November 1, 2013

Moving In: The Clean-Up

I freely admit that I am way behind in posting about my new house.  I have a few good reasons excuses for this:
  • I have been super busy unpacking, cleaning, and otherwise moving in.
  • Andrew.
  • Our computer mouse was not functioning properly so I pretty much avoided using the computer for more than two minutes at a time.
  • The computer isn't on the main level, where Andrew and I spend most of our day.
But now we're pretty much unpacked (though not completely organized), Andrew is sleeping, we bought a new mouse, and I'm upstairs.  So here we are.

So this house had been vacant for about 2 1/2 years before we moved in.  As I understand it, the previous owner lost his job and found a new one in Florida.  So they had to move out there pretty much right away.  They had two mortgages (with two different banks) on the house, and thus owed more than it was worth, which is why it was being sold as a short sale.

So I figure they had to move pretty quickly.  This meant they missed some things.

The Kitchen:

We had opened a couple kitchen cabinets during each of our walkthroughs before closing, but apparently not this big corner cabinet.  So the day we settled, I went to wipe all the cabinets out and found this:


Fortunately there were no live bugs in there, but still.  The contents of this cabinet filled a whole trash bag- you know, one of those giant black garbage bags.

And here's what it looked like after I cleaned it out and put in the shelf paper:

Much better, yes?

This was the nastiest thing I had to deal with as far as cleaning up the house.  Thank goodness.  Aaron, however, had to deal with the basement.

The Basement:

When we were at the house a month before closing, there was standing water on the floor (as there had been every time we had seen it).  Some water had evaporated up into the insulation on the ceiling.  And we even found a few mushrooms growing on the cement floor!  Yuck!  We removed the shrooms that same day.  Fortunately when the house was finally ours, we found that the water on the floor had all dried up!  But Aaron spent the next day or two downstairs- ripping out the wet insulation, removing the mold-covered drywall, and cleaning every surface with a mold killing cleaner.  I don't have any pictures from the cleaning process, but here's what it looked like before:

And here's what it looks like now:

So now our basement is dry and clean, and it's already starting to get pretty full of our storage stuff.  We're looking forward to finishing it at some point.

The Carpet:

The carpet (especially in the living room) had a lot of stains on it.  I'm not totally sure whether the previous owners just didn't bother to keep things clean or if someone got into the house while it was vacant and messed things up, but either way the carpet needed help.

We had bought carpet cleaner before and weren't super impressed.  Within the past year I discovered the cleaning power of vinegar so when I discovered a recipe on Pinterest for homemade carpet cleaner I figured I'd try it.  I tweaked it a bit (and eyeballed all the measurements) and it worked great!  The recipe calls for one tablespoon clear dishwashing liquid and one tablespoon white vinegar with two cups of warm water.  My dishwashing detergent is green so I substituted clear laundry detergent.  Seriously- never buy carpet cleaner from the store again!

I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of it before.  Here's what it looked like after using my homemade cleaner (you can still see the wet spots where the stains used to be):

And here it is after we had a steam cleaning done:


Aaron has been working a little at a time doing some power washing.  It's starting to look really good!  Still a work in progress but we're getting there!

So yeah, this is some of what we've been up to for the past month!  Stage one of moving in is complete!

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