The Only Move-Out Cleaning List You’ll Need When Relocating Within Chicago

Move-out cleaning doesn’t have to be a nightmare! Even when you’re overwhelmed with responsibilities and start feeling hopeless, there is a light at the end of the tunnel – and you might find this light if you try some of the cool tips we have for you. Feeling better already? Keep reading and learn everything you need to know to make this process a piece of cake.

Do I Have to Clean When I Move-Out?

If this is one of your moral dilemmas, the answer is – yes. You should be considerate enough to clean out after yourself, even if you know that no one will be living in your place shortly after you leave it. If, for example, you’re the owner and you plan to keep your old home and sell it one day, it will be better that everything stays in good condition in the meantime. If you leave mess, dirt, and potentially perishable food, there is a chance that things will get worse when the new potential buyers come for house watching. 

Think of the way your apartment used to look when you moved in? Guessing it was clean, right? You should at least do the basic clean and small repairs before leaving. This is also highly recommended if you’re relocating on a budget and want to get your deposit money back. For example, homeowners usually keep this money for themselves if they see that you left the place in bad condition – dirty or with some broken items. They can later use this deposit for all the necessary repairs and possibly a deep cleaning if needed. 

Boxes and sanitizers
It is very irresponsible to leave a mess after you relocate

What Is Included in a Move-Out Clean?

There are many ways you can organize your apartment move-out cleaning, depending on your preferences and the condition your place is currently in. You can start the whole thing even before you jump to the actual cleaning part. Even when you’re decluttering, getting rid of unnecessary things, and packing for your upcoming move, you’re preparing for the part when you have to scrub every inch. The less stuff you have around when you take your mop or a vacuum, the faster you’ll be done with everything.

After doing all the preparations, buying necessary supplies, or making DIY versions of them, the cleaning part can also be organized in various ways. It’s usually recommended that you start with ceilings and end with floors, but you can also choose to clean one room at a time. When you’re making your to-do list, you should know that some parts of the house – for example, the kitchen, take much longer to clean than some other areas. Some studies show that kitchens are usually in the worst condition because of all the grease and dirt that happens to stay there for years and gets sticky and hard to clean.

What Is the Difference Between Deep Cleaning and Move-Out Cleaning?

Deep cleaning is something that you can choose to have at any time, and it usually requires some special equipment and techniques in order to kill all the germs and bacteria in different parts of your home. For example, a deep carpet cleanse is something you can always hire professionals for if you feel the need – there is no need to wait for this until you find a reason to move out. It is good to organize a deep cleanse once in a while if you live with pets or small children. 

On the other hand, move-out house cleaning is something that is related to relocation specifically. You can’t have this type of action on some random day of the week – it is a little bit different because it requires that all of your belongings are packed, and you’re leaving relatively soon. House move-out cleaning can also include deep cleaning if you choose to hire professionals or have the right equipment to do it yourself. Depending on what method you choose, this might cause some additional costs you’ll have to put on your moving expenses checklist.

Professional cleaner vacuuming
House cleaning after moving can be done by professionals

Organize Your Move Properly to Ease the Move-Out Cleaning

If you want to avoid unnecessary moving stress, it is always good to organize your relocation in advance. Once you contact professional movers in Chicago for additional relocation services and set up all the dates, you can also decide when exactly you are going to clean and maybe hire local professionals who offer cleaning services in your area.  

The Best Is to Declutter Your Home First – Sell or Donate Things You Don’t Need

If you want to be efficient, one of the basic relocation hacks is to declutter first. You might get surprised by the number of stuff you kept for ages and never used. Once you decide what goes to your new place with you and what doesn’t, it is time for the next step – deciding what to do with stuff you want to get rid of. For example, if you find items that are still in good condition and don’t want to throw them away, you can always try selling or donating them to the ones in need if you’re not relocating in a hurry. Food donation is definitely recommended since you don’t want to leave perishable food after yourself. You can find some convenient donation centers in your local area and choose to donate some stuff instead of throwing them away.

Get Suitable Packing Equipment and Pack Your Inventory

In order to have easier access to all of the hidden corners and parts of your home that are usually covered with furniture and different items, it is always better that you pack before you start scrubbing. In case you don’t know how to pack fragile items such as delicate dishes or wonder how to pack pots and pans, you can always hire professional Chicago movers and packers to do this for you. 


They can also help you move a piano that you probably didn’t move for ages – imagine how much dust you’ll find underneath! After all of your books are packed and moved from shelves, and all the glasses are protected, and out of cabinets, you’ll have easier access to all surfaces and corners. Don’t forget to put all of the boxes in one place to avoid jumping around them when you need to go over some parts with the mop or the vacuum.

List with goals
Make a list of things you want to achieve

Gather Suitable Supplies, Especially if You’re Not Hiring a Professional Cleaning Service to Do the Work for You

First things first – get the proper supplies. If you buy the right stuff, half of the work is already done. For example, you can start with basics and get some specific items depending on the type of surfaces you need to wash:

  • Sponges,
  • Microfiber cloths,
  • Wash rags,
  • Rubber gloves,
  • Disinfectant spray,
  • Glass cleaner,
  • Wood cleaner,
  • Soft furniture cleaner,
  • Paper towels,
  • Baking soda,
  • Vacuum cleaner,
  • Broom,
  • Mop.

Always Start From the Top

It is recommended to start polishing your home from the top, so take a ladder or a chair if your ceiling is high and wear a facemask to protect yourself from the dust. You can also put a rag on a mop or a broom and easily access all the corners. Once you are done with the ceilings, it’s time to move on to the next thing, which is to polish your windows. You can use a convenient glass cleaner for stains and gently wipe everything with a damp cloth. You can use the same method for window and door frames. While you’re in that zone, don’t skip other parts like cabinets and curtain rods. 

Woman polishing windows before her chosen Chicago movers arrive
Polish your windows with a glass cleaner

Pay Special Attention to Greasy Kitchen Counters

Areas that might take most of your time are kitchen counters. They tend to get very greasy if you don’t maintain them regularly, so ensure you use convenient supplies and chemicals for taking care of these parts. However, you shouldn’t use anything toxic because the food goes directly onto those surfaces. You can make a DIY solution with baking soda and warm water. Scrub every inch carefully, and don’t skip the tiles above the oven. 

Think of the Other Parts of the Kitchen as Well – Clean the Oven and the Fridge

Some other parts you should also thoroughly clean are the oven and the fridge. For an oven, remove all parts that you can and leave them in a mixture of warm water and baking soda for some time in order to get rid of the grease. The same thing applies to the fridge and its racks. If you can take some inner parts outside, it will be much easier to wash them. Take a sponge and rub all the inner parts with the same solution and wash it out with clear water in the end. 

Man washing dishes
Ensure the entire kitchen is sparkling clean

It Is the Best to Clean the Bathroom Once Everything Else Is Done

Another part of your home you should keep for the end is the bathroom. You’re probably going to use it often to rinse off dirty mops or to change the water, so you’ll probably make some bigger mess there. After everything else is shining, you can jump on this part. Use glass cleaner for mirrors and baking soda mix for the sink and other parts. You should also use a sanitizer for your toilet. Wash the shower curtain if you have it as well. Take a look at this video for some useful tips on how to get rid of even the most persistent stains in your bathroom.

Leave Mopping and Vacuuming for the Very End

One of the tasks you should keep for the end, once everything else is cleaned, is vacuuming and mopping. You can also do a bit of sweeping at the beginning of the process if you find that convenient, but now is the time for a thorough one. Go room by room, vacuuming first, and then moping all the floors for that extra shine. While you’re moping, begin from the corners of the room and finish by exiting through the door. Don’t enter the room before the floors air dry completely.

Person vacuuming
 Leaving vacuuming and mopping for the end might be smart

Hire Our Local Chicago Movers for Professional Moving Service

One of the first things you need to consider when organizing your relocation is hiring one of the best Chicago moving companies for assistance. If you choose to hire our trustworthy company, you won’t risk becoming a part of a moving scam. You’ll only need to check what items movers won’t move, and we’ll take care of everything else. While we are helping you to transfer your belongings to one of the best Chicago neighborhoods, you can think about other responsibilities such as organizing important documents, as well as changing your address, or planning a fun going-away party – and you’ll definitely need to tidy your place after that one! In order to move efficiently, choose one of the many convenient services our professional movers in Chicago provide

We do it all, from residential relocations around all the best Chicago neighborhoods to more challenging commercial relocations. In case you need an additional workforce for some heavy duties, you can always hire us for labor moving service and enjoy many benefits. Contact us if you want to find out anything else about our services, and we’ll be more than happy to help. We can also offer you a free quote if you’re interested in the potential price of your move.

Written by: Anastasia Hill