Cleaning Checklist for Moving In and Out

June 27th, 2022
By Brandon Boyewsky
Tips for moving in and out of your Chicago home.

If you’re planning to move to another home or apartment in the Chicago area, you have your work cut out for you. While packing your belongings away in boxes and the actual move itself might be at the forefront of your mind, there’s another important step you can’t neglect – cleaning. You’ll need to do a thorough cleaning of both the home you’re moving out of and the home you’re moving into.

Cleaning the home you’re moving out of is especially important if you rented there and want to get your security deposit back. And, cleaning the home you’re moving into is important because you want to eradicate any germs left behind.

While it all might seem overwhelming, fear not. Our easy cleaning checklist for moving helps you get it all done. Just crank up the volume of your favorite music and scrub away. Turn those mundane chores into something fun!

For more spring cleaning tips, learn about how Sweep Home Chicago was selected by Redfin as a top Chicago, IL, cleaning expert! See the article we were featured in, The Complete Home Maintenance Checklist, to read more!

were featured in: The Complete Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

Cleaning After Moving Out

So you’ve packed everything away and are ready to move into your new home. Not so fast. You want to be sure the rooms of your older house or apartment look just as good as when you moved in.  Don’t forget to tackle these clean-out tasks:


  • Make sure all cabinets are emptied and wipe them down inside and outside as well as any liners that are in your cupboards. Sometimes they accumulate spills from food items get sticky. Make sure the shelves are clean and smooth.
  • Give the refrigerator a good scrubbing inside and outside. Remember to use a cleaner that’s made specifically for stainless steel on any of those types of appliances.
  • Remove any drip pans and burners from the stove/oven and clean them. Also, clean the surfaces, both inside and outside. Use steel wool if necessary. If the oven has a self-cleaning mode, even better.
  • Make sure the dishwasher is empty. Wipe down the outside.
  • Clean and disinfect all countertops.
  • Move all appliances forward and clean the floors underneath and behind them.


  • Make sure that all grout is mildew-free. Use bleach if you have to.
  • Remove soap scum from bathroom tiles, sink, and the bathtub/shower.
  • Wipe down bathroom drawers and cabinets/shelving.
  • Wipe down the bathroom mirror.
  • Clean the toilet and sink well. Consider replacing the toilet seat if it warrants it.

The whole house or apartment: 

  • Make sure each room is empty, including closets, cabinets, etc.
  • If you hung pictures in spots that required nails or screws, remove those from the walls and repair the holes. Hardware can be unsightly and if you rent, many landlords can be picky about that kind of thing.
  • Clean the walls and the baseboards.
  • Dust all of the ceiling fans.
  • Clean the windows of each room and wipe down any ledges.
  • Clean and/or vacuum all floors and carpets. Deep clean the carpets and spot clean any stains. Mop bare floors.

Outdoor areas: 

  • Mow the lawn and pull unsightly weeds.
  • Make sure the garage is empty and swept.
  • Clean/sweep patios, driveways, walkways.

Cleaning Before Moving Into Your New Chicago Home

You’re now ready to move into your new place. But, you’ll want to make sure it’s spic and span before you move anything into your new home. You especially want to make sure to clean away old bacteria and germs that may be lurking.

Believe it or not, the checklist we provided for moving out of a home or apartment is pretty much the same as what you do for moving into your new home. The only thing is that you’ll want to do a more thorough job than you did on your home that you’re moving out of. Consider a full spring cleaning to make sure it’s sparkling to a shine.

Even if it looks like the old tenants of the home cleaned, chances are, it’s just for aesthetics’ sake. There’s no way to be sure that it’s germ-free unless you do it yourself. In addition to a more intensive tackling of the chores listed above, add these to your checklist before moving to your new home:

  • Consider replacing all liners in the kitchen and bathroom cabinets. That way those surfaces will be like new.
  • Even if the stove and refrigerator look like they’ve been cleaned, wipe all the surfaces down with your own cleaner. Do a deep cleaning to get rid of all grease, drips, etc. You want to make sure you’re starting off fresh. Also, make sure the hood of your new stove is extra clean, removing any grease with a grease remover.
  • Clean all sinks well, but once you’re done add some baking soda and water to freshen them up.
  • Find out if the previous owners had pets. If they did, you may want to consider some preventative action against fleas and treat your floors for them.

That’s about it. Moving can be overwhelming and exhausting. Hopefully, this checklist helps for you to check off one thing at a time so it’s not so burdensome.

You might decide you could use a little help. A Chicago professional cleaning agency might be the answer to lightening your load.

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