Restoring an apartment can be easy, if done methodically. Thankfully, wikiHow has a useful room-by-room guide to help get your apartment spick-and-span.
The best way to ensure a smooth exit is to perform your due diligence when moving in; documenting the initial state of your apartment lets you and your landlord know which stains or gaping holes are not your fault. Once the cleaning is done, keep documenting. Hang on to your pictures and notes even after your joyful reunion with your security deposit. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER