Monday, April 19, 2010

keeping it clean

This new home has consumed our lives. Every time I turn around there is something new that needs attention. The biggest job has simply been getting it clean. Those who've been following for a while may remember that we were given the keys to our new home only 18 hours before we were scheduled to move in.

I thought I could get the major things cleaned in that amount of time. Scraping the dreadful wallpaper off of the walls in the tiny bathroom took 5 hours, with two people. We accomplished an impressive amount of painting and I was able to spray the oven with cleaner so it could sit overnight (later I noticed that said oven was actually self cleaning-whoops!). We finally left the house that night at midnight to go pick up Malakai who was having trouble sleeping at Grandma's.

On Saturday March 27th I found myself moving into a very dirty house. I never noticed how dirty it was until I got on my hands and knees and adorned those yellow rubber gloves. The previous owner had actually passed away and the home was in the care of her heirs. It made me sad that it looked as though nobody had helped her out with the cleaning as it had to have taken quite a while for the grime to build up the way it had it places that people don't think to clean when selling a house.

My sister helped me get started with the kitchen, which was by far the dirtiest of all. She scrubbed the oven as well as cupboards and drawers while I took on the fridge and freezer. I will spare those of you who may be eating while reading and not describe the filth in detail.

Over the next couple weeks I scrubbed the kitchen and swept the floors during Malakai's naps. My mom came over a couple times to help out as well. The kitchen is now totally moved in, but *GASP* it isn't totally clean yet. We still need to get underneath the fridge and the oven. These jobs I've designated to my wonderful husband as I'm sure they will be quite gross and I did the rest of the kitchen. Thanks in advance Ben!

For cleaning supplies I started to use cheap bleach cleaners from the Dollar Tree and they worked just fine. I wiped everything down with hot water afterward to make sure to not leave any residue that would linger on us and eventually transfer to Malakai. 

I also discovered that white vinegar and baking soda make a great natural cleaner. It took out the musty smell in the dishwasher that had been sitting unused for way too long. I also happened to have a giant container of really cheap vodka left over from a going away party three years ago. Ben and I obviously don't drink a lot of hard alcohol. It works great as a cleaner and really makes things shine without leaving behind any of those strong smells. 

For the floors my in laws purchased a Shark steam mop for their own floors but let us try it out first. All it uses is water. I loved this concept as I am reluctant to use any chemicals on the floors now that Kai is scooting and crawling all over them. It worked fairly well but left water streaks on the wood laminate flooring. I'm not too picky, so I'd probably use it again!

This past weekend I scrubbed down a bunch of the doors and light switches. My favorite tool to use on projects like this is an old toothbrush. I also used a toothbrush to scrub the nooks & crannies of the refrigerator. It's amazing the places that old food will find to hide. 

We are far from being done and keep finding new things to add to our list, but it's nice to finally be in a position where I feel like most of the house is clean and we can move forward with settling in. 

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