Moving is hard work. You have to pack everything up, move it into a truck, then move the boxes into your new home, then unpack the boxes... oh and once your energy is all spent you still have to go back to your old home and clean it - like REALLY clean it.
You may have decided not to hire a professional cleaning service to save money, but it's really not that expensive. When you consider all the time and energy you'll save as well as the expertise you'll hire, it's well worth it.
What Is Move Out Cleaning?
Move out cleaning, also referred to as vacancy cleaning or end of lease cleaning, is best described as a detailed cleaning of a property to get it move-in ready for the next tenant. The goal is to get the place clean enough to pass inspection by the owner so that you get your security deposit back.
Move out cleaning is much more in-depth than most people expect. We've seen some landlords ask their tenants to take apart the drip pans of the refrigerator and clean them or move the stove to clean under and behind it. Each property will have their own move out cleaning checklists and they will vary slightly from one property to the next. But most will ask you to clean pretty much everything you can reach.
Our Top 5 Reasons To Hire A Professional Move Out Cleaning Service
1 - Someone Else Does The Work
This has to be the best reason to hire a professional cleaning service to clean your home after moving out. Someone else does all the scrubbing, bending, and mopping for you. Someone else gets to deal with all that gross mess that built up under the furniture that you haven't moved in 2 years. It saves you the headache of having to do it yourself.
2 - Get Your Security Deposit Back
Hiring a professional move out cleaning service is going to be your best chance at getting your security deposit back. These professionals have done it before. They are trained to do it right. And, best of all, they aren't already tired from moving furniture all day. Hiring a cleaning service that understands what landlords look for and can easily and quickly clean all those hard to reach areas of your home is money well spent.
3 - Make Your Landlord Happy
Landlords love it when you hire a cleaning service to take care of their property. Cleaning companies are not only insured, they also go through every home in detail to get it ready for the next tenant. This means they can rent out the place faster.
Many landlords also have a cleaning checklist - these can get pretty exhausting. But a professional cleaning service will be able to handle every part of that cleaning list and that makes for a happy landlord. Which in turn means you'll have a much better chance of getting your security deposit back - cha ching!
4 - Professionals Have The Right Tools
One of the most frustrating parts of move out cleaning is trying to figure out the right tool or cleaning product to handle the job. The bathtub and oven are often the parts of the home that stump people the most. Professional cleaning teams already know exactly what to use. They understand the science behind the dirt. They can identify the type of grease, oil, soap scum, etc and know exactly what type of acid or alkaline to use. This saves time, energy, money, frustration... you get the idea.
5 - Focus On Your New Home
Ah... my favorite part. Hiring a professional cleaning service for your next move lets you focus on putting together your new home. It's exciting to setup a new space just the way you like it. What's even better is knowing that you don't have to finish anything else at your old place. You can just put that in the back of your mind and enjoy your new home.
How Long Does Move Out Cleaning Take?
The total amount of time for move out cleaning depends not only on the size of the home but how dirty the home is. We've walked into small homes that took as much time as large homes because the tenants just didn't take good care of the place. Sometimes it's less about how well-kept the home was and more about how old the home is.
Older homes have a tendency to take longer to clean because the finish has worn off in many places. This means any oils, dust, or other grime soak into the material surface and are more stubborn about coming off. Newer homes have surfaces that are still protected by a nice finish that makes it easier to dissolve the bond that holds stains to that surface. Also, newer technology in paint, counter tops, flooring and other building materials make clean up much easier.
In general though, you can expect your move out cleaners to take about this much time per room of a house. These times are based on the amount of time it would take one person to clean each room in a 2 bed, 2 bed 1000 sq ft home in Oakland, CA.
Bedrooms - 45 min
Bathrooms - 2 hours
Kitchen - 3 hours (includes cabinets, oven, and fridge)
Living/Dining Rooms - 45 min
Laundry/Mud Rooms - 45 min
Staircases - 20 min
Garage - 45 min
Each window - 20 min (includes blinds, tracking, frame, and glass)
Now there are all sorts of little things that will add time as well. For example, ceiling fans, fire places, paneling on walls that need to be cleaned individually, etc.
How Much Does A Move Out Cleaning Cost?
The cost for a move out cleaning will vary from company to company. But in general, for a high quality service in California, you're looking at paying $75-$150 per hour for a team of at least 2 cleaners to work on your home. If you look at the times above, you can see that the cost of a move out cleaning for a typical 2 bed, 2 bath home could cost anywhere from $400-$600.
What Can I Do To Save Money On A Move Out Cleaning Service? There are a few things you can do to save some money, provided you're willing to roll up your sleeves and do some of the dirty work yourself. We recommend cleaning some of the easier areas on your own or doing some of the easier tasks. Then hiring a professional to come in and do the hard stuff. You can easily do things like dusting, sweeping, taking out trash, and even cleaning out the inside of the fridge on your own - trust us, cleaning the inside of the fridge is much easier than you'd expect and will save you $30-50 off your cleaning bill.
If you've taken good care of your home and it's not too dirty, you could benefit from hitting a service that charge per hour versus a flat fee. Just make sure you don't underestimate the amount of time needed to do the job right. No one likes getting an unexpectedly high bill at the end of a job.
Before hiring a professional move out cleaning service, check with your landlord. They may include this service in your lease agreement or they may have a specific company they want to use. It's also possible that they are able to get you a discount because of a partnership with a move out cleaning company.
What's The Different Between Deep Cleaning And Move Out Cleaning?
Deep cleaning is usually done when someone still lives in the home and move out cleaning is done once the home is empty. Deep cleaning is a pretty vague term so it can be expanded to include all the same cleaning tasks as move out cleaning. For example, during a move out cleaning, your cleaners will wipe out the insides of your cabinets and drawers. It's tough to do this during a deep cleaning because someone still lives in the house and those cabinets and drawers are probably full of items. But, if those areas were to be emptied, they could be cleaned and then you could say that it's part of a deep cleaning service. It's less common for a deep cleaning service to include this because it's very time consuming and increases the risk of a cleaner damaging an item as they move it or injuring themselves on a sharp object hidden under the mess in the drawer. Move out cleanings will always include this service since the cabinets will be empty and landlords want these areas cleaned.
What Does A Move Out Cleaning Include?
Below is a general list of cleaning tasks that are included with most move out cleaning services. We recommend asking your landlord for their cleaning checklist. Send this checklist to the cleaning service you want to hire so that they understand what is needed. This is the best way to ensure you're finding the right service for your property.
Bedrooms & Common Areas
Doors and door frames dusted and spot cleaned
Ceiling fans dusted
Window tracks vacuumed out, blinds dusted (except mini-blinds)
Built-in shelves & other wall fixtures dusted