I know it has been a while since I published a new post – I apologize! I haven’t died or given up writing, we have just had a crazy chain of events.
Most of you know about the fire that my family suffered, the subsequent month living in a hotel, and then moving back into our apartment only to find the needed repairs had not been done properly and that the apartment was full of mold. After another crazy chain of events we found a house and proceeded with plans to move.
The house belongs to a friend of mine who moved out of state almost a year ago. She rented it to some friends of hers who were never really able to afford it, and they had told her this would be their last month because they had found a cheaper place to live.
Long story short, the tenants were extremely shady about when they were moving out and the circumstances surrounding their move. When they finally called and said they were out, we immediately went over to check the house out, only to find they had completely trashed it.
Carpets were filthy and stained, walls had marks and cigarette smoke dripping down them, the kitchen was so filthy and greasy the appliances were unusable. It was a complete shock, and there was no way we could stay there in that condition.
There is a big front room that has wood floors, so we swiffered a space and put all of our stuff into that room. The homeowner told us to do whatever we had to in order to put the house back into order and just take it off the rent, so we immediately started scrubbing and painting.
It has been a full week since our first look at the house, and while we still have a long ways to go, the transformation has been amazing!
The first room that we worked on was the big family room. I chose a light, bright color for the walls that immediately made it smell better, and look cleaner. We went over, and over the carpet with our small carpet steamer, and to my surprise, the worst of the stains came out.
The family room became command central while we worked on the rest of the house, because it was the only room that didn’t trigger my gag reflex. We slept on the sectional, ate in there, and just came in to relax when it got overwhelming.
Thankfully my mom was able to take a day off and help me clean the kitchen. She is a PRO at cleaning, and has the stomach for scrubbing the gross things that make me gag. I already painted the kitchen, but I am not digging the color, so that isn’t quite done.
We spent HOURS trying to scrub the grease off of the stove. I have never seen anything like it! We tried every sponge, magic eraser, and degreaser known to man. The oven is self-cleaning, but it was I was afraid to run that cycle because it was so greasy I feared it would ignite. We cleaned is as much as we could, and finally braved a self-cleaning.
The next room we worked on was the master bedroom, because not sleeping in my own bed was taking a toll. We ripped out the stained, nasty carpet to reveal beautiful wood floors underneath. We painted, cleaned a literal bird’s nest out of the windows, and polished the floors.
The front room has an area for the dining table, and then I am going to house my office at the far end. I have most of the boxes cleared out of this room, and I am going to start painting tomorrow. I am so excited to have a functional work area again!
As I type my husband is working on the bathroom upstairs. I have yet to actually use this bathroom, or really even go all the way in it because it was SO gross. God bless him, he is on his hands and knees ripping out HUMAN HAIR that is stuck between the tub and flooring. We are going to paint the walls, as well as the vanity, medicine cabinet, and cupboard. It remains to be seen if the flooring can be saved.
We still have to paint my daughter’s room and a couple of hallways, but overall we are getting close to the entire upstairs being livable and usable.
The basement is another issue. There is a large, mostly-finished basement, as well as a utility room and bathroom. The former tenants moved their adult daughter down there, as well as her un-neutered male cat. They also had a pet rat who apparently roamed (and pooped) freely. It’s going to be a huge project to clean this space up, so it is the least of my concerns right now.
It was definitely overwhelming to walk into a house in this condition. Who lives in utter, depraved filth like this? But, as usual, God works in weird ways.
While the prospect of having to totally overhaul a house the minute we moved in is not what I would have planned, this means we are able to customize our house exactly how we want it, and we know that everything is done right. In the end, we will end up with a much nicer house than we would have if it had been move-in ready.
These past few months have been an extreme roller coaster, but it feels good to be settled and to be building a life here. I am hoping to get back to my regular posting schedule next week, and I am excited to show you the progress we have made!