I have never been known as a "neat" person. Dirt really doesn't bother me in the slightest. In high school I was infamous for my room, where you could not see the floor for all the clothing strewn about. So you can imagine my surprise when after my recent move I discovered my extreme distaste for what I deemed "other people's dirt" (henceforth known as OPD).
I have, of course, encountered OPD in my life. I've lived in a total of three NYC apartments before buying this one, each coming with their own bits of dirt and grossness. However, the first two apartments had a definite sense of transience to them, as we were on year-long leases, and I don't think any of us thought of those apartments as long-term homes. Then, when I left the roommate-situation to live with my then-boyfriend/now-husband in his digs, all OPD was replaced by his dirt, which I could handle. But now in our Jackson Heights home, I was horrified by all the OPD I encountered.
We didn't have any down time between moving and closing, so we immediately started sleeping on an air-mattress while painting. I didn't like being on the floor and that close to OPD. While my husband primed every room in the apartment from it's neon hues, I started attacking the bathroom and then the kitchen with a bleach based spray, ridding all surfaces I could find of OPD so that it would be okay to shower/use the toilet/cook/store food. This involved removing all the shelves from all of the cabinets and scrubbing all of the hinges. Removing the (only two) drawers and scrubbing them inside and out. After I had done, my husband glanced under the sink and remarked that he had never seen under a sink look so clean. I refrained from remarking that was because under the sink at his apartment was kind of gross... especially because it had been my apartment too.
Now that the apartment feels more like "ours", and we've painted every vertical surface in the place, I don't really worry too much about Other People's Dirt. Though it's probably out there, lurking in corners and by molding. Perhaps tomorrow I will pull out the vacuum and start with the crevice tool...