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5 Most Missed Areas When Cleaning an Apartment for a Move

Are you moving out of your apartment or into a new one? Are you doing the cleaning yourself to get the apartment ready to be lived in by yourself or another tenant? Cleaning an apartment can be tough, especially if you’re cleaning by yourself. It’s very common to miss less noticeable areas during big cleans. In this article, we’re going to let you know about the most commonly missed areas during moving cleans so that you can get your apartment in tip-top shape before your move.

Why Areas Can Be Missed When Cleaning

Why do people miss things on big cleans like move-out/in cleans? On bigger cleans, there are more things to clean and therefore it’s more likely that you will overlook one or two of them. Also, during big comprehensive cleans, you often have to clean areas that you may not be used to cleaning on a regular basis – so it’s much easier to miss those things. But other than that, there are a few primary reasons people miss things on their bigger cleans.


First, moving drains your energy. Packing up all your belongings and getting everything ready for the move can be extremely tiring. This is especially true if you’re doing it all by yourself! By the time you’re finished, you may just want to collapse into bed and not think about cleaning for a while. However, there’s still cleaning to be done. And while the move makes you tired, the clean may make you want to collapse. When you’re tired and cleaning, you’re more likely to miss areas.


Next, the stress of moving can cause people to overlook things that they wouldn’t normally forget. This is because your mind is focused on other things and you’re not paying as much attention to your surroundings.


Finally, it’s easy to get frustrated when you’re already tired and you have to make it tough, detailed clean. Sometimes you just want it to be over. And when you get that feeling, you may start overlooking or just decide you don’t want to clean an area anymore. And, if you’re up against a tight deadline for your clean and it’s coming close, you’re more likely to skip things out of frustration.


Why Do a Thorough Clean for Your Move-Out/In?

When you’re moving in or out of an apartment, it’s important to do a thorough clean. This way, you won’t miss any important areas and you’ll be able to avoid losing your damage deposit. Besides, who wants to live in someone else’s grime?


The 5 Most Commonly Missed Areas of an Apartment During a Move-out/in Clean

1. Inside of the Dishwasher

This is an easy area to miss area. Most people always do inside their fridge or oven but most often forget about cleaning the inside of their dishwasher. However, many people aren’t even aware that the inside of a dishwasher can and should be cleaned, especially the filter.

2. Behind all of the Major Appliances

Oh the horrors that lay behind and underneath the common refrigerator. The thing of nightmares really. That’s why it’s very important to check these areas during your cleaning because most people rarely clean under their appliances. Over time, these areas tend to collect a lot of dirt, dust and food.

3. Light Fixtures & Light Switches

The light switches and fixtures in your home are also easy to miss. Light switches and fixtures are items most people don’t normally don’t think to clean regularly. And, during a move-out or move-in clean, they are easy to miss. But light switches can collect lots of dirt and finger marks over time and light fixtures capture lots of dust.

4. Doors & Door Handles

Like light switches, doors and door handles are often overlooked for the same reasons and attract dirt and fingerprints for similar reasons.

5. Air Vents

Air vents are easily missed when cleaning because they are usually tucked away overhead or in the corner of a room. They can sometimes be hard to reach. But they too can collect plenty of dust.

BONUS: Behind the Toilet

Most people clean their toilet bowls and tank but overlook cleaning behind the toilet itself. Usually, this is because it’s hard to reach or maneuver behind the bowl and tank. It’s also another one of those items that are just a little bit too out of site so they get overlooked easily.

How You Can Avoid Missing Areas During Your Move-Out/In Clean

Here are a few tips to ensure that you don’t miss a spot when cleaning for a move-out or move-in:

Make a plan. Before you start cleaning, take a walk through your apartment and make a note of all the areas that need to be cleaned. Have an idea of what areas you’ll target first and how you’ll get the cleaning done. This will help you stay organized and make sure that you don’t forget anything.

Get some help. Moving is already a lot of work, so don’t try to do it all yourself. Ask your friends or family to lend a hand with the cleaning. This way, you can get it done more quickly and efficiently.

Give yourself enough time. Don’t wait until the last minute to start cleaning – this will only add to your stress levels. If possible, start cleaning a few days in advance so that you’re not rushed.

Follow a checklist. Related to your plan, come up with a cleaning checklist for yourself so that you have a guide to follow on cleaning day. We’ve provided you with a checklist below in case you don’t have one!

If you’re moving and you want some more tips on cleaning your apartment, check out the Redfin Blog, which offers several cleaning tips for moving out or into a new apartment.

A Cleaning Checklist to Help you With Your Cleaning Plan

Do you need help finding a checklist for your move-out or move-in clean? You can use the image checklist or text-based checklist below, if you’d like. They will work well for most apartments and condos.

Apartment Move-Out Cleaning Checklist

A move-out and move-in cleaning checklist for an apartment or condo




























Text-Based Move-out/in Checklist

Getting Started:

– Review the inspection checklist that the landlord or homeowner gave you before moving out/in
– Review our checklist to see if it fits your needs and add or customize tasks

Entire Home:

– Light switch plates cleaned & sanitized
– Ceiling & floor vents cleaned
– Blinds dusted and wiped down
– Baseboards wiped down
– Door and door knobs cleaned & disinfected
– Clean interior/exterior cabinets & drawers
– Light fixtures cleaned
– Any cobwebs on the ceiling and in corners removed
– Dust & wet wipe baseboards
– Remove any trash from home
– Clean interior window sills & tracks
– Vacuum/mop floors
– Clean & sanitize any hand railings


– Clean interior/exterior cabinets and drawers
– Tile walls and bathtubs cleaned & disinfected
– Shower and shower doors cleaned & disinfected
– Sink and counters cleaned and disinfected
– Floors cleaned and disinfected
– Toilets cleaned and disinfected
– Chrome fixtures cleaned and shined
– Clean interior windows, sills and tracks
– Thorough dusting


– Interior/exterior of refrigerator cleaned and disinfected
– Outside of range hood cleaned
– Top and front of range cleaned
– Interior/exterior of oven cleaned
– Sinks cleaned and disinfected
– Chrome fixtures cleaned and shined
– Countertops cleaned and disinfected
– Interior/exterior of cabinets and drawers cleaned
– Interior/exterior of microwave cleaned and disinfected
– Interior/exterior of dishwasher cleaned
– Thorough dusting
– Clean behind and underneath all movable appliances

Optional Throughout the Home:

– Wet Wipe Blinds
– Clean Walls
– Clean Window Panes
– Sweep Balcony


It’s important to be aware of the most commonly missed areas when cleaning an apartment for a move-out/in. This way, you can ensure that you don’t miss anything and that your place is clean before you move out or move in.


A white png con image of a broom and mop bucket.

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