Moving Out with Pets? Tips for Cleaning Your Pet-Friendly Apartment Before Move Out Day

Skylar Dial
Written by
Last update:

Get an Independent Observer

No matter how hard you try, you may miss a few spots after you’ve been cleaning. The best way to curb this possibility is to have someone that isn’t involved in the cleaning process come back and do a second and even a third inspection.

If your landlord provides you with a checklist for moves in, have the same person fill one out for the move out cleaning as well. This way you know you’ve covered everything and there are no surprises when the landlord arrives on move out day.

Start at the Top

If you're like most people, your car probably isn't the dirtiest thing in your apartment. If this is the case, it's best to start working your way down from the top – especially if those windows are really dirty. You'll want to make sure they're clean and streak free before you wash your car or even touch the surface of your car wash bucket.

In the same manner, once you get through cleaning your windows, you'll need to clean your door and then care for the rest of your apartment, with the dirtiest areas getting cleaned first.

But Wait

There is a Silver Lining: An Exception to 3 Day Minimum Stay

Pets make our lives better, so why would we want them to be left behind when we move to another apartment? The good news is that more and more apartment communities are warming up to the idea of apartment pet ownership. However, even when pets are welcome, they must be “visibly controlled”.

At the end of the day, the burden is on the pet owner to find a place for their furry friends. I have moved out of several pet friendly apartments (actually in many other cities) and learned a few lessons along the way.

To move out with a dog, we had a couple of options. A friend or family member could take the dog. We could try to board the dog. Or we could try to find a pet sitter. We ended up choosing the latter, so our dog could stay with a pet sitter while we moved out. We had a few good pet sitters to chose from, but my husband and I were hoping for the best and went with someone we didn’t know. It worked out well because it allowed us to move out over two days rather than the three days required by our apartment. That saved us money too.

Fix It

When moving out, some people feel that it’s okay to leave maintenance and repairs for the landlord to take care of. But when you move out, you’ll likely be charged for certain maintenance issues, regardless of who’s at fault.

Your lease agreement should lay out your responsibility for basic maintenance, such as keeping the plumbing, appliances, and electricals in good working order, and making repairs to the items that you’re responsible for.

If you’ve been noticing a leaky faucet or a drippy pipe, now is the time to get it fixed. Repairs take time and your landlord can charge you for repairs to almost anything if you’ve been on the lease for several months.

If you’ve decided to get someone else to pay for repairs, now would be the time to call in a handyman to look at bigger problems like a faulty refrigerator, dishwasher, or a clogged sink.

Look Under the Bed

You’ve probably heard this tip a hundred times but maybe you never spent much time looking at where your bed sits. Move your bed away from the wall, it will look smaller and will make it easier to vacuum and dust around the base.


Decluttering is important because it will make moving out and moving back in easier. It will also make your apartment or house cleaner because there will be less clutter and you'll have more space to put your things on display.

If you're a pet owner, you probably have some cleaning tips for pet owners that you can share. The only difference is, you may need to focus on certain areas and specific stains depending on whether your pet is an indoor, outdoor, or both pet.

In general, decluttering is pretty much the same with the only significant change being where you focus the effort. With many dogs, it's the carpeting. With cats, it's the curtains. And if you have both cats and dogs, you may just want to purchase some new carpeting because the minute you invite your pets to settle in, they will likely make themselves at home and your old carpeting will get a lot of wear.

Call the Man

Before showing up with your moving truck and your dog, it’s a good idea to call the management of the complex. Most don’t want to deal with the potential for pet damage, especially if dogs are going to be living in the unit. It’s nice to give them a head’s up so they can have someone there when you arrive. It’ll speed up the process and they may even appreciate the heads up, if the pet damage isn’t too extensive.

While you’re on the phone, check to see if the complex has any additional pet rules that might be relevant for your upcoming move out.