• Elisabeth Bachmann

5 Tips for Cleaning Your Apartment for Your Move Out

Updated: Jun 25

These last couple of months have been hectic. And by hectic, I am mostly referring to COVID-19, and the havoc it has wreaked on all of our lives. In fact, my partner and I left our apartment to go live at a vacation house so we wouldn’t be surrounded by so many people. You see, our apartment was in the middle of downtown Grand Rapids, MI, and no one really seemed to care about the rules that were intended to slow the spread of COVID-19.


We spent the majority of the two months leading to our move out in an entirely different part of the state, and we did not prepare or clean before leaving. This led to a bit of a rushed feeling when we were trying to pack everything up and move to our new house.


This blog was not inspired by doing anything right, but rather, by making a lot of mistakes and seeing how it could have been done differently. For starters, if you are vacating your apartment, don’t abandon your residence without packing or cleaning two months before and come back with a week to spare.


Outside of that unique circumstance, here are five tips for cleaning out your apartment to get ready to move.

Pack according to the rooms you will have once you move.

For instance, our apartment was a one-bedroom apartment, which meant that the main room included two “offices,” an art studio, a dining room, a living room, and a kitchen. When moving into a house, that is an incredibly inefficient way to pack as we now have separate rooms for each of these.


Pack the small stuff before packing the big stuff.

If you remove your big stuff before small things, you will end up with a bunch of little, unorganized things all over your floor. This is dangerous — you can and will step on sharp, pointy objects — but it is challenging to keep piles on the floor organized.

Magic erasers are magic.

These things will clean literally any hard surface. I cleaned the stove, refrigerator, shower, sink, countertops, doors, washing machine, and walls using one pack of magic eraser sheets and half a pack of heavy-duty magic erasers. Seriously, they are worth the money and will save so much time.


Stock up on cleaning supplies before you start.

The worst feeling when you are in the cleaning stage of moving out of an apartment is having to run to the grocery store when you are on a roll because you ran out of Windex, Lysol, paper towels, or something else. It slows you down, and for me, it disrupts my focus. If you do a good job (possibly because your security deposit was over $700), you will need more than you think you do. I personally used an entire bottle of Lysol’s bathroom cleaner. Also, if you are cleaning bathrooms or refrigerators, you are going to want gloves. The fridge was the worst part of the cleaning process — it is astounding how much can leak and stick in a refrigerator when you live somewhere for only a year.

Give yourself time.

As is probably evident from my editorializing, this was a rush job. If we had more time, we would have thought things through more. If you give yourself time by packing the nonessential items early, start deep cleaning ahead of time so you just have to wipe stuff down when you are actually leaving, and plan how you pack, the move will be a lot less painful.


As we did not follow most of this advice, I am currently unpacking our new home. Maybe I will write a blog post about what I learn.


What tips do you have for moving out of an apartment or moving into a home? Comment below!


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