Cleaning tops money-saving checklist for moving out

by Tom Simplot

May 24, 2015

It’s the end of the semester, summer is starting and the moving trucks seem to be in the parking areas of every apartment community.

There are many ways to make your move easy and less expensive with a little bit of planning and elbow grease. When you signed your lease, you likely put down a security deposit and maybe a pet or cleaning deposit that is refundable at the end of your lease. Although it can be tough to get all of that deposit back, you can make an effort and get some of those dollars back when you need them as you set up your next home.

If you leave your apartment a mess, where damage exceeds the deposit, you could incur additional fees. Take a few minutes to review your lease and check what the expectation is for how you move out and what charges could be assessed.

There’s certainly an expectation about normal wear and tear in a community so don’t think you have to bring everything back to its original state. I recommend taking photos of damage so you can track what you are charged for at the end of the lease.

Make a checklist of what needs to be cleaned. Don’t just move room to room and clean. You’ll miss some areas, and there’s a sense of accomplishment that checking items off the list will give you.

Consider hiring a professional cleaner. Your apartment-management company will likely charge you for this additional cleaning and you may save some money by doing the work yourself or hiring a professional team. The cleaning checklist will help the professionals hit the most important areas.

Make simple repairs before you leave. If there are holes in the walls, patch them. Don’t try to fix the leaking plumbing, though; leave that for a professional or the manager to repair. Be sure to let them know about anything that needs fixed.