Specialty Spotlight: Move-In/Move-Out Cleaning

by Matt Solis


When moving out of your home or apartment, you’re likely more focused on your new place than your old one. But before locking up for the last time, you’ll need to make sure everything is in good order for the next occupants. That’s where move-in/move-out cleaning services come in. In this piece, we’ll cover what move-in/move-out cleaning entails and why you may want to use such a service for your next move.

What is Move-In/Move-Out Cleaning?
Move-in/move-out cleaning is a specialized cleaning service that aims to remove dust and dirt from a home after the owners or tenants have moved out. It’s similar to deep cleaning in terms of thoroughness, but with all the furnishings gone, a cleaning company can reach areas of the home that were perhaps never touched during occupancy. Some companies specialize in move-in/move-out cleaning while others offer it as part of their regular services. The job can also be tailored to address specific issues such as pet stains and cigarette odors. Here’s what a move-in/move-out cleaning job might include:

Kitchen: In addition to sanitizing the sink, backsplash and countertop, a move-in/move-out cleaning company will dust the interior and exterior of the cabinets, clean the oven and stovetop, wipe down appliances that will remain for the next occupants, and sweep behind the refrigerator.

Bathroom: During a move-in/move-out cleaning, the cleaners will scrub the sink, disinfect the toilet, dust any cabinets or shelves, sanitize all shower and tub surfaces to remove any lingering mildew, and mop or sweep the floors.

Living areas and bedrooms: The cleaners will thoroughly dust ceilings, walls and baseboards; sweep or vacuum floors; steam clean carpet (if necessary); wipe down banisters, light switches and door knobs; clean and dust windows, framings, blinds, and window treatments; and clean areas that couldn’t be reached during occupancy due to the presence of bulky furniture.

Who Needs Move-In/Move-Out Cleaning?
Those who benefit from move-in/move-out cleaning services include tenants, landlords and individuals who have recently bought or sold a home. Whether you are required to hire a move-in/move-out cleaning service will depend upon the agreement you have in place with your landlord or buyer. If you’ve purchased a home, you may decide on your own to hire move-in/move-out cleaners to prepare the property before you move in.

Tenants: Some landlords require tenants to thoroughly clean the unit before they will return the security deposit. If you have such an agreement, carefully review the language of your lease and communicate with your landlord to fully understand what their expectations are for the unit’s condition upon vacancy. With this information in hand, you can pass along specific instructions to your cleaning company. Even if a landlord doesn’t require deep cleaning, they usually ask for some tidying. However, if your move is happening in a very short time frame, you may choose to save time by hiring housekeepers to do a basic cleaning (dusting, vacuuming, trash removal) after you vacate.

Homeowners: If you vacate your home before selling it, a move-in/move-out cleaning will improve how the property shows to potential buyers. Without the distraction of mildew in the bathrooms or dust bunnies in the closets, your former home will look its best. Likewise, if you’ve inherited a property, you’ll want to have it professionally cleaned after you’ve cleared out the furnishings and before you rent or sell.

Allergy sufferers: Hiring a move-in/move-out cleaning company is a good idea for those who suffer from severe allergies or have strong sensitivities to odors. The cleaners can eliminate much of the dust and pet dander that affect allergy sufferers and reduce the lingering presence of cigarette smoke or other odor-causing agents.

Neat freaks: If you can’t rest until every last speck of dirt in your home is swept away, you’ll likely be much more comfortable if you hire a move-in/move-out cleaner before settling into your new home. 

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