I didn’t waste any time working on the house. In fact, the first workers were scheduled to arrive just two hours after closing. Because the thing is, once its yours, you want to make it yours.
First order of business was cleaning the vents. The carpets were grayed at the edges and my online research indicated it was a phenomenon called “soil filtration.” Basically air seeps through the cracks in your home—often the space between the floors and walls—and particles attach to the fibers of the carpets. It’s quite difficult to clean if allowed to build up. To prevent it from happening, the recommendation was to clean the vents and air ducts.
So the vent cleaners were coming and I figured I’d get started on general cleaning. The morning of closing, I filled my car with brooms, buckets, cleaners, rags, the vacuum, and the steam cleaner. My hope was that the steam cleaner and some industrial-strength solution would clean what was there already (it didn’t really) and the vent cleaning would prevent it from coming back. Aside from which, it just seemed like a good idea to clear the air (good for any relationship whether with people or homes).
When the last paper was signed I took my tie-dyed key (yep, tie-dyed) and went to officially greet our new home. I nearly rushed in, but before my foot hit the floor I realized the momentousness and paused. “Hello, house,” I said. Because maybe it’s important to talk to your house. In The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo argues that socks have feelings. If socks have feelings, I suspect houses do, too, and I certainly didn’t want to start off on the wrong foot.
With greetings complete, I began my part in clearing the air: opening the windows. There wasn’t much of a breeze, but it was important to get breath circulating once again. This poor house had been shut tight for a long time, no doubt suffocating. Time to return to life.
Throughout October, I will be continuing this story of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.