Upon moving into an apartment, most landlords require tenants to pay a security deposit to motivate them to take good care of the space while they’re living in it. Naturally, the goal is to get that security deposit back at the end of your lease, and there are several important steps to making sure that happens. As you plan your apartment move, here are some steps you can take to get your full deposit back:

1. Revisit walkthrough photos from moving in to see what condition you’re aiming to recreate.

Before settling into any new place, make sure to walk through with your landlord and take photographs of every room. Even better, take a video of the walkthrough with your landlord if possible so that nothing is left open to interpretation or debate.

Take special note of any details that already look off when you’re moving in. This way, there’s little risk of the landlord charging you for damage, stains, or other messes that you didn’t cause. Once you’ve taken all the appropriate photos or videos and made any necessary notes, send this report to your landlord so that you both have it handy for later. During the time you spend living in the apartment, make sure to live by the rules to avoid damaging anything. If you damage something, report it to the landlord and fix it.

2. De-clutter by packing anything you’re taking and disposing of whatever you aren’t keeping.

This should go without saying, but absolutely do not leave any junk behind for your landlord to handle. Once all your items are packed, it’s important to make sure that you’ve removed, donated, or trashed anything that isn’t stowed away in your boxes for future use.

The apartment you’re leaving behind should be in the exact same state as it was when you moved in, or better. That means no discarded boxes in the closets, no junk left in the hallways or on the porch, and no full trash cans or bags left behind.

3. Clean from top to bottom, and from low-traffic to high-traffic areas.

When getting ready to move out of an apartment, many people feel overwhelmed or exhausted after packing up all their belongings and begin deep cleaning in a haphazard fashion. This can waste valuable time and energy, leaving less of both for an observant final sweep.

Avoid this by beginning in the rooms you’re least likely to need to revisit and working your way from top to bottom. Clean ceiling fans and light fixtures first, and then start dusting cobwebs out of the corners. Don’t forget to dust off the curtain rods, dust the tops of window sills and door frames, and wipe off any stains or grime that might have accumulated there. Clean the most commonly-used appliances or fixtures last.

After you’ve cleaned all the high and hard-to-reach places, make your way down to the walls. Pay special attention to any grimy areas near light switches, door handles, or thermostats, and wipe these off wherever needed. Before finally cleaning the floors, clean out cabinets and storage spaces. Scrub the shower, toilet, and sinks, and dust all the hidden crevices behind fixtures and appliances that you can reach.

To ensure your apartment is spotless when moving out so that you can get your security deposit back, there are several key points to remember. Make sure to take walkthrough videos or photos before settling in, and revisit these when it’s time to clean up before moving out. Be careful to avoid breaking anything during your stay and fix up the aftermath of any accidents. Remove or throw away any items you aren’t keeping that you brought when you moved in. Lastly, clean efficiently to keep your work in peak condition and avoid burning out before giving a last once-over. Follow these steps, and you’ll be sure to leave your apartment in spotless condition!

While we can’t do the cleaning for you, we are happy to offer our dependable apartment moving services to make your move go smoothly. We’ve had years of experience moving San Diego residents, so we are well-equipped to handle your apartment move! For a free moving quote, be sure to call our team today.

Find out how much your move costs!