The first thing on our checklist once J got the keys was to enter and attack everything with cleaning product! We had sponges, Mr.Clean, CLR, Windex, vinegar, rolls of paper towels, vacuum, broom, mop, a steamer.. we were ready to go. He was in charge of scrubbing every inch of the kitchen (which was left pretty nasty!) and the two bathrooms, and I got right to the walls and the window coverings.
The house came with two walls that seemed selectively wallpapered by the previous owners. One wall was in the master bedroom in which they have chosen to just put up wallpaper in the middle of one wall.. to act as a headboard...
The second wall was in the dining room with the following pink paper:
This wasn't so bad. I could actually see myself living in this. But we were already determined to get paint for the rest of the walls in that room, and also thought if we were going to move all the furniture in and THEN in the future decide we may not like the pink and want to tear it down, we might as well do it now all in one shot.
So while J scrubbed the kitchen I had myself equipped with everything I needed to tear down wallpaper. I had never done it before so I did some research online for easy instructions. I had my vinegar and warm water solution, my steamer as some people said steam will speed up the glue breakdown process, and my chisel in case I needed to scrape.
So I had in mind thinking this could be a long process based on what I've read. But turns out maybe it was for the people working on walls that have had paper up for decades. Our home was built just about two years ago, so the wallpaper is relatively new. And also I bet the previous owners did a pretty half-ass job putting them up... Because I started in the master bedroom by finding a small bubbled edge of the paper, made a small tear, and then just continued pulling the paper away from the wall.. effortlessly!
Since I unexpectedly ended up with such an easy job compared to J who was still slaving away at the grease-covered stainless steel appliances, I had to scrub all the windows and blinds clean. All our windows came with some great blinds from Blinds To Go (as per previous owners). But they definitely didn't keep the blinds very clean. Since there has been construction of new row townhouses directly in front of our front side for the past year, and the previous owners like to open their screen windows for air, it was inevitable that the blinds were all built up in dust and dirt.
I first started with Windex and paper towel. But my hands got so tired from scrubbing and it was a pain to get into the corners and around the string of each blind to get it spic and span. I just knew there had to be a better way than Windex. Then I turned to my steamer!
Right side - DIRT! Left side - CLEAN!
Afterwards the job became so much easier. I even lent the steamer trick to J for the greasy range hood he was working on. It became so easy to scrub he shoulda used the steamer right from the get-go and it would have saved so much time. Oh well, we know next time!
Cleaning is never fun, but it felt sooooo much better to know we were bringing our stuff into a place we trust/know is clean because we did it ourselves.
More on house progress to come!