Once you’ve decided to move out of your apartment, the most important thing on your mind will be how to get your security deposit returned. If you’re about to begin the cleaning phase of your move, follow this comprehensive checklist and utilize some of the tips to help you restore your apartment to a pristine condition worthy of a returned security deposit.

1. Begin With A Dusting

For this chore, you will need a thick dusting rag, a can of dusting spray, and a feather duster. Use the feather duster on surfaces that have a minor layer of dust such as cabinet doors, countertops, window sills, light fixtures, and railings. For thicker layers of dust that like to collect on the baseboards of the walls, ceiling fan blades, and registers, you should use a liberally saturated dusting cloth to clean these surfaces to a like-new shine.


2. Clean The Carpets & Floors

Begin this chore by going over every carpeted floor with a high-powered vacuum cleaner. Once you’ve vacuumed all of the loose debris, look for stains. If you find stains on the carpets, purchase a stain removing spray or use old-fashioned techniques to remove those stains.

3. Scrub the Bathroom & Kitchen

These two rooms are likely going to be the dirtiest rooms in your apartment considering how often you use them. Depending on the size of these places, the time and effort to complete this chore on your checklist will vary. For the bathroom, be sure to scrub away any soap scum, mildew, and shower product build-up.

Clean hair and dust from the corners and make sure you’ve cleaned out all of your products from the cabinets. When it comes to the kitchen, clean out all cabinets and dust if needed. Scrub and shine the sink and faucet, scrub the oven clean, clean the stovetop, clean the inside of the fridge, and sweep and mop the floor when finished.


4. General Maintenance

One thing you will need to do before you leave the apartment for good is to remove all nails or screws from all of the walls. Your landlord will not appreciate you leaving these on the walls. Once you’ve removed them, use putty to fill in the holes left behind to return the walls to a smooth surface. You should also give the inside of the windows a good cleaning as well as any mirrors left behind in the apartment.

Give every surface in the apartment one final inspection, ensuring to dust or clean any surface that you may have missed. Double check all of the closets for items you may have left behind or pieces of trash that may have escaped your cleaning whirlwind. Also, if you painted any of the walls while you lived there, paint them back to their original color.

The general rule of getting your security deposit back is to make the apartment equal to or better than the state it was in when you moved. If you can do that, you’re guaranteed to get your deposit returned.