HEY there! Welcome back! But don't get too comfortable, because we won't be here long — if the past five years have taught me anything, moving is inevitable.

Yes, I have a difficult time staying in one place for too long. I'm the crazy one who has moved five times since I graduated high school. That means I have held five addresses since August 2014. Five moves, five years. Holy snot.

BUT NOT FOR LONG, ladies and gents! After lots of thought, a few panic attacks and some extremely long complaining/crying/"you can do this" talks (thanks, Mama), I've sucked it up and took the plunge.

If all goes as planned, as of June 28, your girl will officially be a homeowner. Thankfully, the gracious previous owner is also a Vatnsdal and is letting me move in during the awkward apartment-lease-is-done-but-you-don't-actually-own-the-house stage I will be entering May 29.

With the sixth move in five years upon me, it only seems appropriate that this week's Friday 5 is all about movin' up and movin' out. Grab your rubber gloves, crank some tunes and make sure you change the electric bill back over to the apartment folks because it's time: Here are 5 ways to make sure you get your deposit back.

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I suppose this can also apply to general spring cleaning. Clean it up, people — your life will be so much happier!


One of the biggest sources of deposit withholding is the kitchen. Food splatters that you "didn't even see" on the back wall behind the stove, grease that has settled on top of cabinets and that weird slime that somehow got into the bottom drawer of the refrigerator (and by somehow I really mean the bell pepper that you decided was not something you wanted to eat and just left).

Besides the usual sweep, mope and wipe down that comes with any kitchen cleaning spree, deep cleaning certain "problem areas" is also required.

Taking care to clean the stove and oven, both inside and outside — including oven racks — as well as the sides and the undercarriage will make the place shine for the next tenants. Replacing drip pans is also usually required, and a large fee can be added on for any forgetfulness.

Dishwashers should be cleaned inside and out, too. Using a dishwasher-safe cup of vinegar, run the otherwise empty dishwasher through a hot water cycle. The vinegar and hot water will wash away grease and get rid of smells.

Getty Images / Special to The Forum
Getty Images / Special to The Forum


Toilets, tubs, sinks and cabinets — these are the bathroom components that get the most use, so it makes sense that they also need the most attention. Even so, sneaky corners and crevices should not be ignored.

Cleaning medicine cabinets and linen closets with a disinfectant wipe can keep things smelling fresh and get that deposit back. Showers and showerheads are also big factors. Getting all the soap scum and lime out of there is essential to make that shower sparkle.

Two of the biggest things that a person can get dinged for, though, are often overlooked: wiping down lights and cleaning the fan cover. A little soap, water and a quick scrub should take care of both of those.



Once everything is moved out of a bedroom, the main thing that needs to be done is a good dusting. If you're anything like me, you don't get excited to dust most days, but think about it: Dust is literally dead skin cells, and that's just gross!

Getting into the windowsills is also important. Dust, dirt and other general nastiness can settle into cracks of windows and make things look super grimy. Use a pointy tool and a soft cloth to get into the cracks, and glass cleaner should take care of the rest.

Getty Images / Special to The Forum
Getty Images / Special to The Forum

Living room

General living creates a lot of dirt, dust and grime. It's just a fact of life.

Air conditioning units should be taken apart and cleaned — filters and all — with hot, soapy water and put back together. Sliding balcony doors should be cleaned and the sills wiped out, and don't forget to sweep off balconies and dust those window blinds and ceiling fans.

Walls should also be washed. Pro tip: take a Swiffer wet mop (or whatever brand you have) and scrub-a-dub. It saves trips up and down the ladder (or chair, if you're lacking a ladder).


Many apartments require tenants to professionally clean their carpets before leaving. Be sure to schedule it in advance, though. This will erase your presence in the apartment — and avoid fees associated with those apartment folks having to schedule the cleaning.

Replace smoke alarm batteries and light bulbs and be sure to scrub any marks off the walls. (Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work the best for this!) Also, pull all appliances — washer and dryer, oven, fridge, etc. — away from the wall so you can dust and sweep behind them.

Friday 5 is a weekly column featuring musings, quick tips, tricks, ideas and more — all in bunches of five. Readers can reach Forum reporter Emma Vatnsdal at 701-241-5517.