What Are The Key Steps in Move-in/Move-out Cleaning

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As someone who works in the cleaning business full-time, I’ve seen first-time and final cleanings essential for property transfers many times. Knowing the steps in move-in/move-out cleaning is important for ensuring a smooth handover and keeping the property’s integrity, whether I’m helping a renter move out or a landlord welcome new tenants. I’ll walk you through the most important steps of this process in this guide, giving you the skills you need to do it right.

Through my research, I’ve found that commencing a franchise with a comprehensive plan encompassing assessment, decluttering, deep cleaning, flooring care, inspection, and handover maximizes success, ensuring a seamless transition for all parties involved.

  • Assessment: Begin by assessing the property’s condition to identify areas requiring deep cleaning or repairs before the move-in or move-out process.
  • Emptying and decluttering: Remove all belongings and clutter from the property to facilitate thorough cleaning of surfaces, floors, and hidden areas.
  • Dust and debris removal: Clean all surfaces, including walls, ceilings, baseboards, and fixtures, to remove dust, cobwebs, and debris accumulated over time.
  • Deep cleaning: Perform deep cleaning tasks such as scrubbing floors, cleaning appliances, sanitizing bathrooms and kitchens, and addressing any stains or grime buildup.
  • Final inspection: Conduct a final inspection of the property to ensure that all cleaning tasks have been completed satisfactorily and the property is ready for the next occupants.

Assessment and Planning

A full inspection of the property is always the first thing I do before I start cleaning. Making a thorough checklist helps me keep track of everything. I write down any areas that need extra care or repairs. It’s important to make sure you have all the cleaning materials and tools you need before you start. After I look at what needs to be done, I make a cleaning plan that is specific to the property. This plan includes the order in which tasks will be done and which areas need deep cleaning or care the most. Ensuring everyone is on the same page about standards and deadlines is possible through clear communication with everyone involved.

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Decluttering and Removal of Debris

Cluttering and cleaning up the place is always the first thing on my list. First, I get rid of any trash, old furniture, or things that the last people who lived there left behind. Eliminating the mess not only makes it easier to clean but also makes it easier to check for problems and fix them. I clean the floors by sweeping, vacuuming, or mopping them after getting rid of the trash. I pay extra attention to places like borders, corners, and under furniture that are hard to get to. Assuring proper disposal, I sweep away leaves and other waste from outdoor areas like patios and balconies.

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Deep Cleaning Surfaces and Fixtures

Now that I’ve gotten rid of all the junk, it’s time to clean the surfaces and equipment inside and out. First, I scrub the walls, tables, cabinets, and appliances to get rid of any dirt or stains that have built up. To avoid damage and get the best results, I use the right cleaning products and tools for each surface. I focus on cleaning the toilets, sinks, showers, and floors in bathrooms to keep the area clean. When mold or mildew grows in damp places, I pay extra attention to them and take care of them right away. I also clean the inside of kitchen cabinets, the oven, the fridge, and other machines very well, making sure there is no grease or food left behind.

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Flooring Care and Maintenance

Flooring is always the most important part of move-in/move-out cleaning because it has such a big effect on how the whole place looks. I use the right cleaning methods for each type of flooring to bring back its shine and freshness, whether it’s hardwood, carpet, tile, or laminate. I clean my wooden floors with a mild cleaner and a microfiber mop so I don’t damage the wood. For a smooth look, the floors may need to be cleaned or refinished. When it comes to rugs, I vacuum them well to get rid of all the dirt and debris that is embedded in them, and I use the right carpet cleaners for any stains. If the spots or smells are really bad, you might need to use steam cleaning.

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Inspection and Touch-Ups

Following the cleaning process, I carefully checked the property again to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I go over any spots that might need extra cleaning or touch-ups, paying close attention to things like smudges, fingerprints, or spots that no one noticed. I also look for any damage or maintenance problems that need to be fixed before the next tenants move in. This could mean fixing small problems, changing broken parts, or painting the walls if needed. Taking care of these problems quickly helps keep the property’s appeal and makes sure that new renters have a good time.

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Final Preparations and Handover

As the cleaning process comes to a close, I focus on making the last few things I need to do to get the house ready for the move-in. I make sure that all of the cleaning supplies and tools are put away correctly and get rid of any trash or other waste that is still there. It is very important to make sure that all utilities, like water, power, and heating and cooling systems, work. Lastly, I work with the right people, like the owner, property management, or the new tenants, to make sure the handover goes smoothly. A smooth transition can be achieved by giving them written proof of the cleaning and maintenance work that was done, along with any directions or suggestions for ongoing care. Having a well-planned handover makes for a good start in the new place and shows that I am efficient and pay attention to detail.


  • Restoration of Property: Move-in/move-out cleaning restores the property to its optimal condition, enhancing its appeal for new occupants. Through thorough cleaning and maintenance, the space is revitalized, ensuring a fresh start for tenants moving in.
  • Prevents Disputes: Following key steps in move-in/move-out cleaning helps prevent disputes between landlords and tenants regarding the property’s condition. Clear documentation and meticulous cleaning ensure transparency and accountability, reducing the likelihood of disagreements during the handover process.
  • Property Maintenance: Move-in/move-out cleaning isn’t just about aesthetics; it also contributes to the long-term maintenance of the property. Regular deep cleaning and inspection allow for early detection of any damages or maintenance issues, enabling timely repairs and preserving the property’s integrity.


  • Time-Consuming Process: Move-in/move-out cleaning can be a time-consuming process, especially for larger properties or those with extensive cleaning requirements. Coordinating tasks, gathering supplies, and ensuring thorough cleaning may require significant time and effort.
  • Cost Considerations: Depending on the extent of cleaning required and whether professional services are enlisted, move-in/move-out cleaning can incur costs for landlords or tenants. Investing in quality cleaning supplies or hiring cleaning personnel adds to the overall expense associated with property transition.
  • Potential for Oversight: With numerous tasks involved in move-in/move-out cleaning, there’s a risk of overlooking certain areas or tasks, leading to incomplete cleaning or maintenance. Failure to address all aspects of cleaning and inspection may result in dissatisfaction from either party involved in the property transition.


I’ve found that understanding the main steps in move-in and move-out cleaning has been very helpful in reducing stress and making sure that the process goes smoothly for both renters and landlords. I always start by doing a full review and planning phase. During this phase, I carefully plan out every step of the cleaning process. Following that, I clear out and organize the space, making sure everything is where it belongs before I even think about using a cleaning tool.

Following the preparation work, I start cleaning, paying close attention to every detail as I go from the top to the bottom. I’ve learned that polishing things like walls and light fixtures that people tend to forget about can make a huge difference in how clean a room looks overall. Additionally, I make sure I do a good job without damaging anything by using the right cleaning supplies and tools for each surface.

Communication is very important throughout the whole process. I always make sure that everyone knows what’s going on and lays out the timelines and standards so that there are no misunderstandings. Finally, there should be a final check to make sure that everything is in great shape before the move-in or move-out cleaning is over.

If you follow these steps exactly, I’ve found that cleaning up after moving in or out is a manageable job that makes everyone happy and ready for the next step. Mastering these steps has made the whole process easier and more fun, whether I’m getting ready to move out or getting a place ready for new renters.

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