Why Move-Out Cleaners Are Worth the Cost

Why Move-Out Cleaners Are Worth the Cost

For renters, the worst part of moving day is deciding which matters more: Our full security deposit or our sanity. Hiring move-out cleaners is a simple way to have it all, and is definitely worth the money if you can afford it. And if you’re wondering if you can, it may be more accessible than you’d think.

If you’re used to a fully DIY moving experience, hiring cleaners may seem like an unattainable luxury. It’s not — not necessarily. Most cleaners bill by the hour, which correlates strongly with square footage — in other words, the smaller your apartment, the more bang for your buck. To give you an idea, soup-to-nuts move-out cleaning for a 1100-square foot, 2-bedroom apartment in Portland, Oregon cost me and my boyfriend $450 in 2017. That’s a decent chunk of change, but it was worth every penny. We skipped the last-minute cleaning frenzy entirely and got 90% of our security deposit back because — as our landlord was shocked to report — there was nothing to clean.

And that, my friends, is the real reason to hire cleaners. Tenants are responsible for basic move-out cleaning, but the precise definition of “basic” is up to your landlord, giving them free rein to spend your deposit on any services they deem necessary. Hiring your own cleaners gives you control over the services rendered, and therefore the final bill, and you’ll probably end up paying less than what your landlord would charge.

If you hate the idea of paying someone to do something you could do yourself, consider this: Professional cleaners are better at it than you. They have the tools, chemicals, and know-how required to clean literally anything, from burnt-on stove residue to gnarly grout buildup to mysterious odours and stains. And, being professionals and all, their idea of “basic cleaning” will far exceed your landlord’s expectations — giving you a bigger refund of your security deposit.

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As with any professional service, do your research: Solicit recommendations, read reviews carefully, and get quotes from a couple different companies at least two months before moving day.

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