We all know that moving is a hassle. It’s not uncommon to be moving from one apartment to another in the same day. You have a lot on your mind, and cleaning up your apartment before you turn in your keys seems like more of a chore than a necessity. As much of a pain in the neck as it may be, a thorough cleaning can sometimes be the only thing standing between you and your full security deposit. Don’t miss out on your money because you didn’t want to pick up a sponge. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you lock your door for the last time.

If it’s broke, fix it –a “Reasonable wear and tear” is typically taken into account and generally won’t lead to a deduction from your deposit. But “reasonable” is a pretty subjective term. Chipped molding might seem like reasonable wear and tear to you, but your landlord may not agree.  If there’s a hole in the drywall, invest two bucks in some spackle.  If you broke the blinds, pick up another set. If you’re worried about it, it’s better to err on the side of caution. A trip to the hardware store will be a lot cheaper than what a landlord might charge as a repair fee.

Mr. Clean is your friend – So you’ve got gross black stuff caked up around your shower drain, weird streaks in the fridge, and a ring around the toilet bowl.  There’s no way around it: somebody has to clean that stuff up (hint: it’s you).  It’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with various cleaning products and have some on hand for when you need them. Rubber gloves, some glass cleaner and disinfectant wipes are a good start for most apartment messes.   Magic Erasers work wonders at getting scuff marks off of walls, and don’t forget the baseboards!  With a few simple tools, most of the little nasties around your apartment can be knocked out in no time, and you won’t get stuck with an outrageous cleaning deduction.

The devil is in the details – It’s easy to say “good enough” when you’re in the middle of a massive move-out operation, but if you want the full deposit back you have to clean up right.  Don’t assume nobody will notice all that dust on the ceiling fan, because a landlord definitely will.  The same goes for carpet stains that you can “kind of” see and holes in the wall that could have been from thumbtacks. And for your own good, don’t forget to vacuum. The landlord has to rent the place to someone else after you, so be as picky about details when you move out as you were when you moved in.

Don’t just scratch the surface –Sure, you can see if there’s a stain on the couch cushion, but what about all the dirt inside the couch?  You cleaned the oven, but did you check the drawer underneath? How about the crisper drawer in the fridge?  Gunk could have accumulated anywhere since you moved in, and you can be sure someone is going to check these kinds of places before giving back your deposit.  Beat them to the punch and save yourself an unnecessary expense.  This is especially true if you host parties at your place. You never know who might have dropped a bottle cap into the kitchen sink or spilled a drink behind a couch.

Call for backup – Waking up in the same place pretty much every day for a long period of time, you stop noticing things you might otherwise pick out.  If your apartment has a funny odor, you’ll stop smelling it after a while.  You might have wiped the toothpaste splatter off the mirror but not noticed it on the faucet.  It helps to bring in someone else who isn’t at your apartment all the time to tell you if anything stands out as a problem.  Just make sure they won’t be too polite to mention that the linoleum is supposed to be off-white and smooth, not brown and sticky.  A fresh set of eyes can help you pick out problem areas before the landlord does.

The biggest thing to remember is that someone is going to have to clean and repair your apartment before it can be rented to someone else. While it can be inconvenient and time-consuming, it will save you from the marked-up cleaning and repair rates that your landlord will assess to your final bill. Don’t let a hole in the wall leave a big hole in your security deposit. Get a few friends and get your apartment in tip-top shape before you hand over your keys.

Amy Moczynski is a freelance writer for 407apartments.com, an Orlando apartment search site that allows you to search by rent, floor plan, amenities, pet policy, and more.