You never truly realize how much stuff you have until you move out. Items that you forgot existed will surface from the daunting depths of your dresser. You’ll find that missing shoe under your bed, and if you’re smart you won’t lift up your couch cushions. Most people are surprised at all of the things they can fit into their apartment over time- but there are many ways you can avoid being overwhelmed throughout the moving process. If you’re smart, you know when your rent is up at your place- so, plan ahead! Below is a checklist of the things you can do to make sure your apartment is in great shape when you move out. Maybe if you’re lucky you will even get that full security deposit back!
Step 1: Check in with your leasing office and see if they happen to have an apartment inspection checklist so you know what exactly needs to be done prior to moving out.
Step 2: Be sure to contact your utility companies and set the date to turn on the utilities in your name (may include: water, electricity, cable).
Step 3: Examine all of the walls for scuff marks. Use a damp washcloth to get rid of these. If that doesn’t work, then you may need to paint over the scuff mark with the original paint- be sure the color is exact!
Step 4: When you remove artwork from the walls, or anything hanging, be sure to remove the nails and cover up the holes. A common way to do this is purchasing Spackle from any home repair store- it is usually a nice shape for filling nail holes. If needed, you may need to paint over the spackle with the original paint of the walls.
Step 5: Clean all kitchen appliances. Be sure to remove everything from your refrigerator and freezer. Left behind food is never wanted, and your mess should not be something that someone else has to deal with. Once all the food is removed, spray down the interior of the refrigerator with warm soapy water and wipe it dry. Be sure to wipe down the drawers and the door as well. Don’t forget to thoroughly clean the stove and the oven with warm soapy water as well. Letting the kitchen cleaner soak on the grease can help it come off easily.
Step 6: Dust off the cabinets- inside and out, as well as closets.
Step 7: Clean out the toilets with toilet bowl cleaner and the bathroom sinks as well. Don’t forget to scrub down the bathtubs and showers with bleach and cleaner as well.
Step 8: Wipe down windows and mirrors, do not forget to get the dust off window panes and the window sills either. Often times dust also collects on shutters and blinds as well.
Step 9: Remove stains from carpets. Be sure to check the carpet cleaner prior to be sure there are no bleach components that will change the color of the carpet (speaking from personal experience). Landlords may ask you to replace the carpet if it is in really poor condition, and this is not a pretty penny. Soaking stains and spots in carpet cleaner tends to help.
Step 10: Dust your ceiling fans and light fixtures. Replace any burnt out light bulbs.
Step 11: If possible, attend the inspection and ask for a copy of the inspection for your records.
Going above and beyond to take these steps prior to moving out increase your chances of getting a percentage, if not the entirety of your security deposit.