For most of my life, I’ve moved around A LOT. As a kid, we moved from state to state and house to house, little nomads due to my dad’s job. Once I was an adult, the moving didn’t stop. From Pennsylvania to Phoenix to Charlotte to the UK to Florida and now Utah, it’s been a heck of a ride! But when you move around a lot, there are some experiences you never want to deal with. For instance, moving into a filthy house!
When we first moved to Utah and entered what would be our new home, I was seven months pregnant and had two boys under 3. I needed our home to be a safe place for us. So imagine my horror when I got in there and found it left in the most terrible state! There was rotten food on the floors, mold on the ceiling, and the oven and fridge were so disgusting that they were unsalvageable. The windows were coated with grimy handprints, there was garbage everywhere, and the carpets were so soaked in urine that we had to pull them up to expose stained wood floors. It was my worst nightmare.
Given my advanced state of pregnancy, I knew I couldn’t do the deep clean I needed to get the house in order. So I proclaimed myself manager and set about gathering friends and family to help us out. The first thing I did was to make sure we were stocked up on the best cleaning supplies. I headed straight for the local Walmart and bought up my favorite products from brands like Bounty®, Swiffer®, Tide®, Unstopables™ and Charmin®. Then I headed home with lists for everyone to make our new home sparkle and shine.
The first thing I did was gather all curtains and linens around the house and throw them in the washing machine. I wanted to see if any of them were worth saving, so I knew I needed to make sure they were as clean as it was possible to get. I used Tide® PODS® Laundry Detergent, which is a detergent, stain remover and brightener, which contains 90% cleaning ingredients (versus the 15% of bargain detergent!). And while a few of the items ended up having to be thrown away (they were too far gone to even give to charity!), I was pleased that the curtains came out beautiful and fresh. That meant I didn’t have to buy new curtains for the large picture window out front!
The next thing we did was scrubbing down ALL surfaces, both vertical and horizontal! The kitchen was the worst, as there was so much food and grease coated everywhere, and I knew it was going to make a HUGE difference to get it scrubbed. Besides the counters, we needed to wipe down the walls, the cupboards and the baseboards/picture rails all over. Not an inch was left untouched, and it made an enormous improvement.
We used Bounty® Select-a- Size paper towels for this job, as they are 2X more absorbent* (*Vs. the Custom-Size- It ® brand in the U.S.), meaning you can use less with each mess, making your roll last longer. It also allows you to select the size of sheet you need for each job! This means instant savings as you aren’t off trying to buy more after each room is cleaned. And trust me – as bad as that house was, we certainly made our paper towel stash stretch as far as it could go!
Once the surfaces were scrubbed clean, we moved on to the floors. A lot of what had come off the walls made its way to the floors, so we had to sweep several times to get it all up. After that, it was a case of mopping. Believe it or not, this was probably the easiest part of the whole home! We used the Swiffer® WetJet Mop, an all-in-one mopping system that traps and locks dirt so it doesn’t get pushed around. Since it’s designed to break up and dissolve tough messes, it was PERFECT for getting up all that grease and dirt the previous tenants had left behind.
Once we’d finished, I was suddenly very glad we’d pulled up that old carpet, and I LOVED our gorgeous hardwood floors!
We also had a tough time with the bathrooms. If I thought the kitchen was a mess, the toilet was a whole other story! The bathtub tiles had to be scrubbed with wire brushes, the sink was stained and full of hair, and the fixtures were all so gummed up with toothpaste and other products that it took a while to get them right. The toilet? Well, the toilet had to be replaced. No one wanted to touch that.
Once it was all cleaned up, I made sure to ensure we had the nicest toilet paper placed in the holder. Charmin® Ultra Strong has long been my favorite with its washcloth-like texture. It allows you to use up to 4X less vs the leading bargain brand, and it’s a 2-ply toilet paper that’s 4x stronger when wet than the leading bargain brand. In short – it is the perfect toilet paper to use if you’ve got young kids using the toilet!
The final step after our three days of manic cleaning was to make the place smell better. I have to tell you, I am VERY particular about smells – especially when pregnant – so I will get very picky with the kinds of air freshener I buy. I don’t like anything too flowery or perfume-y, and I don’t like anything too sweet or that smells like baked goods! But I LOVE the smell of Unstopables™ Air Refresher’s Fresh Scent. It seriously makes the house smell SO nice without being at all overwhelming. It gives an instant burst of airy undertones and crisp, vibrant layers that last for up to 6 hours! It was the PERFECT finishing touch to make our new home really feel ready for our family and our new addition.
Ever since that experience, I’ve got to say I have a new appreciation for those who are moving out of a home. I’d never want ANYONE to go through what we did, so I created a handy list for those who are moving house. Feel free to use it when you’re leaving your accommodation for greener pastures. Think about the people who come after you and what they want to see when they move in. Or use it as a handy guide for getting your deposit back!
Do you have any moving day horror stories? Any tips or tricks for making the clean up go a little smoother? Let me know in the comments!