What to clean when moving into a new apartment

Although I’m no expert, I have come up with an efficient list on what to clean when moving into a new apartment. In the past 10 years, I’ve moved 6 times. I’ve learned something new during each move which has made me compile this list of tips that will help you clean efficiently.

When you move out to a new apartment, you should clean the following in this order:

  1. Restroom
  2. Kitchen
  3. Bedroom(s)
  4. Living Room
  5. All floors

Within each room you will find specific appliances and surfaces that will require custom cleaning. I will dive into more detail below on what should be cleaned and in what order.

I’d also like to mention, all of this should be completed before you start moving your stuff in!

Here is a list of items you will need:

  • A hand/surface brush
  • Toilet brush
  • Ajax (or anything similar)
  • Gloves
  • Liquid surface cleaner/spray bottle
  • Rags or a Roll of paper towels
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Vacuum (if needed) and mop (Swiffer)

First Clean the Restroom when moving into a new apartment

What to clean when moving into a new apartment

Without any hesitation the restroom should be cleaned before you move in. But you should clean it first above all any other rooms.

Why is this? – Simple, because you will use the restroom when you start moving in. There is no question that you will want to use a clean restroom after you are pulling and pushing your stuff into your apartment. It’s part of everyday life and you want to have the restroom available for your quick breaks.

Start off with cleaning the Toilet. Make sure you have a brush and liquid cleaner of your choice. I personally use AJAX and it works great. You will want to use a clean toilet if you must use it.

Secondly, I clean the vanity surface and faucets. You will realize how dirty your hands get when you start moving boxes and furniture that just love to collect dust from a truck bed. Simply put, you want the sink to be clean when you need it.

Finally, I would clean the tub. I use a brush with AJAX to scrape the tub. I then go over the faucets with disinfectant wipes. Then I will finish the tub by cleaning the tiles with a brush and spray. If your tub has door panels, then I would clean them last.

My final step for the restroom is to disinfect all touch points (Door handles, Sink faucets, and Toilet flusher, light switch) with disinfectant wipes.

Second, clean the kitchen wen moving into a new apartment

Like the restroom, you will have to clean all the appliances (if any) including the sink, faucets, surface in this order.

The first thing you should clean are the appliances that are in the apartment. I’d start off with the Fridge first. Clean it with the solution of your choice. I’d recommend a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then brush everything. Remove all rails and plastic covers to get a better clean. I end this with using disinfectant wipes to clean all surfaces in both the fridge and freezer. I would then move to the Stove/Oven. The oven will require the same process as the fridge. The only thing I wouldn’t do is use the disinfectant wipes in the oven.

You will then move on to the cabinets and surfaces. A simple surface cleaner can be used here to get everything clean before you put your stuff inside.

Then I’d move on to all touch points (like the restroom) by using disinfectant wipes.

Thirdly clean the bedroom before you move in

What to clean when moving into a new apartment

This room is usually the easiest of them all.

You will want to go inside the closet and clean all surfaces that you will put stuff on. Some closets don’t have surface space, so you can skip this if you find yourself in this situation.

The walls should already be clean as most units are painted before a tenant move in. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about it. I would then clean the light switch with a disinfectant wipe.

If you have a ceiling fan, make sure to dust it.

Fourth, clean the living room before moving in.

The final room you will clean is the living room. The reason why this is last is because I work myself from the end of the apartment to the front. I am aware that some studios and one bedrooms have restrooms just off the entrance door, but the order should still remain the same.

Like the bedroom, you will start off by cleaning all surfaces found in this area. For example, if there is a mantel or fireplace, you should dust it and clean it off with any surface cleaner. If you have a ceiling fan, make sure to dust it now.

Lastly, disinfect all touch points in the room.

Clean the floor last

There is a specific reason why I leave this last. Everything we do will get the floor dirty, so it makes sense to leave this as the last item on the list when cleaning.

If you have laminate or hardwood floors, use a Swiffer. I personally use a dry Swiffer cloth first, then go over it again with a Swiffer wet cloth. You should do this for both the restroom and kitchen floors.

Then I would vacuum any areas with a rug. If your apartment doesn’t have a rug, you can skip this step all together.

If you got to this point, congratulations! You’ve successfully cleaned everything when moving into a new apartment!

Additional thoughts

Should you use a cleaning service? – Yes! If you can afford to get it professionally cleaned, I would strongly recommend it. Although, I’ve never gone this route because I am anal when it comes to cleaning everything.

Get help from family or friends! – I would suggest asking someone you trust with helping you clean to make this process much easier. I’ve been fortunate enough to have my sister help me twice. All for the cost of a glass of wine at the end of the day!