: Move furniture to clean the areas behind and underneath. These hidden spots can accumulate a lot of dust and debris over time.
  • Plug Holes and Drains: Ensure that plug holes and drains in the kitchen and bathroom are clear of debris and functioning properly. A simple baking soda and vinegar mix can be effective for unclogging and freshening up these areas.

Final Touches

As you conclude your cleaning process, here are some final touches to ensure your house is impeccably clean:

  • Odor Elimination: Neutralize any lingering odors, especially in areas like the kitchen and bathroom. Consider using baking soda or a gentle air freshener for a fresh, clean scent.
  • Spot Check: Conduct a final walkthrough of each room. Look for any spots or stains that might have been missed, especially on carpets and upholstery.
  • Mirror and Glass Finishing: Give all mirrors and glass surfaces a final polish with a glass cleaner for a streak-free shine.
  • Waste Disposal: Ensure all trash is collected and removed from the property. Check all rooms for any forgotten rubbish.
  • Lock-Up: After the cleaning is complete, ensure all windows are closed and doors are locked, leaving the property secure and ready for its new occupants.

These final touches are crucial in leaving the house in a pristine state, reflecting your thoroughness and attention to detail.


In conclusion, cleaning your house thoroughly when moving out is more than a chore; it’s a crucial step in transitioning smoothly to your new home. By following this comprehensive guide, you ensure that every corner of your property, from the living room to the bathroom, is left in impeccable condition.

This not only aids in securing your security deposit but also stands as a testament to your respect and responsibility towards the property and its future occupants. Remember, a well-cleaned house leaves a lasting positive impression, making the moving process satisfying for both you and the new residents. Happy cleaning and onward to your new beginning!