Why I clean like crazy before moving in

It is long after midnight on a school night and here I am, cleaning our new house like crazy before we move in Monday morning.

I wasn’t going to stay past midnight. In fact, I wasn’t going to stay past 11. The thing is, one hint of dirt led to more grime that I had to attack. A spill of old nail polish led to caked on makeup grime in the cabinet. There was the trail of dust bunnies in every closet. Then there was that Lazy Susan that I scrubbed and scrubbed but I can still see where the bottle of olive oil sat. I am willing to guarantee some of the nooks and crannies in the bathrooms and kitchen haven’t been touched in, how long did our sellers own the house? Was it 10 years?

Of course, I don’t want to open a drawer in my house and immediately tell that was the one in which the old owners kept the razor or all the lipstick. But that’s what happened so I had to clean, and scrub, and clean again until every hair was gone and all there was no remaining trace of red visible on the paper towel.

The reason why I clean like crazy is more complicated than cleanliness. I was not cleaning so much to erase the past. It was more about creating a clean slate for my family. I know it might be a while before I have the chance again. Our sellers didn’t mean to leave 10 years worth of yuck in the kitchen and bathrooms. They were busy, watching their children grow up, entertaining friends in the space, gathering family for holidays, working to be able to have such a beautiful home. In other words, they were busy building their lives.

It might be another 10 years before I clean the Lazy Susan again or the top of the refrigerator, or wash the floors in the linen closet. Honestly, part of me hopes that will be the case. I want to watch my children play together in the yard, maybe blow bubbles or draw scribbly pictures in the driveway with that thick, pastel sidewalk chalk. I want to entertain, host Thanksgiving or a Super Bowl party. I want us to have family game night. I want us to build our lives there, just as the other family did.

I don’t want you to think I don’t ever clean. I do. I just might not be able to crazy clean for a while.

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It might be 10 years before you see that shine on the floor again.

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Tags: moving

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