Mid-Century Modern(ization)

Redefining modern for a family-friendly home

Cinderella, Cinderella


The epic Clean-A-Thon of 2013 is still underway in our household. In addition to the usual suspects (toilets, counters, stovetops, etc.) that I tackle on the regular, I’m now working the commonly overlooked to my scrubbing repertoire as I try to get ahead of the gunk. This includes doorknobs, switch plates, window sills, and baseboards, each caked in their own unique breed of Ick.

Part of me is angry that we were promised a professionally cleaned house and failed to receive one (this obviously wasn’t contractual or I’d be venting to my agent and not to the interweb), and part of me feels really badly for the woman who paid for what little cleaning did, in fact, take place. Because this house was cleaned two days before we got it (although if I hadn’t have met the woman and watched her haul her vacuum in I wouldn’t have believed it), but even worse this was her usual cleaning lady, aka the Laziest Housekeeper on the Planet, which means she was paying this person for years and getting what? So I’m angry that this previous owner stuck us with a filthy house, but I’m also angry for her on her behalf for having paid for such substandard services for so long. Although, apparently it didn’t seem to bother her much…

Did I tell you about the two sponges I destroyed cleaning out the refrigerator? TWO! Both completely black when I was done. Or the three types of cleaning agents I had to use on the inner workings of the range? I haven’t even looked at the hood yet — I’m scared of what lurks in there. Thankfully, the woman at least knew how to clean a bathroom, because I’m not sure I could handle that.

Kirk and I did talk about hiring someone to come in and deep clean, and even agreed it would be a worthwhile expense, but I just couldn’t do it. I don’t trust anyone to do it right or well.

Which I why I took to the slate floors on my own with a bucket of ammonia and a tire brush. I spent the next 2.5 hours on my knees scrubbing Cinderella-style and it was so worth it.


Note the center tile in it’s before state.  Yes, I deep-cleaned in my pjs.


This is after scrubbing the lower half of the centered tile.  That’s not veining, folks!

Due to the varying color of the slate, it was hard to tell exactly how dirty this floor was, but judging by the layer of grime on everything else, it gave me the heebie jeebies to have my little boy running around on them. Turns out I wasn’t far off. What we thought (hoped?) was veining in the stones was actually dirt settled into the nooks and crannies of the stones.


Here I’ve scrubbed the tile on the left, but haven’t touched the tile on the right.  Gross!

The entire hallway before had a semi-gloss sheen to it that we figured was either a sealant or years of crud. Turns out it was the latter, which is actually fortunate because I much prefer the matte finish these stones have now.

Here is the hallways as it looked on Move-in Day. Yawn.



See the greasy sheen?  It was so dark and grimy.

But here it is now, brighter and lighter!  Look at how the green pops against the grey now.


And, most importantly, it’s Mom approved for barefooted kiddie play.

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Next up on our mission to de-gunk the house is these bad boys:


These old mini-blinds from the master bath didn’t getting a scrubbing though — they went straight to the trash!  *shiver*


Author: Olivia @ Mid-Century Modern(ization)

I am a wife, mother, and writer. I am also a crafting, furniture-refinishing, home-designing nut.

4 thoughts on “Cinderella, Cinderella

  1. I understand exactly what you are going through! When we bought our first house, it was new, builder-grade and boring but all dirt that has built up is ours. I openly admit to slacking on some of the cleaning and most often just go for the surface clean but the other stuff sometimes builds up. With the new place we bought, someone had been living there so I’m scrubbing that bad boy from top to bottom and throwing out and replacing lots of switchplates, etc. I even commented last week that I should probably go clean our normal house with the vigor I was attacking the other one (and plan to soon!).

  2. Having just moved into a rental while Seth and I try to figure out which north Atlanta burb we’d be interested in buying, I can completely relate to this! I don’t think the owners of our rental (my brother-in-law and his wife) ever cleaned a doorknob, switch plate or changed the air filters in the 8 years they lived here. I have been attempting to literally clean this house from floor to ceiling for the past month now…at 8 months pregnant. I too am a smidge angry (to be honest I’m pissed), but am also supremely grossed out on an almost weekly basis.

    Love the blog btw!

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