So recently my husband and I have been doing some home renovations, mostly in the kitchen. The process has definitely been stressful, but will be well worth it when we are finished. My old cabinets were sinking down, the counters were swollen from water damage and the whole thing was dated with pink tile back splash (my mother-in-law says it was peach). On top of that we found other surprises which I will cover in a bit. Over the course I have come up with a few tips to keep the home clean and keep your sanity during indoor renovations.
First, do not clean anything while work is being done. Cleaning at the same time someone is doing the work during the day is very counter productive. You should allow the workers (whether you or contractors) to finish up for the day before cleaning anything. Think about it, you just dusted off a shelf in your new open floor plan living room, then the worker drills something. Guess what, now there is more dust flying around the room. Just wait till they leave or finish for the day and I promise you will get all the dirt when you are done cleaning.
Second, do light dusting daily on all of your shelves in the home. Sawdust gets everywhere. Start with the rooms furthest away from construction so you can use your cleaning cloth or duster a little longer before it fills up with dirt and dust.
Third, use a hand vacuum every day to clean out things like new cupboards and base cabinets the worker just put up (PLEASE MAKE SURE ANYTHING LIKE GROUT IS DRY FIRST SO SAW DUST DOES NOT GET STUCK IN IT). The saw dust is going to be a bit more like wood chips than dust. So get the big stuff out with a hand vacuum first then dust out the smaller stuff when finished. It is best to work top to bottom. Again, PLEASE MAKE SURE ANYTHING LIKE GROUT IS DRY FIRST.
|New surfaces before the tile went up|
Fourth, clean all of your floors daily even in non construction areas. Vacuuming, light sweeping and mopping will go a long way. You would not believe how many nails, broken tile, sawdust, etc gets on all of the floors in the house. I even found a nail in my master bedroom carpeting clear on the other side of the house (we think it got stuck in a tennis shoe crevis). Last thing you want is a foot injury from a random piece of material.
Fifth, use a lightly dampened cloth to wipe down new surfaces like new counter tops once everything has set. Wait till all adhesives, grout, etc have dried.
Sixth, when you find surprises like bugs and black mold, take care of it immediately. We took down the base cabinets and found solid black mold (about 4ft by 8ft of solid black wall) So much that we knew it was in insulation. My husband and I had a ten minute conversation and told the contractor to replace the whole wall of dry wall and insulation. We even put up green board so that mold was less likely to show up there again. That was a good thing we did because when the contractor took down the dry wall we found a carpenter ant infestation that had just started. We called Orkin Pest Control that day who sprayed it while the wall studs were still exposed. Hopefully, we do not have another issue for some time.
|The Carpenter Ant Surprise|
Finally, and most important, DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. Big stuff such as bugs and a ton of black mold like we found is okay to sweat over, but don't let emotions control you, even the "I like this thing" kind. Being over emotional over things like materials to buy can lead to impulsive buying of things you do not need and wont use. It can also lead to impulsive decisions on important things that really need to be thought about.
All in all I hope this helps some of you keep the home clean and keep emotions from making you lose your mind.