construction lessons

There are more lessons from our construction process than these gems, but a few came to mind this weekend:

1) New is not necessarily clean.

This may be new construction and some people tout new houses because they are supposedly so much cleaner and better than old houses.  However, there is low-grade (and not so low-grade) dirt and dust everywhere.  Yes, we’ve been sweeping and picking up for months now, but moving requires fine-grained cleaning–not “get the worst of it up before the next contractors come in” cleaning.  Like, taking a damp cloth or paper towel and wiping all the molding.  Like, getting out the vinegar ‘n’ water spray, more towels, and cleaning all the windows.  Like, the kitchen cabinets are installed–yay!  But there’s random bits of wood in all of the cabinets from where the carpenters hammered and screwed in the cabinets.  So, before we put dishes and food in there, it’d really be better if the cleaning fairy wiped down all the interiors.  In short, “moving” does not mean moving alone.  Which brings me to insight #2.

2) We need a third place; or, another dimension of the pre-moving problem.

We’re at that point where we could start moving some things into the house–at least once the final round of dirty construction finishes (hardwood floor finishing, stairs completion, final bits of trim here and there).  However, not only do we need to clean all the rooms first (see #1 above), but also some stuff needs to go in places where other stuff is already stashed.  In other words, we need to move some stuff out of the house into the garage to free up room to move.  Except that we’re living in the garage so we can’t put much more in the garage right now, especially anything dirty, greasy, or dangerous to felines.  Basically, some key tasks in the house have to get done so we can do the final, fine-grained cleaning (see #1) and then–and only then–start moving out of the garage.  Then, of course, we’ll have more room in the garage to move other things in.  If we had a third place to stash some stuff while we’re in this awkward limbo stage, it’d be awfully handy, but then we would be double or triple handling things, which is hardly efficient.

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