Before you say goodbye to your old apartment you’re going to need to clean up. Not only is it the ethical thing to do, you’ll need to do it to get some or all of your security deposit back. Here are some tips on how to clean up before you move out.
How clean is clean
How clean your apartment has to be when you move out will depend on the community, your lease, and state law. Your lease may spell out what’s expected of you, so consult it well before you move out. Your landlord may choose to do a checkout walkthrough with you some time before you actually move out.
Another time to discuss cleaning expectations is if your landlord needs to show the apartment to prospective tenants. The more information you can get before you start to clean up, the better estimate you’ll have of what you need to do.
Take a look around
Once you’ve moved the bulk of your belongings out, you’ll want to do a walkthrough yourself and look for particular trouble spots. Now is a good time to take note of scratches to the paint or floors, holes in the wall from hanging pictures, and areas you simply haven’t been cleaning lately. Depending on the amount of the damage done, you may find it prudent to do some painting touchups or to use spackling to fill in holes.
You’ll want to allow extra time for particularly time-consuming chores, such as cleaning your oven. If this is the first time for the oven to get cleaned, your landlord might be able to tell you what cleaning products have worked on the oven in the past. A community which advertises state-of-the-art kitchen appliances among its amenities may be especially particular about how they get cleaned.
Call in a pro
If you don’t have a lot of time to clean up, you may want to call in a professional. One-time cleaning services can be relatively affordable, especially in comparison to your security deposit. A cleaning service may also be more skilled at restoring the bathtub to sparkling whiteness or cleaning hard-to-reach areas, such as ceilings.
Ask for recommendations from friends, or even from your landlord. Get an estimate of how much the cleaning service will charge you, and ask how long they’ve been in business — starting a cleaning service has been a relatively popular idea for new entrepreneurs, but you’ll probably want someone with experience to clean up your apartment.
How long will it take to clean
Whether you contract the job out or do it yourself, giving an apartment a good cleaning will probably take some time. Your safest bet is to allow at least a week of overlap between moving into your new place and turning in your old keys. That should give you some time, after work and other commitments, to finish the cleaning you started while moving out.
If you don’t have a lot of time to spare or are moving long-distance, don’t worry. Just do the best you can in the time allotted.
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Before you say goodbye to your old apartment you’re going to need to clean up. Not only is it the ethical thing to do, you’ll need to do it to get some or all of your security deposit back. Here are some tips on how to clean up before you move out. How clean is ...
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