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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Turning a Disaster Zone Into a Home

I started writing this post on the 17th, but didn't have time to finish it until now:

I don't have an internet connection at my apartment right now, so my lifestyle has taken a drastic change without fast network access to email and Blogger at any time. That's OK. I've been too busy cleaning. I moved into my new apartment on Cabot Street on Sunday morning, right after the early church service. My mattress was delivered by 11:30, by which time I had already disassembled the stove burners and scrubbed all components of the stove top. By 12:30, the counters had been scrubbed twice, and the stainless steel sink had been scoured until it really was stainless.

You see, I have a somewhat unconventional renting situation. The previous tenant, Allison, left that place in terrible condition. Dirt and grime everywhere, along with some "presents" for me - everything she didn't want to take with her. Dead house plants, about fifty beer bottles, and two large bags of trash - plus all the small items lying around that quickly joined those trash bags.

When I first walked into the apartment, the prevailing thought running through my mind was, "Don't. Touch. ANYTHING." Four days, six cleaning products, and nine sponges later, it's almost starting to feel like my very own place. With each passing squeeze and rinse of the sponge, it feels less like Allison's home and more like mine.

So now it's the 23rd, and I've found a chance to return and actually publish this post. The apartment is looking better all the time. FavoriteBoy has been indispensable! He is a hard worker, and very skilled at fixing things and improving things. We've found new faucets for the bathroom sinks (yes, I have two bathrooms in my place!) and new light fixtures for the living room, kitchen, entry area, and bathrooms at Home Depot. FavoriteBoy installs these things while I clean, find places for things, and scrub layers of grime off the walls, windowsills, and cupboard shelves. We're having a great time. I like the place a lot. I'd rather live in a place with character than a cookie-cutter apartment any day. Plus, it's a stand-alone building, so I don't have neighbors to worry about -- which means that I can play my violin, and even give lessons, right there in my apartment. Also, the rent is dirt cheap. I'm so lucky.

FavoriteBoy and I are leaving tonight for PA, where we will be meeting with the florist, the bakery, and the photographer. We return Saturday, and then my Mom is coming to visit on Wednesday for The Great Dress Shopping Expedition! So much to do, so little time... I still think elopement would be a good idea.


  1. Our place was like that. One year, three months, and thousands of hours of scrubbing later, it's... still kind of like that. :-/ We really just need new fixtures of all sorts, new paint and new carpet. But it only seems to bother ME, so I guess it's ok. :)

  2. Sarah, I hope you get this!

    Find a style you like, take a picture of it, and get your dress made. It costs a fraction of the price, you get a dress that fits you as neatly as a glove, and it will be made out of the best material - silk or something like that - for the cost of a polyester David's Bridal dress.

    That's my best wedding advice :)

    Oh yeah, and you should go to and buy matchbooks and napkins and stuff :)

  3. Yay, I'm glad to hear the place is shaping up!! Moving into a place that needs a serious scrubbing is not fun at all. We did that with the house we bought in Felton - it wasn't exactly clean when the people moved out, and then it sat vacant for six or eight months. The results were not pretty. The worst part was that I was in my early stages of pregnancy so I hardly had energy to get myself back and forth to work, much less clean anything. When we moved out of that house I scrubbed it to within an inch of its life - there was no way I was going to leave it anything like we found it!!

    When you get it all cleaned up and such you should post some pictures. :-)