That’s a wrap

The great house clean out has finally been completed. It’s been 7 months of really hard work, but the old house goes on the market today.

Mr. Ink’s sister in law, Laura, was in town this weekend to help. We rented a dumpster, and tackled the last bit of sorting, dumping, and cleaning.

I meant to take pictures of the dumpster, I meant to take before and after pictures, I meant to do so many things. And yet, once in the thick of the clean out, I really couldn’t focus on anything other than getting the job done.


I did, however, snap a photo of the trailer that took all our metal away. Our local dirt trail non profit organization collects metal for recycling to support the organization. So, we’d been saving metal for 7 months. In fact, not only did we save metal from the old house, I brought metal from my house to put on the metal pile when we moved in April. It was so nice to have the trailer arrive, and have help loading up all that junk, secure in the knowledge that we did not have to haul it, and that trails that we use regularly will benefit from it.

When you get into the thick of an old house clean out, working your way through 40 years of detritus, you find yourself wondering what to do with certain items that can’t just be thrown away. As I cleaned and sorted, I made a pile of household hazardous waste type materials, wondering what I’d do with them. Well, fortunately, our city does have a free disposal service. So, I lined my trunk with a tarp, and completely filled the trunk with old paint and stain cans, chemicals, and various other fluids of somewhat unknown origin, still in original packaging. It was a really cool experience actually, I drove to the disposal site, entered the area, popped my trunk, filled out some paperwork, and some people in white suits and gloves took everything out of the trunk, never to be seen again. I admit, I had a moment of “They need suits and gloves? But I just loaded all that stuff without any protection!” Nevertheless, it was great to get it out of the old house so we didn’t have to clean around it.

I think for any job like the big clean out, what you really need, if you have the manpower, is one person in charge of trying to keep people fed. We really struggled with this. We’d have a big breakfast, and then start to work. It was, inevitably, after 2 p.m. before we managed to decide we were at a stopping point to have lunch. Then after lunch, we’d keep working late into the evening, and at about 8:30 we’d think “Oh my goodness! Restaurants will be closing soon, we’d better clean up and get something to eat!” That being said, it worked for us.

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Mr. Ink taking a Sunday afternoon break. Lunch at 3 p.m. included two types of pizza, beer, and wine. A nice pick me up, and we were motivated to finish. At this point we were feeling triumphant because we only had a few things left to put in the dumpster in one room, and then to clean and vacuum that room. It was a major accomplishment, and we knew once that was done, all other chores were just “icing” on the cake. We didn’t HAVE to do yard work, but we got the house done in time to do a bunch of trimming.

The major casualty of the weekend was my 10 year old vacuum cleaner. I had a really nice vacuum, and Mr. Ink had already fixed it once this year, because I happen to like that vacuum so much it was hard to imagine not having it. But, with only a room and a half left to vacuum, it gave up the ghost on Saturday. Sunday morning found me in a store trying to decide on a cheap model to get us through the rest of the cleaning. I got one, and it’ll work, but I am not convinced I’ll love it. But the house is vacuumed and that’s what really counts.

Mr Ink’s mother, almost 90,¬†informed him that since his middle name is Joseph, and St. Joseph is the patron saint of home sellers, she felt that we would get a miracle with the selling of this home. Laura’s quick response: Yes, the Miracle has a name, Kara and Laura.