The Cost of Cleaning Out Your Refrigerator Prior to Moving

panini flickr

By this time next week, I hope to be sharing pictures of my new apartment.

Right now, I’ll share a picture of my freshly defrosted refrigerator, along with all the ice I knocked out of it:

defrosted refrigerator

That ice is just what collected under the freezer unit, by the way. I tweeted a photo of the ice that collected on top of the freezer unit:

Part of the deal with moving out of this apartment, and one of the conditions for getting my $437 security deposit back, is that I have to return the apartment to a “floor model” level of cleanliness, including washing the windows (inside only) and getting every particle of dust off the baseboards and shelves.

This appears to be one of the quirks of Seattle renting, because both my current lease and the lease I just signed include this caveat, and all of my previous leases—in Washington DC; Minneapolis; and Normal, Illinois—were just “um, run a vacuum I guess, don’t trash the place before you leave.”

(You might be asking “didn’t you sign a lease when you slept on the floor in that Los Angeles group house?” I would just look at you and laugh.)

Despite the fact that I removed multiple chunks of ice from my refrigerator and put them directly into my bathtub, I still ended up soaking nearly every single towel in my apartment. I had to do two loads of towel laundry afterwards, which cost me $5.50, but it should be the last laundry I have to do before I move.

Of course, now that my refrigerator is fully clean, I am very hesitant to put anything back into it. Thus far, I’ve been doing the “cereal for breakfast; Wheat Thins with tuna, cheese, and fruit for lunch; coffee shop sandwich (or grocery store pre-made lasagna) for dinner” routine, because I want to put off the inevitable $25-per-day takeout hole for as long as possible—but I’ve still spent roughly $25 on dinner in the past three days, and I have six days left to go.

I think I’m going to have to go back to the grocery store this evening and buy some more food: deli meat, maybe some of those just-add-water noodle meals, the type of food that I either don’t have to refrigerate or won’t gunk up my freshly-cleaned fridge. (Also, the kind of food that I can eat even after I pack up my dishes.) Otherwise I’ll end up spending another $50 on paninis before the week is out, and none of those sandwiches come with a side.

To our Billfold readers with leases: how many of you are required to achieve a professional level of cleanliness before moving out of your apartment? And to everyone: what kind of food would you buy, if you wanted to 1) eat it all in six days and 2) not make any kind of a mess? I don’t want this to become a financial vices story, after all.


Photo credit: snowpea&bokchoi



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