For almost three years of being a workaholic, I finally rewarded myself with a much needed break. My boss approved my one week vacation leave. I grabbed the opportunity and went to the Caribbean Islands for one whole week.
I made it a point to return home a day before the work week so I could fix any emergency that could ruin my schedule. While at the airport, the news flash caught my attention.
“Hurricane Gustav now leaving New Orleans!”
I panicked and called everyone I know to ask them how things are going. To my relief, people told me that it is a lot weaker than Hurricane Katrina. Everyone’s safe. I failed to call my landlady, however. Hence, you can’t imagine my surprise when I reached my apartment and saw a jungle out there.
My couch, wooden center table, kitchen and even my bed is a mess. Everything is dripping wet and stinking. According to my landlady, the hurricane left two days ago and since she can’t open my unit, there’s no way she can clean it up.
I was frustrated for a while but I thought I should start cleaning it up, or else things might get worse. No one else would clean it up anyway, unless, I can afford to hire a cleaning professional. After the Caribbean vacation, spending did not seem an option.
First stop was my couch. I decided to throw it away. It would cost me a fortune to clean it up and besides I have been thinking of buying a new couch anyway.
My wooden center table has a sentimental value, thus, I can’t throw it just like that. Since it has already been more than 24 hours since my unit was submerged in the water, the table is almost dry. The problem is the ugly white spots that were left on it. Good thing, I have kept a handy how-to book that deals with home cleaning and repairs.
The book suggested that with a damp cloth, dipped in a solution of ½ cup household ammonia and ½ cup water, the spots may disappear. I tried wiping the solution on the table, but the spots were still visible. I tried the next tip - to dip a 000 steel wool in olive oil, lightly rub it along the wood grain, and wipe it on the table using a soft cloth. The color was finally restored and I only needed a furniture polish to bring back the wood’s natural gloss.
As for my mattress, I decided to discard it. Like my couch, it is already old and restoring it would cost me more than buying a new one. My beddings had become a mess too but I don’t have much time and energy anymore. Hence, I opted to go the easiest way - I put on fresh sheets and placed the dirty ones in my laundry bag. Of course you know what happened next – there’s a job for my one-stop laundry services across the street.