Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cleaning the cottage

I am so excited about this-- we bought a "Cottage"! I am not kidding!

It is actually a mobile home, "up north", on Lake Huron. It is in a mobile home park which is definitely not trashy but much more vacation-y/resort-y. There are a few year-round residents but it is definitely mostly vacationers and summer residents.

This is something that has caught my eye on Craigslist before, I have seen them for extremely cheap, and this year I started looking before we got our tax return and sure enough, $1200. Then we went and saw it and knocked 100 bucks off the price. I am seriously so proud and amazed at the sheer potential of this in our lives!

So, it was decorated pretty crusty, and it smelled like cigarettes. I know my husband and kids were thinking "hmmmmm no..." But I, of the infinite potential seeing abilities and lifelong experience of rehabbing gross things into gorgeous things, said YES yes yes and they trusted me and the deal was done.

So, yesterday, I got to go up there all by myself (woo hoo!!!!!!) to start cleaning. It had been 4 weeks since I saw the place and my imagination had been running wild, I thought I was going to have to rip up carpets, rip down wallpaper, who knows. But it was not that bad at all. Here is what I did:

Washed every single wall and door with Hot water+Vinegar+Tea Tree Oil+Mr. Clean Citrus. It was dripping down my arms, all over the floors, which I then mopped hard with this same mixture.

Took down the sheets they had up in front of a few windows and threw them in my trunk.

Took down most of the mini-blinds and washed them in the bathtub. This was harder than I pictured because the bathtub did not have anyway to keep the water from draining out. After that they were still crusty and so I am going to be replacing those with some curtains as soon as we can budget for that. I have a great design in my head for what I want, just thinking if I could sew them myself or have a friend do it.

Scoured the kitchen and appliances with Mr Clean magic eraser, and then the hot vinegar stuff. The kitchen was actually not that dirty. I was afraid to open the fridge and it was clean! Cool. But I dropped some baking soda into it and the freezer and just left it.

Washing all the walls in the hallway and the 2 bedrooms was more work than it sounds like. but it was good work, and even though I brought a music player, I did not use it. I was in silence for hours and it was wonderful.

They left me a twin bed frame, headboard, mattress and box spring. I do not want my kids sleeping right on smoke, but I also hate to waste, so I coated it in Lavender-Baking soda. An idea from my friend Michelle, I poured a box of baking soda into a bucket and shook drops of lavender essential oil into it. "Lots"? That's my recipe :)Maybe with a good deodorizing, vacuuming and a mattress cover of some sort, it can be one of our beds!

I scoured the bathroom. Used hardcore stuff in there, Lysol spray.

Made up a total of 5 buckets of Lavender-Baking Soda and dropped handfuls of the stuff on the 2 rooms that were carpeted. They also left one chair that seemed cool, and old fashioned rocker-recliner, so I coated that in the mixture, too.

I put Lavender-Baking Soda in some of the kitchen drawers and left it.

Somehow this took 4 hours. All of a sudden I was aware that it had been dark for a long time and I packed up and headed home. The cottage is already livably clean, but there is so much more I want to do. I did not vacuum any of the baking soda, under the idea that it will just continue to soak up odors while I am away. We might go back there this weekend, maybe one adult and a few kids to start some painting. Alot of it is fine and neutral, but the 2 bedrooms are completely gross. The one middle bedroom which I would like to be a Boys Room has this dumb paintjob where the top half is white and the bottom half is burgundy, with no discernible border in between. The back bedroom which we are thinking could be a Girls Room has a ridiculous sponge paint thing going on, with pink and mint green, and one wall that is brown paneling and blue carpet. Lovely, right!? haha

It is going to need good old fashioned fresh air, and lots of it. With temps in the single digits here, it might be a while till we can air the place out properly, but I am so excited!


Tabetha said...

That sounds absolutely amazing! I would LOVE to have a summer cottage!

I am very intrigued by the lavender baking soda and will definitely have to try that out. :)

Rixa said...

OOh, very exciting. There's something very therapeutic about cleaning, especially when you don't have any kids around and have all the time in the world to scrub & scour.

Kelley said...

Go Joy! This sounds awesome. How nice to have a place to escape to, and nice to have been able to escape already. Are you going to post pictures eventually?

japmama said...
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Kelly said...

This is awesome!!! My extended family had a cottage near Cheboygan when I was growing up - it was full of linoleum and shag but it was such a "cottage"!!!


Michelle said...

This is the coolest thing EVER! I'm so happy for you guys. Whereabouts? Is it up near the thumb or further north? Amazing and wonderful. And don't you love the lavender-baking soda cleanser? I really do; it just cleans really well and smells like heaven; makes cleaning almost an aromatherapy/spa/contemplative practice. Very cool Joy; well done. I'll be excited to hear more; we're long overdue for dinner at Anita's.

leighsteele said...

pls post pics!
i am thrilled for you . what a treasure!!! a place to just BE and relax and play.