How to Clean an Apartment Before Moving In: Essential Tips

Published: 21 Apr, 2023

Last Updated: 21 Apr, 2023

Serik Baimoldayev

Serik Baimoldayev

Before moving in, it is essential to understand the cleaning requirements of your apartment for a thorough and efficient process. As you prepare your new home for your family and pets, ensuring a safe and healthy environment is crucial.

In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of understanding the cleaning requirements specific to your apartment. We’ll also provide guidance on gathering necessary supplies for thorough cleaning, such as renting carpet cleaners and using white vinegar.

You’ll learn how to tackle each room methodically by cleaning from top to bottom while paying special attention to high-traffic areas where dirt may have accumulated from previous tenants. Additionally, we will cover tips on making floors shine using glass cleaner or dish soap for hardwoods and freshly-vacuumed carpets.

Last but not least, we’ll touch upon checking for pests before settling into your new living space – because nothing dampens the excitement of moving into a pristine apartment more than discovering unwanted guests lurking about. So let’s dive into mastering how to clean an apartment before moving in!

Table of Contents:

1. Understand the Cleaning Requirements

Before moving into a new apartment, it’s essential to know what needs to be done in terms of cleaning. This is important not only to guarantee a pleasant and healthy environment, but also to avert any disputes with property owners or managers.

In the USA, there isn’t a nationwide standard for who is responsible for cleaning an apartment before move-in. It can vary depending on state laws, rental agreements, and individual landlord policies. Generally speaking, landlords are expected to provide a clean and habitable unit when tenants move in. However, it’s always best to check your lease agreement or consult with your landlord about their specific expectations regarding cleanliness.

If you’re taking care of the cleaning yourself, here are some key areas you should focus on:

  • Walls and ceilings: Dust off cobwebs and wipe down walls if necessary.
  • Floors: Vacuum carpets thoroughly; sweep and mop hard floors such as tile or hardwood.
  • Kitchen appliances: Clean inside ovens, microwaves, refrigerators/freezers; sanitize countertops; scrub sinks/faucets;
  • Bathrooms: Disinfect toilets; scrub showers/bathtubs; wipe down mirrors/vanities;
  • Cabinets/closets/storage spaces: Empty out cabinets/closets/storage spaces from previous tenants’ belongings (if any); vacuum/dust shelves; wash windows/glass surfaces.

By understanding these requirements ahead of time, you’ll be better prepared for a smooth transition into your new home. Additionally, enlisting help from family members or friends can make the process more efficient and enjoyable. If you prefer to hire professionals, consider contacting a reputable cleaning companies for assistance with your pre-move cleaning needs.

Before embarking on any project, it is essential to comprehend the cleaning requirements in order to achieve successful and effective results. Having determined the scope of the project, it is time to assemble all materials necessary for successful completion.

Gather Necessary Supplies

Before you start cleaning your new apartment, it’s essential to have all the necessary supplies on hand. This will save time and ensure a thorough job is done. Here are some items you’ll need for an efficient and effective cleaning process:

  • Vacuum cleaner: A vacuum cleaner with attachments is perfect for removing dust and debris from carpets, floors, and upholstery.
  • Broom and dustpan: These tools are great for sweeping up dirt in hard-to-reach areas or on surfaces that can’t be vacuumed.
  • Mop and bucket: Use these to clean tile or linoleum floors thoroughly.
  • Microfiber cloths: These versatile cloths can be used wet or dry to wipe down surfaces throughout the apartment.
  • Sponges & scrub brushes: You’ll need these for tackling stubborn stains or built-up grime in various areas of your home like sinks, bathtubs, etc..

In addition to these basic supplies, consider investing in some specialized products designed specifically for certain tasks:

  1. Cleaning solutions: All-purpose cleaners work well on most surfaces but having specific cleaners such as glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner, kitchen degreaser will help achieve better results faster.
  2. Paper towels: For quick cleanup jobs where using reusable microfiber cloths might not be practical.
  3. Rubber gloves: To protect your hands while handling harsh chemicals during deep-cleaning sessions.
  4. Ladder/step stool: To reach high places like ceiling fans or light fixtures safely.

Remember that if you’re moving into an apartment with pets or children present then opt for eco-friendly and non-toxic cleaning products. For optimal safety, choose non-toxic and eco-friendly cleaning products when relocating to a home with pets or children.

Create a to-do list of tasks that need completing prior to your relocation, so you can be sure each area of the abode is properly cleaned before settling in. By planning ahead and staying organized, you can make your transition into the new apartment a breeze.

Gathering the necessary supplies is an important first step in preparing to clean your apartment before moving in. To ensure that you have a thorough and effective cleaning, it’s best to start from the top of your space and work down – this will be discussed further under the next heading.

Key Takeaway: Before moving in, one should be sure to stock up on all the necessary cleaning items such as a vacuum cleaner, broom and dustpan, mop and bucket, microfiber cloths, sponges & scrub brushes; additionally investing in specialized products like cleaning solutions can help make the process more efficient. It is also advisable to invest in specialized products like cleaning solutions for better results faster. Creating a moving checklist will ensure that every area of your new apartment is thoroughly cleaned before moving in with minimal stress.

3. Clean from Top to Bottom

Moving into a fresh abode can be an exhilarating experience, yet it’s essential to carefully clean the area before making it your new home with family and furry friends. Starting at the top and working your way down ensures that you don’t miss any spots or have to re-clean areas due to dust falling from above.

A. Start with Ceilings and Light Fixtures

Begin by cleaning ceilings, light fixtures, and ceiling fans using a long-handled duster or vacuum attachment. This will help remove cobwebs, dust, and debris that may have accumulated over time. If necessary, use a damp cloth or sponge for stubborn dirt on light fixtures.

B. Wipe Down Walls and Baseboards

Next up are the walls – wipe them down with a damp cloth or sponge dipped in warm soapy water (here’s how). Pay special attention to corners where dirt tends to accumulate more easily. Don’t forget about baseboards; they can harbor dust as well.

Clean Windows Inside Out:

  • Glass: Use glass cleaner spray (or make your own homemade solution) along with microfiber cloths for streak-free windows.
  • Sills & Tracks: Remove dirt buildup using an old toothbrush dipped in soapy water followed by wiping dry with paper towels.
  • Screens: Gently scrub window screens with a soft brush and soapy water, then rinse thoroughly.

C. Deep Clean Floors and Carpets

Last but not least, tackle the floors. Vacuuming carpets and rugs to rid them of dust, dirt, pet hair and any other material that may have accumulated during the move is a must. For hard flooring surfaces like tile or wood, use a mop with an appropriate cleaning solution (here’s how to clean hardwood floors). If you’re dealing with stained or heavily soiled carpets, consider renting a carpet cleaner or hiring professional services for thorough deep cleaning.

By following these steps when cleaning your new apartment from top to bottom before moving in will ensure that you create a fresh start for your family while also protecting their health by eliminating allergens and potential contaminants lurking within the space.

Cleaning from top to bottom is a great way to ensure that no area of your apartment goes unnoticed. Focusing on high-traffic areas will help you clean efficiently and make sure those spots are spick and span before moving in.

Key Takeaway: Prior to settling in a new abode, be sure to scour it from head to toe. Start by cleaning ceilings and light fixtures, wipe down walls and baseboards, deep clean floors and carpets. By doing so, you’ll create a fresh start for your family while also protecting their health by eliminating allergens and potential contaminants lurking within the space.

4. Focus on High-Traffic Areas

When cleaning your new apartment before moving in, it’s essential to pay special attention to areas that get more use, such as bathrooms and kitchens. High-traffic spots tend to become dirtier, grimier and germ-filled faster than other parts of the residence.


The bathroom is one area where cleanliness is crucial for maintaining a healthy living environment. Here are some key tasks you should focus on when cleaning the bathroom:

  • Toilets: Disinfect and scrub toilets thoroughly using a toilet brush and cleaner specifically designed for this purpose.
  • Sinks & Countertops: Wipe down sinks with an all-purpose cleaner or disinfectant spray. Don’t forget about countertops – these surfaces can harbor bacteria from toothbrushes, razors, and other personal items.
  • Showers & Bathtubs: Remove any soap scum or mildew buildup by using a specialized shower cleaner or vinegar solution (learn how here). Scrub tiles with a stiff-bristled brush to ensure they’re free of grime.
  • Floors: Sweep floors first to remove dust bunnies and hair strands before mopping them with a suitable floor cleaner.


A clean kitchen is vital for food safety reasons as well as general hygiene. Follow these steps when tackling the kitchen area during your pre-move-in cleaning session:

  • Appliances: Clean the interiors and exteriors of all appliances, including the refrigerator, oven, microwave, and dishwasher.
  • Cabinets & Drawers: Wipe down cabinet doors and drawer fronts with a damp cloth or disinfectant wipe. Don’t forget to clean inside cabinets as well – you never know what might have been left behind by previous tenants.
  • Sinks & Countertops: Use an all-purpose cleaner or disinfectant spray to remove any food particles or stains from sinks and countertops. Pay special attention to areas around faucets where grime can build up over time.
  • Floors: Sweep kitchen floors before mopping them with a suitable floor cleaner for your type of flooring material (e.g., tile, hardwood).

Taking extra care in these high-traffic areas will ensure that your new apartment is not only visually appealing but also safe and healthy for your family when your move day arrives.

Pay attention to any dirt or particles that may have built up in high-traffic zones. Now let’s move onto the next step: checking for pests.

Key Takeaway: Prior to moving into a new apartment, it is essential to thoroughly clean the bathrooms and kitchens which are areas of high activity. In the bathroom, focus on disinfecting toilets, wiping down sinks and countertops, cleaning showers and bathtubs, and sweeping/mopping floors. For the kitchen area, clean appliances (interiors/exteriors), cabinets/drawers (inside/outside), sinks/countertops around faucets where grime can build up over time; sweep/mop floors using suitable floor cleaner for your type of flooring material.

5. Check for Pests

Before moving into your new apartment, it’s essential to look for signs of pests or infestations. It is critical to detect any pest-related problems in order to protect your health and keep the living environment clean. Here are some steps you can take to ensure your new home is pest-free:

  1. Inspect the property thoroughly: Look around every corner, inside cabinets, behind appliances, and in other hidden areas where pests might hide.
  2. Check for droppings or damage: Keep an eye out for any signs of rodent droppings or gnaw marks on wires and furniture.
  3. Note any unusual smells: Pests like rodents often leave a distinct odor which could indicate their presence.
  4. Hire a professional exterminator if necessary: If you find evidence of an infestation, consider hiring a professional exterminator before moving in to address the issue promptly.

In addition to checking for pests yourself, it’s always wise to inquire with the landlord about previous pest control measures taken at the property. You should also ask if there have been any recent reports of infestations in neighboring units. By taking the necessary steps beforehand, you can guarantee that your family and yourself will have a pleasant living space devoid of any bothersome creatures.

Maintaining cleanliness within your home after moving in will help keep pests at bay as well. Regularly vacuuming floors (especially carpets), wiping down surfaces such as countertops and tables daily will reduce food sources available attracting insects like ants or cockroaches. Additionally, storing food in sealed containers and disposing of trash regularly will also help deter pests from making your home their own.

Frequently Asked Questions How to Clean an Apartment Before Moving in

What should I clean in my apartment before moving in?

Additionally, sanitize high-touch surfaces like doorknobs and light switches. Don’t forget to vacuum carpets and mop hard floors to remove any dirt or dust.

How do I deep clean my apartment for the first time?

To deep clean your apartment for the first time, start by decluttering and organizing each room. Then follow a top-to-bottom approach: dust ceilings and fans; wipe down walls; clean windows; disinfect countertops and appliances; scrub sinks, toilets, showers/bathtubs; vacuum/mop floors.

Should you clean before or after moving in?

Ideally, it’s best to clean your new apartment thoroughly before moving in. This allows you easier access to all areas without furniture blocking them. However, if this isn’t possible due to timing constraints or other factors – plan on cleaning immediately after moving in.

How do I clean my apartment like a professional?

Clean your apartment like a professional by following these steps: create a detailed checklist of tasks per room; gather necessary supplies beforehand (cleaning tools & products, gloves); use proper techniques (top-to-bottom); work systematically from one area/room to another while maintaining efficiency & attention-to-detail.


With your newfound knowledge of how to properly clean an apartment, it’s time to begin the process. Remember to gather all necessary supplies and focus on high-traffic areas first. Cleaning from top to bottom will ensure that dust and debris don’t fall onto already-cleaned surfaces.

Verifying for pests is also imperative, as they can rapidly become a difficulty if not attended to in the beginning. By following these steps, you’ll be able to move into a fresh and clean space that feels like home.

If you’re planning a move soon, consider hiring the professionals at SEKA Moving. Our team can help make your move stress-free and seamless so you can focus on settling into your new apartment.

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