I find the idea of spring cleaning very old-school, but then the first sun comes out after a long German winter and I immediately notice how dirty the windows are.
Get your equipment ready. I mostly clean with wooden brushes and kitchen towels.
It has been a year since I moved to our current apartment. It is not easy to find a flat in Berlin, at least if you want to stay inside the inner city, as bordered by the ring train. We found most available flats in Neukölln, however, that is also the district everyone wants to move to. Visiting flats felt more like going to a hip overcrowded home parties, and sometimes we were even walking in a row. At this point sending the applications for flats seems more like deleting e-mails.
Aleppo soap is my staple cleaner. I use if for all kinds of surfaces, including bathroom, as well as to wash the dishes. First, I grate it into a bottle and then add boiling water. It lathers well and smells great.
Just as my boyfriend Paul gave up on going to more flat visits, we got lucky. There was a really bad add on E-bay with confusing information and no photos. I wrote the guy I would like to see it and he wrote me back some demotivational e-mail about the renovation process and moving in next week. He added that I will have to pay him provision of three monthly rents and that I should only reply if I agree with it. I didn’t really understand most of the e-mail at the time. If I would, I probably wouldn’t show up. I think that explains why there were just me, a Turkish couple that didn’t speak German and a family that was told the flat is twice the size.
I use vinegar for washing windows, mirrors and other glass surfaces. You can add it to boiling water when washing your brushes. I clean the oven with it as well as use it for laundry.
The broker came half an hour late and invented a sexist joke instead of an apology. He lit a cigarette as soon as we stepped into the flat. The family left immediately and the couple was booed away by the douche bag because they didn’t speak German. All of a sudden I was the only one there.
Baking soda can be sprinkled over the couch or the carpet to get it clean. I only put it on some stains. Don’t mix it with water, just wipe (or vacuum) it off after a while. Mix it with vinegar if you need to unclog the pipes.
I told him we can move in immediately even though the flat was a complete mess. Everything was covered with plastic, they were still working on the bathroom and the doors were missing. Outside the broker asked me for a provision of 1000€ (he is paid by the owner and charging provision is illegal). I burst into laughter, tell him I am not giving him a penny. We moved in the next week.
I use olive oil regularly to care for wood surfaces as well as to get rid of the stickers on jars.
Borrowed van full of furniture was already waiting downstairs as we barely signed the contract. They actually managed to finish the renovations. It was the first time that I saw the wooden floors, brand new doors and new tiles in the kitchen. The flat was beautiful.
As I am cleaning the flat in the name of upcoming spring, I feel grateful for the douche bag broker. Sometimes the lack of german skills and an incompetent person is exactly what you need in life.