Home cleaning services for moving

Hire a team to help out, or do it yourself and save some cash

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Where are you moving to?

gloved-hand cleaning a countertop by the sink

Moving can be stressful, but it can also be a great time for a fresh start. To give yourself this blank state, you will want to clean both your old and new residences.

If you live in a rental, cleaning it will maximize your chances of getting your entire security deposit back. And even if you lived in a property that you owned, you will still want to do a move-out clean to be courteous to the next owners who are moving in. If you don’t have the time but do have the money, you can hire a home cleaning service to help you out.


Key insights

While you can clean your home yourself upon moving out, hiring a cleaning service can be beneficial if you can afford it and don’t have the time or capability to clean on your own.

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There is a difference between a regular clean and a deep clean; the latter is more thorough and will cost more.

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Ask for referrals and read reviews to vet a service before hiring them to clean your home.

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Home cleaning service costs vary based on the size of your home, your location, the type of clean and any add-ons you may choose, as well as if you have pets or not.

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Do I need to hire a cleaning service?

Moving is stressful — especially because you don’t get to take a break from regular life while changing your residence. That means that on top of moving, you also have to continue working, taking care of yourself and your family if you have one, grocery shopping, cooking your meals and all the other day-to-day activities that are part of your life. Plus, moving isn’t just about packing and transporting your belongings. You also have to clean both your old and new homes.

“With all the packing, organizing and coordinating, there’s hardly any time and energy to clean,” said Rhonda Wilson, quality lead cleaner at FreshSpace Cleaning, a home cleaning company in multiple states. “Cleaning can be tough, especially if you have physical limitations like mobility issues or health conditions. By getting the pros to do it, you won’t have to worry about straining yourself.”

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Hiring a home cleaning service can be particularly beneficial if you live in a rental and want to get your security deposit back. Landlords expect their property to be in good condition when you move out, and getting professionals to clean for you can help you achieve that goal.

Cleaning can be tough, especially if you have physical limitations like mobility issues or health conditions. By getting the pros to do it, you won’t have to worry about straining yourself. ”
— Rhonda Wilson, FreshSpace Cleaning

Even if you do have the time to clean your old home, you still have your new home to think about. “When you’re moving into a new place, you want it to be fresh and clean, right? Well, cleaning services can take care of that, too,” Wilson explained.

However, if you don’t have the funds to hire a home cleaning service for moving, you can certainly do it yourself. Just make sure you’re able to set aside enough time and arm yourself with all the supplies you will need to properly get the job done.

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How to find a professional cleaning service

If you decide to hire a professional home cleaning service for moving, try the following methods to find one:

  • Ask for referrals: If you know someone who has a private housekeeper or cleaner, ask for their information. Private cleaning professionals are typically less expensive than hiring a service. Consider asking friends, family, neighbors and your social media followers for recommendations.
  • Search online: If you don’t know of anyone who can provide a personal reference, there are plenty of online sources where you can search for a professional home cleaning service. Some examples include Care.com, neighborhood groups, Thumbtack, Handy, Housekeeper.com and TaskRabbit.
  • Explore professional association directories: Look up professional cleaning associations in your area and refer to the association’s directory to find reputable cleaning services. For instance,  ISSA Residential is an association for residential cleaning companies and provides a “find a cleaner” directory.
  • Read local newspapers and classified ads: Plenty of businesses advertise in local newspapers and classified ads. See if you can find a home cleaning service in one of these resources.
  • Check community flyers and brochures: In places where locals tend to gather — like libraries, grocery stores, community centers and nearby businesses — see if there is a community bulletin board where people post flyers and leave brochures. There may be one from a cleaning service in your area. You will still need to vet it carefully by searching reviews online, reading them carefully and contacting references.
  • Ask a real estate agent: Real estate agents tend to schedule cleaning services for move-ins and move-outs and are therefore sometimes familiar with services, so if you know of an agent in your area or are working with someone for your own move, consider contacting them. Ask if they have a preferred cleaning service they would recommend for help with cleaning while moving.

If you want a deep clean

If you do decide to hire home cleaning services for moving, note that there is a difference between a regular clean and a deep clean. A regular clean involves routine maintenance and cleaning visible surfaces, while a deep clean is more thorough and detailed, getting into all the nooks, crannies, appliances, drawers and cabinets.

Of course, every professional cleaning service is different, so check with the provider on what exactly its “deep cleaning” service entails and the respective charges for each type of cleaning.

“Aside from situations like move-ins and -outs, it’s also best to avail this extra thorough cleaning when you’re preparing a property for sale or rent,” Wilson explained. “Some of our clients prefer this too because of allergies. If you have pets, you know how they can make a mess. Also, if you've had any construction or repairs done, there's bound to be dust, debris and residue left behind. A deep clean will make sure that your home is spotless.”

However, since a deep clean requires more time and effort, it will cost more. The good news is that some home cleaning services offer add-ons like window cleaning, carpet shampooing, refrigerator cleaning, washing dishes and more. If you decide to book a regular clean instead of a deep clean to save money, you can always add on other services to help get the job done for moving.

If you've had any construction or repairs done, there's bound to be dust, debris and residue left behind. A deep clean will make sure that your home is spotless ”
— Rhonda Wilson, FreshSpace Cleaning

How to vet a service

Before you hire a cleaning service, you will want to make sure that it is reputable. To do so, read any reviews written about the company online. If you know people who have used that cleaning service, ask them about their experience. You can also reach out to the company via phone or email to see if it can provide references.

In addition to reading reviews and collecting references, you also want to make sure that you and the cleaning service are on the same page. Write down a list of everything you want done during the cleaning and make sure that the cleaning service covers everything on your list. Doing so will help manage expectations, especially if you aren’t sure what is covered during a regular clean versus a deep clean.

Costs

When it comes to home cleaning service costs, some companies or individuals may bill using a flat or hourly rate. Billing specifics should be discussed prior to your cleaning.

The cost to clean (move-in or move-out) a one-bedroom, one-bathroom home that is under 999 square feet can start at $223, according to Wilson. This cleaning would include the basics of sweeping and mopping floors, dusting, vacuuming carpets, cleaning mirrors and even making beds and cleaning inside bedroom cabinets.

She added that the move-in or -out add-on includes everything included in a deep clean. In Jacksonville, a cleaning upon move-in or move-out for a two-bed, two-bath home that ranges from 1,000 to 1,499 square feet costs around $277. A larger home with six beds and six bathrooms in a 3,000- to 3,499-square-foot range starts around $573.

Multiple factors can impact the cost of a cleaning service. These can include:

  • A regular clean vs. a deep clean
  • Add-on services
  • Multiple floors
  • Multiple rooms or bathrooms
  • A complicated home layout
  • Flooring that requires extra attention, like carpets
  • An attic, basement or garage
  • Pets

The cost can also be impacted by the area in which you live. A move-in clean in Jacksonville starts at $225, but in Detroit, it’s $261, and in Topeka, it’s $203, Wilson said. “If you’re in a city versus a rural area, or even in different countries, the costs can vary because of things like how much it costs to run a business in that area and the local economy.”

DIY cleaning

If you decide to forgo hiring a cleaning service and clean your home yourself before moving out, make sure you follow a moving house cleaning checklist. Here are the key points to keep in mind:

  1. Get your cleaning supplies.
  2. Remove all personal property.
  3. Clean the floors.
  4. Clean light fixtures.
  5. Scrub showers, bathtubs, sinks and toilets.
  6. Clean the refrigerator, oven and dishwasher, inside and out.
  7. Clean the cabinets and cupboards out.
  8. Dust and wipe off all surfaces.
  9. Clean all appliances, inside and out.
  10. Clean all fixtures, including ceiling fans, light switches, outlets and mirrors.
  11. Remove nails.
  12. Patch holes.
  13. Touch up any paint and repaint if needed.
  14. Mop the floors.
  15. Vacuum.
  16. Clean doors and door frames.
  17. Clean baseboards.
  18. Remove dust, cobwebs and marks from ceilings and walls.
  19. Dust and clean the blinds and window sills.
  20. Clean the garbage disposal.
  21. Scrub the grout in your bathroom.
  22. Sweep and clean outdoor areas like balconies and patios.
  23. Clean out the attic, basement and garage.

Where are you moving to?

FAQ

Should you clean before moving?

Yes, you should clean your home before moving. This is especially the case if you live in a rental and have a security deposit you’d like back. Even if you don’t live in a rental, it is courteous to ensure that those who are moving into your home after you have a clean, fresh start.

What type of cleaning services involve extra charges?

Anything aside from a regular clean, such as a deep clean and add-ons, will involve extra charges. If you are asking a service to do tasks beyond what it normally does for a regular clean — such as shampooing carpets, cleaning inside the fridge or washing dishes — that will involve extra charges.

How long does it take to do a move-out clean?

The amount of time it takes to do a move-out clean depends on the size of the property you are cleaning and its current state of cleanliness. However, plan to spend at least several hours cleaning the property before moving out.

How clean does it really need to be?

If you are moving out of a rental, your lease should specify the condition the property needs to be in after you leave. Essentially, you will want to make sure that all of your belongings are gone; you sweep all floors and dust counters, mantels and windowsills; and there are no obvious messes. On the other hand, if you are moving out of a property that you own, it is courteous to make sure that it is move-in ready for the next owner.

Bottom line

If you don’t have the time or capability to clean yourself and can afford it, hiring a home cleaning service when you are moving can be a good idea. Ask around for recommendations or search online resources to find the right service for you. Then discuss pricing, the differences between a regular and a deep clean, available add-ons and your expectations with the service.

Decide what type of clean works best for you depending on the cost and your timeline. If, instead, you decide to clean the place yourself, make sure you have the proper supplies and give yourself enough time to clean your entire residence.


Article sources
ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
  1. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” Accessed Jan. 23, 2024.
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