Cleaning House

Posted by Jill,

The boys pretty pink room. Complete with Teletubby curtains. Before we painted it, of course. :)

[Playing catch up on the blog.  From March 3, 2011]

After finding a new place to call home, the next step was to make it habitable!  Lots of elbow grease involved in that step.  For a few weeks we were trekking back and forth across the city as a family, from our temporary place to our less temporary place, in order to get it ready before our shipment arrived.  Lots of painting, scouring, cleaning, caulking, more scouring and cleaning, etc.

Look closely. Black caulk, a lot of it. Smells even worse than it looks.

Our poor children.  They helped by wiping down wall after wall.  And when they tired of wiping they watched the same cartoons over and over  in Chinese for a few more hours while Todd and I continued working.  Then a few hours past their bedtime we would drag them out into the cold night and start the 45 minute trip back to the Somerset.  So many times they fell asleep on the subway and we would have to wake them up to transfer to the next one, then wake them up one more time when we reached our station so we could walk the rest of the way home.  In the dark.  And the cold.

Back to the cleaning…Todd pulled up all 3 toilets and reseated them so we wouldn’t be bowled over by the stench from the bathrooms every time we entered our apartment.  (Yep.  It was that bad.)  We held our breath as we scraped the filthy blackened caulk from the bathrooms.  Then held our breath again as we recaulked with new, gleaming white, but probably toxic caulk.  (I don’t think there are agencies, like the FDA, in China to regulate the safety of certain things.  Which is why I assume the caulk fumes were toxic. :)  Or maybe there are, but they’re just not as concerned about these sorts of things??)

While Todd played with toilets I had fun in the kitchen with a butter knife.  The entire kitchen is tiled–walls and floors.  That means there’s a lot of grout.  I don’t like cleaning grout.  And I especially did not enjoy cleaning this kitchen’s grout.  I probably could have deep fried something with the amount of grease I scraped out of the tiles.  Especially right behind the stove.  Eeeewww!  And the caulk behind the stove is a lovely shade of marigold.  I told Todd I wanted to recaulk the counters around the stove and he asked why.

“Because the caulk is yellow.”

“That’s the color it’s supposed to be.”  Nope.  It was originally white.

I could go on for a week about the cleaning, but I won’t.  So, after a few weeks of cleaning, we heard from the moving company one Monday.  Our shipment would be here in 10-14 days.  Great news!  We had one full week, plus another weekend to get everything done.

Surprise!  3 days later Todd got a call at work.  “Your shipment has arrived!  We will deliver it tomorrow.”  Whoa!  Not ready!  We had them wait one extra day, until Saturday, February 19th, to deliver it.  We heard lots of nightmare stores about shipments being delayed, so we were very grateful and relieved that our shipment came so quickly.  But at the same time it grossed us out a little to move our stuff into an apartment that still had someone else’s dirt.  (Why is it that our dirt is never as gross as someone else’s…)

- Jill

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