A Clean Slate

You’ve just signed a new apartment. Congratulations, that’s great news.

No matter what you did to your old apartment, your new place is a chance to start fresh and get it right.

But depending on the apartment itself, it may have had someone living in it until recently. And as much as building management companies like to encourage departing tenants to clean the apartment before leaving, the place may not be as neat and tidy as you’d like.

And if someone else hasn’t been living in the apartment recently, that could be even worse. Maybe everything will be covered with a light layer of dust. Maybe local bugs have taken over the drawers in the kitchen.

No matter what kind of condition your new apartment is in, we’ve made a guide for how to clean an apartment before moving in and starting to sleep there permanently.

Take Pictures First

A common practice nowadays is to take a few dozen pictures of a new apartment the very first time you step inside.

This way, if there’s any permanent damage in the apartment, you’ll be able to prove that it was already present on the day you moved in and won’t have to pay for something you had nothing to do with.

Additionally, you can send these initial pictures to friends or family members to ask for input on how you should arrange your furniture and what changes you should make to the apartment.

If there is serious damage in the apartment or mess that makes it unlivable, contact your building manager immediately and explain that the condition of the apartment doesn’t meet the stipulations of your lease agreement.

When it comes to smaller messes or marks, you can handle those on your own.

Purchase Cleaning Supplies

Before you get started, run over to a local convenience or grocery store and pick up several cleaning supplies.cleaning apartment

You’ll want to get an all-purpose cleaner, sponges, a scrub brush, bleach, and dishwashing soap. If you don’t already have some rags you can get dirty, buy some microfiber towels that can be used on anything from dishes to your bathtub to your car.

It’s also a good idea to purchase a bucket that you can use for many different cleaning projects.

Scrub Walls

On second glance, you may notice that the walls in your new apartment have a few small scratches or smudges on them.

There are many different ways to clean walls, many of which depend on the type of paint that was used on the walls.

But when it comes to small imperfections, all you should need to set them right is a clean cloth and a mild all-purpose cleaner.

You can even dilute the cleaning product with some water to make sure that your scrubbing won’t strip the paint away along with the stains.

Dip the cloth in the cleaning solution and gently rub the cloth over the stains. They should come away fairly soon, leaving your walls looking better for each day of your new life in your new apartment.How to Clean Apartment Before Moving In

If you need some additional tips, check out this article on the subject.

Clean and Polish Floors

While your apartment is still new and empty, it’s a great chance to clean your floors thoroughly. In the future, the floor will be cluttered with furniture and various possessions.

Take this opportunity to get your floors squeaky clean before filling the place up with precious stuff.

If the floors are hardwood or tile, you can get started by mixing some warm tap water with dishwashing soap. Use a mop or a sponge to scrub the floors clean.

In the case of wood floors, also make sure to dry the wood with a clean cloth instead of letting them air dry, which can leave water marks.

Wood floors can also be polished to an impressive shine by using a poly gloss polishing material that can be purchased at any hardware store or from many online retailers.

If your new apartment has carpets, consider renting a cleaner from the local grocery store. Even if you can’t rent such a machine, vacuum each room as well as you can before bringing in your boxes.

Wash Windows

Washing your windows well during your first week in a new apartment can make the whole place look much nicer, as well as optimizing the natural light that flows into the apartment.How to Clean Apartment Before Moving In

If the apartment is on the ground floor of the building, try to wash the outsides of the windows as well as the insides.

We encourage you to purchase an inexpensive squeegee to help cut down on streaks from the window cleaning solution.

Clean Appliances

If your new apartment comes with a full kitchen, that means you’ll have several large appliances to take care of during your stay.

And that responsibility starts with cleaning these appliances out before you actually start to use them.

Refrigerators should be unplugged and wiped down before loading it up with any groceries or beverages.

Ovens and stovetops, in particular, can be very challenging to clean. Check to see if your oven has a self-cleaning function.How to Clean Apartment Before Moving In

Use your scrub brush to get the stovetop looking as clean as possible, and make sure to repeat this cleaning procedure about once a month once you’ve started using the kitchen regularly.

Consider a Professional Cleaning Service

You’re likely to be very busy when first moving into a new apartment. And as such, don’t be afraid to seek out nearby professional cleaning services.

They’ll probably be able to clean your new apartment in very little time since there’s so little to get in the way.

This can free you up to handle the many other things you’ll need to take care of when moving.


A new apartment is a new opportunity to organize your life. Take time and care to arrange your furniture and feel free to experiment with different arrangements.

Purchase a few posters to frame and hang on your walls for some added color and culture.

When starting with a squeaky clean apartment, you’ll be more encouraged to keep it clean as you go about living your life.


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