For some reason, when you live in base housing, they expect you to leave it nicely clean when you move out…as if the next residents won’t appreciate all the time and effort it takes to grow science projects in 5 different areas of the house. To facilitate the cleaning process, they have what’s known as the “pre-inspection” about 2 weeks (or as long as 30 days) before you move out.

Now, in the past this pre-inspection has consisted of someone from the housing office coming to our residence, where upon they poke their nose into all the rooms and closets and bathrooms, look in the oven and fridge and dishwasher. When they’re done, they tell me what an awful housekeeper I am, and recite a list of things I need to pay particular attention to before we can even think of passing the final inspection.

This never makes me feel too bad, because just about everyone I know is made to feel like they don’t have a clue about House Cleaning 101.

When we cleared housing at Travis AFB the last time, we didn’t have to work too hard because the house was slated to be torn down.

This time, the housing isn’t owned by the military. Wright Patterson AFB has made the move towards privatized base housing; a civilian contractor owns and is responsible for repairs and maintenance at what not to the housing that a great many military members live in here. It’s noticeably different from getting repairs and the like from civil engineering: for the most part they come out the day you call for a repair, or the day after. I’ve never had to wait more than a day and a half, even when they said they technically had 15 days to come out. Call their housing office and you don’t typically feel like they think they’re doing you a favor by being allowed to breathe the air in their houses; they get your housing allowance—rent—and they know it.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised by yesterday’s pre-inspection of our house. I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned for it, but the guy came in, we stepped into the living room, and he basically said to clean it as well as we’d like it to be if we were moving in; don’t hire a contract cleaner, it’s a waste of money; if you break a sweat, you’re working too hard. Damp mop the floors, don’t wash the windows.


However…I did clean and clean and clean and clean for this pre-inspection, and a majority of that cleaning was upstairs, in one particular bathroom only used by someone we Shall Not Name. And the guy never went upstairs.

My efforts were not admired.
My efforts were not even noticed.

I am happy, though, that my efforts to clean out the closets were worth it; the guy from the moving company also stopped by to look at our stuff—to gauge how many boxes and manpower would be needed to get the job done—and he peeked into all the closets. He did not scream in terror, nor did he mutter “Oh Holy Crap.” Just “not too much here.”

He should have seen it before…

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