Moving In? You’ll Need This Free Cleaning Checklist! 

Congratulations! Moving into a new house is exciting, but it can also be a lot of work.

You’ve likely just completed your move-out cleaning, and now you have to tackle your move-in cleaning. If you’re moving into an apartment that ‘looks’ clean, and you’re tempted to not go as hard cleaning, please don’t even consider that.

move in deep cleaning checklist

Most people do the bare minimum for their move-out cleaning, and something that looks clean on the surface might not be.

You also want to make sure you get rid of any potential allergens and germs so that you can breathe better air in your new home.

If, like me, you’re moving into a home that has just been built or renovated, you’ll have to deal with a lot of dust.

Don’t fret, I have tips for that too.

This article provides a comprehensive cleaning checklist that will help you thoroughly clean and disinfect your new home. You’ll find:

  • The absolute essential cleaning supplies for a move-in clean
  • A free printable room-by-room checklist
  • Other tips and considerations for a new home

Move-In Deep Cleaning Checklist for Home and New Renovation

This is going to be my moment of honesty: I don’t think anyone should tackle a move-in or move-out clean on their own.

The moving process is extremely stressful, and adding a deep clean to an already stressful process can actually cause you to break down. Remember, you still have to tackle unpacking those boxes.

If you have the means, please consider hiring a professional cleaning service before moving in. They will save you valuable time and energy.

You can share this checklist with them so that they are aware of everything you want them to clean. A document like this is very helpful and reduces the need for too much back-and-forth.

I have provided the checklist as a PDF as well as in Excel, so it’s easy to edit and customise for your own home.

move in cleaning checklist

move in cleaning checklist in excel

Move In Cleaning Supplies Checklist

If you have just arrived in your new place, you will need to shop for the following supplies. 

I have chosen the basic tools and supplies that you really need. If you are hiring professional cleaners, it may be cheaper to provide them with your own supplies, as some cleaners charge more for bringing their own.

move in cleaning supplies list
  1. Vacuum Cleaner 
  2. All Purpose Cleaner
  3. Microfiber cloth/ Clean Cloth
  4. Dish Soap
  5. Disinfectant wipes
  6. Mop and bucket
  7. Rubber Gloves
  8. Squeegee
  9. Sponges
  10. Glass cleaning cloth/ Glass cleaner
  11. Scourer
  12. Paper towels
  13. Bleach
  14. Toilet brush
  15. Scrub Brush
  16. Broom and dust pan
  17. Extendable duster
  18. Limescale remover/ Vinegar
  19. Step ladder/ stool
  20. Bucket
move in cleaning checklist

move in cleaning checklist in excel

House/Apartment Cleaning Checklist – Room by Room

This is a comprehensive list for cleaning a house or apartment that you have just moved into.

Feel free to exclude anything that is not needed for your own home.  

Kitchen Cleaning

  • Wipe down and disinfect all kitchen surfaces, shelves, cabinets.
  • Check if cabinets are sticky from grease and do a thorough clean. Here’s a guide to removing grease from kitchen cabinets.
  • Clean and disinfect the handles.
  • Defrost the freezer and clean.
  • Disinfect and clean kitchen appliances like the refrigerator, microwave, oven, and dishwasher. Pay attention to the top and sides of these appliances as dust may have settled on them.
  • Clean the hob or stovetop and oven with steel wool/SOS pad.
  • Degrease and clean the exhaust fan. 
  • Wash down and disinfect sink, tap, and waste disposal if present. Use Bar Keepers Friend for stainless steel or see my best tips for cleaning for composite sinks.
  • Check the drains for blockage or smells.
  • Clean and remove any stains or mould from backsplash.
  • Clean and disinfect light switches and sockets.
  • Vacuum or sweep and mop the floor.
  • Take out the bin and recycling.
  • Check and replace light fixtures and bulbs.

Bathroom and Toilet Cleaning

  • Check lightbulbs and exhaust fan to ensure they are working. Vacuum the exhaust with the appropriate attachment.
  • Disinfect and wipe all surfaces, including counters, mirrors.
  • Remove any unwanted items like mouldy shower curtains and throw them in the bin.
  • Unscrew toilet seat covers to target any hidden stains.
  • Replace toilet seats if necessary.
  • Clean and disinfect the toilet bowls.
  • Scrub and disinfect the bathtub, shower walls, and floors.
  • Wash down and disinfect sink, tap, and check for any drain smells.
  • Treat and remove any soap scum or hard water stains on glass. Pay special attention to any mouldy grout or silicone.
  • Sweep and mop the bathroom and toilet floor.
  • Spray and clean any interior cupboards and drawers.
  • Take out or replace the bin.
printable move in checklist

Living Room and Dining Room Cleaning

  • Book a professional carpet clean if carpet is present. (You can’t trust the cleaning done by the previous owners. A thorough cleaning of carpets will significantly improve the air quality.)
  • Sweep or vacuum and mop the floors.
  • Dust all surfaces, including window frames, sills, and skirting boards/baseboards.
  • Use an extendable microfiber duster to clean walls. (Don’t underestimate how much dust and hair cling to walls.)
  • Clean above the door frames where dust typically settles.
  • Clean any mirrors or glass surfaces.
  • Clean and disinfect light switches and sockets.
  • Wipe down any cabinets or shelves.
  • Clean the fireplace, mantel, and hearth if applicable.
  • Clean any ceiling fans present.
  • Check and replace any non-functional lightbulbs.

{Read: 50+ Must-Have Cleaning Products For A Spotless New Apartment)

Bedroom Cleaning

This clean can also cover any offices or study in the house.

  • Book a professional carpet clean if carpet is present to improve air quality.
  • Check and replace any non-functional lightbulbs.
  • Dust light fixture
  • Vacuum and dust all surfaces.
  • Clean windows, window sills, and skirting boards/baseboards.
  • Wipe down all surfaces, including the walls, and blinds.
  • Clean above the door frames and sides where dust settles.
  • Dust the walls with an extendable microfiber duster. Don’t underestimate how much dust and hair cling to walls.
  • Clean out the closet, wardrobes, shelves, and drawers. Don’t forget to clean the dust that settles on top of the wardrobes or high furniture.
  • Vacuum vents if present with the appropriate attachment.
  • Clean and disinfect light switches and sockets.
  • Clean mirrors and any glass surfaces, if present.

Entrance and Entryway Cleaning

  • Dust and wipe the light fixture.
  • Wipe down the front door and clean the door frame and sides.
  • Disinfect door handles.
  • Dust and clean any furniture or decor in the entryway.
  • Sweep or vacuum the porch and entry way floors.
  • Wipe down all surfaces, including the walls and ceiling.
  • Wash external windows or hire a window cleaning company.

Laundry Room

  • Do a thorough clean of the washer, including the rubber seal, soap dispenser, and bottom plug, which is where all the bad smells come from.
  • Deep clean the dryer, including lint traps and vents.
  • Wipe down the washer and dryer
  • Wipe down any cabinets or shelves.
  • Check and replace any lightbulb.
  • Sweep or mop the floors.

Storage Areas e.g Garage, Loft or Attic

  • Dust and clean any accessible surfaces.
  • Check for any signs of pests and take appropriate measures if needed.
  • Check for proper insulation and ventilation.
  • Check for signs of leaks or water damage.
  • Organise stored items if applicable.

New Construction/ Renovation Cleaning Tips (aka After Builders Clean)

Moving into a new house that has just been renovated or built requires a slightly different type of clean.

When we moved into ours, I realised after speaking to a couple of professionals that it was called an After Builders Clean. 

The main challenge with an after builders clean is dust. Here are some of my best tips as someone who had to clean after a renovation.

  1. Clean over the course of two days or a week. When you do the initial clean, the dust will still surface. It’s only after the second clean that you can truly get rid of any dust particles present.
  2. Hire a skip/ dumpster if the builders have left a truckload of materials for you to dispose of.
  3. Store and label any left over paint. Trust me, it will come in really handy.
  4. Again, get rid of any dust particles, you will keep finding dust around the house for a week

Tips and Considerations

Here are some tips to consider for your move in clean.

  • Deep clean before you move in. Cleaning around boxes is not easy or fun to do. 
  • Work from the top to bottom to collect as much dust as possible and work smarter, not harder.
  • If you ever doubt whether or not to clean something, always remember that people do the bare minimum to get their security deposit. If something looks clean, it isn’t always so.
  • I highly recommend hiring a carpet cleaning service. You don’t know if the previous owners had pets.
  • Hire a professional cleaning service to do a good deep cleaning and save you a lot of stress.
  • Don’t book a professional cleaning service by the hour, it will be more expensive, instead, ask them for a set rate for a move in clean. 

Conclusion

Congratulations on successfully completing your move-in cleaning. I hope this checklist helped make the cleaning process less overwhelming and you’ve achieved a fresh start in your new apartment or house.

A clean home certainly sets the stage for a comfortable living experience and better air quality. 

Now, settle in and I hope your new space brings you lots of beautiful memories!

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Hey you, I’m Torera

Hey there! I am Torera, a home care and cleaning enthusiast with a mission to make cleaning as fun and easy as possible for women like you. As someone who had to learn everything from scratch, I have the mindset of a beginner and know exactly how to take you from A to Z. Let us ditch the overwhelm and create a space that is clean, cozy, and totally you!