Friday, August 1, 2008

A funny story about moving out (better late than never)

So, this story is a little belated timeline-wise. But I wanted to wait until things were all wrapped up with our property management company back in Portland before exposing this story to the world (internet). For those of you that haven't heard it yet, it's a doozy.

About a month ago (actually, exactly a month ago yesterday) Devon and I were working hard to complete the final scrub-down of our house in Portland. Everything was packed up and crammed into cars and moving vans, and the house was looking good. As we sweated and scrubbed in the 90 degree heat, we ticked off rooms: bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, living room--DONE! We had the kitchen left to scrub, and a final zoom through with the vacuum. Devon was scrubbing the kitchen, and I was touching up a little paint damage we'd managed to do to the baseboards around the house.

Let me advise you right now, NEVER do baseboard touch-up work in a house that you are about an hour away from being DONE with. NEVER AGAIN.

I was in one of the bedrooms, scootching my way around the floor of the room on my butt, filling the little dark spots where the paint had been chipped off. Let me add, the baseboards in our house were white, so I had a can of white paint I was carrying around with me. Paint can in hand, I stood up to take a look at how things were going, and promptly stubbed my toe on the carpet and tripped. The paint can flew out of my hands, and paint exploded across the BROWN carpet and onto the tan walls. There was paint EVERYWHERE.

Based on the speed at which Devon made it into the room, the tone of my voice when I howled "OH NO, DEVON!!!!" must have been a pretty good indicator of my emotion: panic. We grabbed as many towels as we could find and started frantically sopping up paint. What in the HELL were we going to do? Not only was our deposit as good as gone, we were probably going to have to pay to have the whole damn room re-carpeted--maybe even the whole HOUSE.

We had been probably TWO hours from being done with the house, and still hadn't had dinner. The frantic brainstorming started. I encouraged Devon to start helping with the carpet rather than the walls (we had matching paint for the walls, we could touch that up later). Thinking back to what had worked best as far as getting the paint brushes clean, I told Devon we HAD to keep the paint wet. If we let it dry, there was no hope left. I grabbed a water bottle and then a bucket and started pouring water directly on the carpet. Then came the dish soap. It had worked for getting the paint out of the brushes, why not the carpet? So, with a sponge mop, a bucket of water, rags and a bottle of dishsoap, we went to work. And believe it or not, it started to come up.

We managed to get about 1/2 of the paint out that way, I think (or maybe it was just more spread out?). Devon started thinking, and remembered that she'd seen carpet cleaners for rent at Fred Meyer. At this point, it couldn't hurt. She jumped in the car, and drove out to the store to see about renting one. Sure enough, they had them. Unfortunately, they required photo ID to rent one. And hers was locked in her office at work (oh, the coincidence). She blasted home, tossed me her car keys (mine was packed with plants--no room for a steam cleaner), and I went and grabbed the machine.

I cannot BELIEVE how well it worked. It was outstanding. Emily, David, and their friend Allen came by to pick up Flymo (our hovercraft lawnmower) as I was sucking up the last of it and drying out the carpet. By that point, aside from my frazzled appearance, they swore you couldn't tell there'd been a bucket of paint spilled all over the carpet. The other awesome thing about the cleaner, is that it sucked up all the water we'd dumped on the carpet trying to prevent the paint from drying.

Devon stopped by the next day to check on things, and she said there was no sign of the disaster. Sure enough, we got our deposit back from the management company today, and it was the entire thing.

Good grief.

The moral of this story is: don't play with paint in rental houses.

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