The First Weekend–Cleaning House

This past weekend, my parents and my brother came up to the house to help Paul and me on some projects.  To move forward with the renovation of the house, we first have to clean out the things that were left behind by the previous homeowner.  I wish I could say this was an easy task, but I’d already put about 12 hours into cleaning up his stuff and had barely made a dent.  Clothing, toys, appliances, paint, auto parts, and mainly garbage littering every room of the house, the basement, the garage, and the yard.

As I think may have been apparent in the photos I posted earlier, this house was a victim of extreme deferred maintenance.  Due to that, before we can even live in the house, we have to undo that damage.  That’s where my family helped us out today.

Tasks to be completed:

  • Sort the stuff in the main house and separate into piles: giveaway/sell, scrap metal, clothes/fabric, paper recycling, electronics recycling, household hazardous waste (paint, cleaners, etc) and garbage.
  • Clean out the garage and separate stuff into same piles as above
  • Fix locks on the main house and add deadbolt to the garage
  • Remove appliances and old cabinetry from the kitchen and move to garage
  • Take down Christmas lights that have been on the house continuously for at least two years
  • Further cover up holes in the window upstairs and in the living room

Well, my superstar family did all of that in one day.  We got lucky and the weather was great–most of the snow was melted from the week of warm weather before, so moving appliances was relatively straightforward.  (I don’t want to think about how we would do it now that we have 12+ inches of new snow).  So, the kitchen got completely gutted–appliances, cabinetry and sink all removed–which revealed this little gem:

Wallpaper behind the cabinets--vintage-y!

Oh how I wish I could find wallpaper like that nowadays!  I don’t know exactly what period I’d place this in, but between Paul and me, we would guess maybe 1950s?  Here’s the kitchen now that everything’s out of it:

ugly cabinets--gone!

My mother demolished the sorting of items in the main house–there were at least 5 full boxes that I hadn’t gotten to yet.   We made the downstairs bedroom the headquarters of trash, and here’s what we ended up with:

Piles of junk--Craigslist here I come!

And my brother took on the clearing of the garage, which turned out to be an invaluable effort.  As it turns out, the previous owner was a bit of a tinkerer on cars, and lucky for me, my brother was able to pick out the things he left behind that were probably worth selling.  Here’s a couple of the “treasures” in the trash:

mustang bumpers and etc.

old outdoor lamp

We made enormous progress today and I can’t thank my family enough!

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About Leigh

Born and raised in Rochester, MN, Leigh moved to the Twin Cities in 2004 for college. She stayed, and now works for a south metro city in the recycling department. In February of 2011, she and Paul bought a neglected farm house in the city to start our own urban hobby farm.

Posted on February 22, 2011, in Carriage House, House, Renovation, Reuse and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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