The Ultimate Cleaning Checklist

Cleaning Checklist

If you’re moving out of a home or even just an apartment, chances are you have some serious cleaning to do. Trust me, I’ve been there. And sometimes your to-do list is so long you don’t even know where to start.

But before you throw your hands in the air and start reaching for the Double Stuf Oreos, there’s a list that just might save you. Organized by room, here is our Ultimate Cleaning Checklist. Just fly through this list and you’ll be sure to remember everything. And hopefully skip the nervous breakdown while you’re at it. Here goes nothing:


  • Take down all pictures and remove any screws or nails from your walls. Fill the holes with putty and wipe smooth with a damp cloth.
  • Dust all ceiling fixtures and walls.
  • Clean all outlets and light switches. Those things can get nasty.
  • Clean all your door knobs and doors.
  • Wash the inside and outside of your windows as needed.
  • Dust all the blinds, vents, and window sills.
  • Clean your baseboards. Who else besides me always forgets to do this?
  • Vacuum all the carpets and sweep all the tiled areas. Call the carpet cleaner if you need to.

Living Room/Bedrooms

  • Remove all your personal items, including everything in the closets.
  • Dust, sweep, vacuum, and mop these empty rooms.
  • Clean your fireplace if you have one.
  • Don’t forget the window sills and the baseboards. Wipe those bad boys down!


  • Remove all your dishes and personal items from your counters, drawers, and cabinets, including all liners.
  • Wash the front and inside of all your cabinets and drawers.
  • Clean and shine your sink and faucet.
  • Wipe down all the countertops.
  • Remove all food from your refrigerator and freezer and scrub both inside and out. If necessary remove the shelves and clean them separately.
  • Clean the inside and outside of your oven, including any drip pans, burners, and racks.
  • Scrub down your stove range and wipe off the hood, filter, and fan.
  • Wipe out your dishwasher.
  • If your microwave is staying, be sure to clean it both inside and out.
  • Sweep the floor, even behind your appliances. Use a rag to spot clean the floor if necessary.


  • Clean out all your personal items from under the sink and the drawers. Don’t forget your shower curtain if it belongs to you!
  • Clean out your vanity and all drawers, including liners. Make sure you get out all the hair.
  • Wipe your mirror, fixtures, and towel bars.
  • Clean and disinfect the countertops, sink, and the outside of your toilet.
  • Scrub out the inside of your toilet and under the toilet seat. And if the seat looks old and stained, please replace it. Thank you.
  • Clean your tub and shower walls. Scrub away all soap scum from the fixtures and bleach any grout. Then do a victory dance because you just finished the nastiest cleaning job in the entire house. Or is that just me?
  • Wipe your vents clean.
  • Vacuum the floor. This will be much easier than trying to sweep up hair.


  • Completely empty out the entire garage.
  • Sweep the floor thoroughly.

Front and Backyard

  • Mow the lawn.
  • Weed your flowerbeds, especially right in front of the house.
  • Quickly wipe down your front door and the porch stairs.
  • Remove everything that’s yours: toys, tools, birdfeeders, wind chimes, or any other junk stuck in the ground or hanging in the trees.

Once you’ve finished this list, do a final walk-through of the house to make sure you didn’t forget any personal items. Last of all, mop the floors, especially your entryway. Then you’re done! It’s time to say goodbye, walk out, and treat yourself for a job well done. Oreos, anyone?

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