I purchased my first home three years ago. It took me longer than most to finally reach that goal, because I am a single mother of three. I have two daughters, ages 10 and 9. I also have a son who is 7. I also have Pug, named Bill. When I first purchased my home, my children were very young.
My home is a beautiful split level ranch. The kitchen and the dining area have hardwood floors, and the rest of the house has off white carpets, including the kids’ bedrooms, my bedroom, the living room, and the kids’ playroom in the basement. When I first looked at the house, I didn’t consider all of the problems that off white carpets would cause with three kids and a dog.
In the beginning, I was very careful with the carpets. I made my kids take their shoes off in the entryway before they came into the house. I even placed a decorative bench in the entryway, that opens up so the kids could sit down to take their shoes off and then keep them stored in the bench.
I also purchased a mat to put in front of the door so the kids could wipe their feet before they came in the house. For the first few months, my plan worked. There was no outside dirt being dragged into the house.
On the first rainy day that we had after moving into our new home, I found mud prints on the stairs and in the living room. Because the kids were at school, there was only one culprit. Bill. He had mud on his paws, and you can expect a dog to wipe his paws before coming into the house. I went to the store, and I purchased a spray-on carpet cleaner. After a bit of scrubbing, I got the stains out.
Over time, I had to purchase many of those bottles of carpet cleaner. The dog kept tracking mud in the house, the kids would spill things, and they would occasionally forget to take their shoes off. Each time I found a stain, I would immediately scrub it out with the carpet cleanser.
My first Christmas in the new house, I threw an Ugly Sweater party. I invited all of my family and friends over to see my new house and to celebrate the holidays. I felt guilty expecting all of these people to take their shoes off before they came in the house, so I just made sure that everyone wiped their feet before they came inside. As the party went on, I stopped paying as much attention. Guests who smoke were coming in and out of the house, and I was busy playing hostess, refilling drinks, and making sure that each dish was coming out of the oven before it burned.
A few tipsy guests spilled their drinks on the floor, and my four year old nephew spilled his bowl of meatballs in the middle of the living room rug. The party was a huge success, but when I woke up in the morning, my carpets were a mess. I spent most of the day using my spray-on carpet cleaner to get the stains out.
On Christmas Day, my mother came for dinner. She lives in another state, so she had never seen the house before. I worked hard the entire day before to get the place clean before she came. I wanted her to be impressed with my new house. When she got to the house, she was delighted with what she saw. We sat down and talked for a while.
Finally she blurted out the words that I never wanted to hear. “Clean your home” I didn’t even know how to respond. I looked around at the living room which was dusted and vacuumed. I looked at the kitchen. The floors were clean and there were no dishes in the sink. When I asked what she meant, she said that the carpets were filthy. I looked at them closely, and realized that she was right.
As much as I tried to keep up with them using the spray-on cleaner, it wasn’t enough. I explained to her how difficult it was to keep the carpets clean with three kids and a dog, not to mention entertaining. We dropped the subject and got back to celebrating the holiday.
The next morning, she announced that we were going to the department store a few miles away from my house so that should could buy me a carpet cleaner. Not the spray-on type, she bought me a carpet cleaning machine. We took it home and vacuumed the whole house.
Next, we tried out the machine. I couldn’t believe how quickly the stains were coming out. By the time we were done, every carpet in the house looked brand new. After getting the carpet cleaner, I would clean the carpets once a month while the kids were with the Dad. The machine was so easy to use, it wasn’t an all day project. Finally, I could keep my carpets clean without spending hundreds of dollars every year on spray-on carpet cleaner.