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9 years of a full house renovation can lead to an incredible amount of construction dirt and grime. Find out how we cleaned it all up!
So this post is a bit more of a look into my personal life and unlike my typical recipe posts. This falls along the lines of my normal “Tuesday’s Tip” postings where I share kitchen tips and tricks as well as items I highly recommend. Today is one of those product recommendations. Today I’m teaming up with the makers of the Glade® brand to share how they helped make my house smell like a home! The Atmosphere Collection™ Fine Fragrance Mist by the makers of the Glade® brand is infused with essential oils, and masterfully crafted fragrances. Glade® Atmosphere Collection™ Fine Fragrance Mist No.2 Bright™ fragrance and No.3 Free™ fragrance gave me back comfort and the smell of home in just a single whiff!
For those of you that are new to the TKW Family here’s a bit of the backstory of the 9-year renovation of our home. The house didn’t need the renovation but it was dated when we bought it. Now, just like any home project, it started off with something small that, 9 years later is FINALLY coming to an end. I can still remember that fateful night Mr. Fantabulous came into the office and said those fateful words, “Honey, I think we should remodel the media and billiards room. It shouldn’t be hard. Just take down the cedar planks and half brick wall and replace it with plaster. 3 months total hon.”
….3 months total. <sigh>
I, being doe-eyed and naive, thought “Okay, 3 months isn’t bad. I mean it’s only one giant room.” Yeah, no that’s not what happened. We removed huge cedar planks and almost 5000 full brick just from the media and billiards room. Then came down the drop ceiling in that room. Then the carpeting. But did we stop there? Oh no…. then came down ALL the walls, ceilings and carpeting in the ENTIRE downstairs. We’re talking 4,000 sqft of construction of just tear down items. And I won’t even get into the random “Hey honey I’m tearing out the kitchen as a ‘mini-project’ and putting in a whole new one” in the middle of the entire downstairs remodel. Yes, you read that right. He actually called a full kitchen tear out and rebuild as a “mini-project”. <sigh>
This is what we tore the one reading room down to. It was just cinder block and cement flooring…and a WHOLE LOT OF DUST/DEBRIS! We closed up 2 doors in that room, ran all new wiring, and also put in a nook for 2 wing chairs. Not only am I a dual engineer and a chef but I’m also one fantabulous plasterer! This girl can plaster with the best of them now and put down hardwood flooring like the pros!
And you can imagine the dust, the grime, the debris and just the fumes from all that work. Construction is a dirty job. And living through it for 9 years, it took the comforts and warm smells that make a house a home away from me. We’d clean as best as I could but when you have brick dust, flooring dust, plaster and every other smell that came with construction it got the point for years we never had anyone over. But fortunately, we developed some really great tips to not only help us in the later years but hopefully can help you before you start your project!
Okay so what’s first?
- Write up a project plan. No, you don’t have to be a project manager to do this. A simple piece of paper and a pen will work. What you want to do is write down EXACTLY what you want to accomplish with the project. It can be “paint the walls” to “remodel the kitchen”.
- Write up the actions on what needs to happen in order to accomplish the task. Need to paint the walls? Well, write down what all you need to paint the walls – brushes, paint, rollers, tape, drop clothes, etc.
- TRIPLE CHECK THE LIST. Did you think of everything? You sure? Well wait, did you write down that you need to clean the walls, remove the grime and so forth? Maybe you need a cleaner for that. Put it on the list. The absolute worst thing ever is being in the middle of a project and having to stop mid-project and go back to the home improvement store. TRUST ME ON THIS! There was one day I literally want to 2 home improvement stores 4 times IN ONE DAY. And there were several weeks I was at these stores multiple times a week. It got the point where folks were asking me where items were and the workers knew me by first name.
But through it all we never gave up and by the time year 7 hit we were well seasoned in how to keep your sanity during a remodeling project AND also clean up after major renovations. And that’s what I want to share with you guys today – how to honestly keep your sanity and more importantly keep your house a home with amazing smells!
Now during the project, you’ll want to obviously keep your house as clean as possible and also smelling amazing. As you know I shop at Walmart faithfully. Well, the new Glade® products are there.
Check out the Walmart Page for full details!
They have 4 new scents out there and to be honest it’s seriously hard to pick just one. I bought one of each that way I don’t have to pick a favorite!
♥ No.1 Enraptured™ fragrance contains elegant notes of jasmine and rose are given a modern twist with scents of pink lady apple and honeysuckle. A hint of honey lends a sweet surprise over a backdrop of cedarwood and spicy clove bud notes. This is a scent that reminds me of Spring. Very bright and light!
♥ No.2 Bright™ fragrance is sweet and comforting. It has a touch of ripe raspberries and orchard fruit notes mingle with jasmine, rose and sweet pea over a pillowy bed of powder musk, sweet tonka bean and sheer blonde woods scents.
♥ No.3 Free™ fragrance Mr. Fantabulous absolutely fell in love with! It has hints of white pineapple, citrus and beachside florals swirl through layers of coconut, beach woods and vanilla bean scents.
♥ No.4 Tempted™ fragrance is one will quickly become your Fall favorite. With hints of warm, exotic spices are kissed with freesia and golden amber. Vanilla orchid notes deepen the captivating blend along with scents of fresh eucalyptus, cedarwood, patchouli and brown sugar.
For the Reading Room above I decided to keep it more along the lines of the No.2 Bright™ fragrance and also No.3 Free™ fragrance. Since the Reading Room connects to the Media and Billiards room, these 2 scents actually compliment one another quite beautifully. Just a quick mist is all I needed. Since the items are a continuous spray all I have to do is spray up and sweep side to side. Just a quick sweep and my room is infused with the most amazing scents that honestly have given me back my home.
As you can see compared from the images above the differences are night and day. This room is clean, warm, comforting and more importantly, smells AMAZING!
- Whatever your project is, ensure that you have all safety precautions in place – gloves, protective eyewear, face mask, first aid kit.
- Next you’ll need a shop vac, rags, buckets, broom/mop/bucket, and heavy-duty boxes/bags to capture the debris.
Now this room, this is only a third of the room that Mr. Fantabulous originally wanted to remodel. The “just 3 months honey” room. This room nearly broke my spirit. It’s the most amazing room in the entire house and we literally couldn’t use it for 9 years. We couldn’t play pool, we couldn’t watch tv, we couldn’t have friends over. Folks I couldn’t sit on a couch and watch tv for 9 years. Think about that! 9 years of only being able to watch tv in your bed.
And with all of the work we did and the chemicals introduced from the plaster to the flooring glue to the just “dirty” smell of construction. What we found to honestly help us while we did the work was box and clean as we went. Remove as much debris out of the room. Shut off the air filters in this room so it didn’t get pulled into the rest of the house..
Prepare for a mess and clean as you go!
- Point blank, it’s going to get messy and dirty. No amount of taping off rooms, covering in tarps/plastic will prevent dust and grit from getting in places. We’re talking the light fixtures and bulbs, your walls, pictures, in the cushions/pillows.
- Move out as much furniture as you can. Remove the light fixtures if you can – just leave the bulbs. If you have drapes/curtains/shades remove them. I HATE cleaning blinds – there seriously is no easy way. I cheated and just bought all new. lol
- Have 2 set of clothes and shoes. Before you go into the construction area leave your clean clothes/shoes there. Grab your construction clothes and put them on while you’re in the construction room. This way you’re mitigating the risk of dragging construction debris all through the house.
But then, one day, you glue your last board down. You touch up the last bit of paint and nail the last piece of trim in that room. We did it! We survived 9 long years of major remodel on something that started off as “just 3 months” that pretty much became almost an entire estate remodeling project WHILE us both running 2 companies and my also working full time on another job. We had no life, we went nowhere. This house and remodeling project became our life but my goodness, the transformation is incredible!
However, it wasn’t until I did a quick mist up and side to side of the No.2 Bright™ fragrance and No.3 Free™ fragrance in the rooms did I finally take a deep breath and realize “my house is now a home”. Glade® Atmosphere Collection™ Fine Fragrance Mist gave me the smells of home back!
All the hard work, the dirt, the tears, the 875,907 trips to the home improvement stores, the injuries, the arguments, the ruined clothes, the filth, the debris, the buckets of cleaning solutions, the repeated wiping/dusting/wiping/dusting/repeat another 873 times was all worth it!
I fell in love again with this room.
I could play pool! I could breathe easily and I could finally sit on the couch and watch tv! Folks seriously this was HUGE for Mr. Fantabulous and me! I actually thought about getting all dressed up just to seriously sit on my couch, eat pizza and watch a movie! LOL
And the best… I could have my friends and family over! As we unveiled the new rooms Mama Fantabulous immediately spied the 2 bottles of Glade® Atmosphere Collection™ Fine Fragrance Mist and made a bee-line for them. She picked them up, one at a time and tried them out. She immediately went “Oh Lori these smell amazing! Is this what you sprayed in here? I love it!”
Folks she loved it so much she went out and bought some the next day! What I love about it is that it’s not overpowering. It’s so pleasant to the nose and just is comforting..
While the rooms are done construction-wise, we still have a little bit of work to get done on the whole decorating aspect. That is probably my hardest thing to do as I do NOT have a design-eye. But that’s okay, the fact that we’re at the point where we only have to worry about decorating is HUGE!
When it’s all done – let’s get to cleaning!
- So you have 2 options: hire a company or do it yourself. Now given how massive our project is/was, to hire a company was just economically wise. So we did it ourselves.
- Do it yourself:
- Remove all debris out of the room.
- Clean out the air ducts and replace the filters.
- Use a shop vac to sweep down the ceiling, fixtures, walls, and floors.
- Use a wet rag with an appropriate cleaning liquid to wipe down the walls, ceilings, fixtures, windows and window frames – do this a few times.
- If there was any furniture left in the room, sweep them repeatedly to suck out the dust. If there are pillows that can be washed or dry-cleaned do this is it is in your budget.
- Clean all wood, baseboards, handles, hinges. Seriously you need to clean EVERYTHING!
- Check the air ducts and filters again
- Check the light bulbs and any glass items for dust. Clean appropriately.
- Don’t be surprised if you need to clean this multiple times. It’s OK! Trust me on this!
- Walk around the room and mist your favorite Glade® Atmosphere Collection™ Fine Fragrance Mist around the room.
- Take a deep whiff and smile! You did it!