This summer David begins his Masters in Interior Architecture (MArch) program at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. So we packed our backs, left Iowa, and went to Mexico. Then we found an apartment in Chicago.
Located in on a small quite historic block in Bucktown, our new digs have tremendous charm, but needed quite a bit of work. We've spent the past four weeks patching walls, scrubbing floors, applying new poly, cleaning and painting and now... we are finally ready move in. I will be posting a full set of 'before and after' shots once we finish accessorizing.
As stated above, the apartment needed a lot of work. Not only was it filthy, but it was also painted a myriad of colors (a different hue in every room, really) and had some terrible shelves built in. And the dude who did all this so called “carpentry” was a complete amateur! He caulked over every single one of the hundred screws he used, making them really difficult to remove. And, he used 4-inch screws! Totally unnecessary! It called for some very creative demolition on David’s part. That said, the place is great and it was totally worth it.
Fortunately, I was raised to appreciate a little thing called ELBOW GREESE... and that is exactly what was needed to remove the grime coating most surfaces in this place.
Below are the some of the most underappreciated yet most indispensable tools of any home renovation or cleaning project:
1. Rubber Gloves: a 99¢ pair will do just fine. The only way to get any surface really clean is by hand, and usually with the help of a toxic little cleaner like Clorox. Thus, the rubber gloves. They allow you to really "get right in there" without having to touch that nasty stuff you're trying to get rid of, and without drying out your hands. Also, I find I'm able to use hotter water, which always helps.
2. An Old Toothbrush: only the best tool EVER for cleaning "those hard to reach places," such as that gook behind the fauect.
3. A Scrubby Sponge: not all sponges are created equal. I actually scrubbed all our floors by hand, using a bucket of water, a scrubby and an old dishtowel (i.e., rag). This is the old fashioned way of cleaning floors- on your hands and knees, scrub brush in one hand, rag in the other. I have a mop, but this is way more effective! (My mom would be so proud to read this.)
4. A Rag: again, countless uses, and totally underappreciated. But so good to have stocked up, for cleaning floors. I always keep a damp one around when painting to get smudges off the ceiling or trip before they dry. I love my rag box!
5. Dull Razors: good for cleaning paint splatter (amongst other things) off all surfaces. I prefer a duller blade because it is less likely to gauge softer materials, like a wood floor or vinyl counter, but still gets. Plastic spoons or knives also come in handy for similar purposes.
A relatively recent cleaning pic (after we painted the kitchen cabinets)