The following is a guest post submitted by a ServiceMaster Cleaning franchise based in Radford, VA.

Moving is always a chore.

It’s a huge undertaking that saddles you with a million things on your to-do list for your old home and your new one. Additionally, moving can be expensive. Paying security deposits, rent, potentially hiring movers or renting a truck, hunting down boxes, taking time away from work: it all adds up.

One way to regain some of your hard-earned cash is to ensure that you get your entire security deposit back. The easiest way to do that is to take time to deep clean.  Before you hand in your keys and start personalizing your new place, here is a checklist to help you get started so you can ensure that the full deposit is returned to you.

Check Your Lease

Some leasing contracts contain specific requirements about what you need to do upon your move-out. Check your lease (if you can’t find it in the chaos of moving and packing you can ask your landlord or leasing office for another copy) and read it carefully to make sure you fulfill all of the move-out requirements while you’re cleaning so you get your full deposit back!

Clean Everywhere

In each room, it’s a good idea to do a general cleaning before the deep-cleaning commences to get the room back to its original condition. Remove all nails and screws from the wall and fill them smoothly with putty.

Dust ceiling fixtures, ceiling fans, and all ledges and baseboards. Wipe down the windows with a glass cleaner and clean the door knobs and light switches. Also, don’t forget to clean the areas surrounding the knobs and switches which tend to get grimy.  Clean out cobwebs from the corners, especially up high by the ceiling where they may go unnoticed.

This is also a good time to vacuum and remove any carpet stains. If the carpet is looking dingy or you can’t get the spots out, you may consider having the carpet professionally cleaned; again, check your lease— some landlords insist that their vacating tenants have the carpets professionally cleaned before they leave.

Scrub the Bathrooms

This is the place where a deep-clean can make the biggest difference and could even ensure that you get your deposit back. Scrub the shower thoroughly, including the shower door tracks, doors, or shower rod, getting rid of all the soap scum. If necessary, bleach the grout to leave it looking as good as new. Fully wipe out the sink and countertops until they are sparkling.

This is also a good time to clear out all of the drawers and the bathroom vanity. Make sure they are clear of dust, hair, and stray toothpaste. If you’ve lined your drawers, don’t forget to remove the lining. Dust out any cabinets and shelves.

Thoroughly clean the toilet, toilet base, and top. If the toilet seat is looking less than its best, you may want to consider replacing it. Wipe down the sink, faucet, and countertop. Finally, sweep and mop the floor and use a good glass cleaner to ensure that the mirror is shining, spotless, and streak-free.

Tackle the Kitchen

This is the other room that a thorough cleaning can have a big impact on getting your full security deposit back. Kitchens attract all kinds of dirt and germs, so this room might need quite a bit of attention. Wash down all the cabinets and shelves, including the fronts of the cabinets and the cabinet pulls.

Completely wipe down the countertops and scrub out the sink and the faucet. Clean the stove surface and underneath the coils and pull out the stove and clean underneath. Scrub the inside of the oven, including the shelving and the drip pans, You may need to use steel wool to get it looking like new.

Sweep and mop the floors, and clean out the fridge, leaving no traces behind. You will need to wipe down the walls, drawers, and shelves of the fridge and defrost the freezer. Next, if you have a dishwasher you will need to clean it out. Use a cup of vinegar to de-brine and sanitize the dishwasher. Make sure and check for small food particles that sometimes get trapped near the drain of the washer. If necessary, clear them out and wipe down the walls of the dishwasher.

Other Areas

In the bedrooms, dining room, and living room, you will need to dust, sweep, vacuum or mop the floors. Sweep out the garage, cut the grass, pull weeds, and rake the leaves if yard upkeep is part of your lease.

Do a quick once-over of your whole home, looking for anything that might stick out to a landlord or apartment manager. Once you sweep and mop your way out the door and lock it up, you’re done! Time to bid adieu to your old home and welcome in the new.

Give On The Move a call and we can make moving much less of a chore.