Moving in and out of your San Francisco apartment can be a stressful experience. You need to pack up all your belongings, get them transported to your new place, and make sure your old apartment is clean and in good condition for the next tenant, all at the same time! That’s why having a move-out cleaning checklist is crucial.

One of the biggest hurdles when moving into a new place is simply getting everything clean before you unpack. In a city like San Francisco, you may also have to deal with the effects of pollution and general wear and tear on the apartment between tenants.

One helpful tip when moving into a new apartment is to make a move-in and move-out cleaning plan before you even start packing. Decide which rooms you’ll tackle first, and which cleaning supplies you’ll need. It’s also a good idea to do some research on eco-friendly cleaning options, especially in a city that values sustainability.

Another challenge when cleaning a new apartment is dealing with any pests that may have taken up residence before you arrived. San Francisco’s mild climate can sometimes attract unwanted visitors like ants or cockroaches, so it’s important to check for any signs of infestation and take care of it as soon as possible.

All in all, a move-in / move-out cleaning can be a lot of work, but with some planning and preparation, it can become a simpler process. And once you’ve gotten everything cleaned and organized, you’ll be able to settle into your new San Francisco home with ease.

General Move-OUT Checklist for San Francisco Renters

Following this checklist will help you make sure you don’t miss anything and leave your apartment spotless:

  1. Begin by notifying your landlord or property manager at least 30 days in advance to give them adequate time to prepare for your move-out.
  2. Schedule a move-out inspection with your landlord or property manager to avoid getting charged for any damages that you didn’t cause.
  3. Make sure to clean your home thoroughly. Check our cleaning checklist below, we have made it available for download!
  4. Check all the rooms and closets to make sure you haven’t left any of your personal belongings behind.
  5. Disassemble and pack any furniture, appliances, or electronics that you are taking with you.
  6. Cancel or transfer all of your utilities (electricity, gas, water, cable/internet, etc.) to ensure that you’re not responsible for any bills after moving out.
  7. File a change of address with your post office to ensure all of your mail is forwarded.
  8. Make sure to turn in your keys on time to avoid any potential fees or fines.
  9. If you have any loose ends or pending repairs that need to be made, get them taken care of before moving out.
  10. Finally, confirm with your landlord or property manager the expected date of receiving your security deposit back.

General Move-IN Checklist for San Francisco renters

  1. Change your address with the postal service and update your mailing address with any relevant organizations (such as banks, credit card companies, etc.)
  2. Set up your utilities (electricity, gas, water, internet, cable) and make sure they are scheduled to be activated on your move-in date.
  3. Determine what furniture and appliances you need to buy or bring with you, and create a list of what you have and will need.
  4. Take measurements of the rooms in your new home so you can plan where to put your furniture.
  5. Arrange for professional cleaning before you move in, or plan to do a deep clean yourself before you start unpacking.
  6. Purchase and gather any supplies you’ll need for moving in such as boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and labels.
  7. Make arrangements with friends, family, or professional movers to help you move your belongings.
  8. Secure a spot for your vehicle(s) if you don’t have designated parking and need to arrange for alternative options.
  9. Consider setting up a security system, if desired, to ensure your home is as safe as possible.
  10. Familiarize yourself with the neighborhood and nearby resources such as shops, supermarkets, etc.

Move-In/ Move-Out Cleaning Check-List


The kitchen is one of the most critical areas you need to clean before you move out. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Empty the refrigerator and freezer of all food items. Clean the fridge and freezer with a mixture of water and vinegar to get rid of any odors.
  • Clean the oven, stove, and microwave with a degreaser to remove any food stains and grease.
  • Wipe down all surfaces in the kitchen, including countertops, cabinets, and drawers. Use a disinfectant cleaner to kill any bacteria.
  • Clean the sink, including the faucet and drain. Use a scrub brush to get rid of any grime or dirt buildup.


The bathroom is another critical area that you need to clean before you move out. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Clean the shower or bathtub. Use a mixture of baking soda, water, and vinegar to get rid of any soap scum or grime buildup.
  • Clean the toilet, including the bowl, tank, and seat. Use a toilet bowl cleaner to get rid of any stains or residue buildup.
  • Wipe down all surfaces in the bathroom, including the sink, countertop, and cabinets. Use a disinfectant cleaner to kill any bacteria.
  • Clean the mirrors and windows in the bathroom. Use a glass cleaner to get rid of any streaks or water spots.

Living Room and Bedrooms

The living room and bedrooms are the areas where you spend most of your time, so they need to be cleaned thoroughly before you leave. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Dust all surfaces, including shelves, bookcases, and picture frames. Use a microfiber cloth to capture any dust particles.
  • Clean the floors. Vacuum the carpets or rugs and sweep the hardwood or tile floors. Use a steam mop to deep clean the floors if necessary.
  • Clean the windows and blinds. Use a glass cleaner to wipe down the windows and a cloth to wipe down the blinds.
  • Clean the walls and baseboards. Use mild dish soap and water to clean any scuff marks or dirt buildup.


The entryway is the first area people see when they enter your apartment, so it needs to be cleaned thoroughly. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Sweep or vacuum the floors. Use a dustpan to pick up any dirt or debris.
  • Wipe down any surfaces, including the front door, doorknob, and light switch.
  • Clean the walls. Wipe down any scuff marks or dirt buildup using mild dish soap and water.
  • Take out the trash. Make sure to dispose of any garbage or recycling before you leave.

Hire Sparkling Clean Pro Move-in/Move-out Cleaning Services!

If you’re short on time or don’t want to deal with the hassle of cleaning your apartment, leave it up to us to take care of it for you! We will ensure that your apartment is cleaned thoroughly and in good condition for the next tenant.