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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    23,275

    Default Cleaning up deceased MILs place

    Just a few numbers.

    A large two storey house as well as a 3 bedroom beach house and 4 x 10m shed, all COCKA with stuff.

    Two months during which family members selected and removed various kitchen goods, furniture, personal stuff and bric-a-brac.
    4 boxes of Poisons, paints and unknowns to hazardous waste disposal centre, still finding some squirrelled around the place.

    Last week we hired a large skip and called in some 10 odd family members to assist
    All remaining decent furniture colocated in ground floor of main house.
    Everything else onto front lawn, estimate was 5 skips worth of stuff.
    Advertised for free on GT - "stuff" volume down to <1 skip within 4 days.
    At times stuff was going as fast as we dragged it out!

    40 garbage bags of clothing to Vinnies and Red Cross
    >40 boxes of books mainly to Red Cross
    >30+ boxes of kitchen ware and bric-a-brac to Vinnies, Red Cross and Good Sammys.
    2 van loads of metal to metal recyclers,
    4 van loads of junk to tip.
    2 van loads of stuff to our place
    2 van loads to sons place
    1 van load to BILs place.

    To go:
    ~20 more boxes of books
    ~25 bags of linen
    3-4 boxes of electricals to Good Sammy's

    At least one more van load of "stuff" that has to come back to our place as SWMBO can't face dealing with sorting it at her mum's old place.

    I'm not that well so I've mainly be driving the van and on maintenance duties, leaking taps, damaged light switches, lots of patch and paint, etc.
    I've been full time on this project for 6 of the last 9 days. It's also 40 minutes drive there, and because of road works up to 60 minutes drive back.
    Today is supposed to be a rest day at home - instead we're going through repeated rounds of "Rubics cube" furniture rearrangements replacing older worn out stuff with better.
    Luckily it's hard rubbish collection in our street so lots going onto verge.

    Probably 4-5 days worth of work to go.

    That's enough complaining - I think you get the picture

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Rockhampton QLD
    Age
    64
    Posts
    1,637

    Default

    Hang in there Bob.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    3,350

    Default

    Yep know how it is been through similar a couple of times, makes me think that some poor b$%#er will be saying the same about my place one day

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    lower eyre peninsular
    Age
    70
    Posts
    2,170

    Default

    SWMBO has a 40' container as her 'studio' along with stuff lying around, Ive declared the day after her funeral a match goes to the lot, she vows to come and haunt me, bring it on better than the outside shoit.,

    Dad passed away in NZ just recently been in a 2 bedroom unit 3 years, 4 brothers all took what they wanted compared to what they needed, but that was only 2 items each, the rest was boxed up, Salvos came took the lot. Unit completely empty a week after he'd shot through and sold a week after that. No pain, no fights, no depression, lots of laughs and happy memories.
    Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    23,275

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonyz View Post
    passed away in NZ just recently been in a 2 bedroom unit 3 years, 4 brothers all took what they wanted compared to what they needed, but that was only 2 items each, the rest was boxed up, Salvos came took the lot. Unit completely empty a week after he'd shot through and sold a week after that. No pain, no fights, no depression, lots of laughs and happy memories.
    I can see the attraction of this but 75% of the work is sorting through the piles, cupboards and drawers, before we even get to boxes and moving furniture. SWMBO and her nieces must have spent a month of days sorting so far.

    All of the stuff in the beach house was well beyond and form of charities pick up - that's why we had to get a skip. The charities I called to come and collect now want a photo of the furniture item BEFORE they come and collect and they wouldn't come for boxes. Maybe the are less picky in NZ.

    Also if we had just thrown stuff into boxes we would have easily lost some classic family gems. Her grandfathers WWI and her dad's WWII military memorabilia, (apparently valuable) stamp collection, her mums 1945 diary, the VP day sailors cap, the bag of silver round 50c pieces, the grandfathers 1920's mining gear etc. Has it been worth it? There's no question we are doing well out of the cleanup and I can see it has been important for SWMBO. In the shed I found a set of 1920' P&N taps and dies wrapped up in greasy newspaper - If I had chucked these into boxes I would have missed these.

    Of the furniture we have selected two 1.5m tall sea chests in good nick that have a been in the family for 150+years, and two beautifully dressers restored by late FIL. Also still thinking about an antique wardrobe that the FIL has restored - I think it's made of cedar. SWMBO and her mum were/are both into fabrics and yarns so SWMBO scores the 2 dozen odd boxes of that all that, plus an old spinning wheel, (there were two spinning wheels, a nephew has taken one, SWMBO also already has one). Her dad was the holder of all family docs going back to when they arrived in WA in 1829 and most of these were well cared for but a few were scattered through other papers. luckily we found them. These have passed to my BIL.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    se Melbourne
    Age
    58
    Posts
    2,155

    Default

    Understand what you are going through.
    Wife is only child and after FIL passed away ended up cleaning up his place to rent. Charities did not want, or unable to take some furniture. My son sold some items on GT, some other items of furniture ended up being scrapped. Some items like paintings and dinner set were sold at auction. (I tried to give away a buffet on WWF without success.) Also had No More Junk in to take away some rubbish and a couple of council collections. Took about 6 months to clean up and do up place to rent. Still have some stuff here to sort out, mainly pictures.
    Sometimes the emotion makes it harder than the practicalities.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Huntington Beach, CA USA
    Age
    77
    Posts
    1,765

    Default

    We lived with my mother's mother (Grandmother) in Brooklyn.
    My mother moved us ( not grandmother) to California, abandoning 75% of furniture and stuff.
    Four years later my mother, with father, moved to Florida leaving 75% of furniture and stuff behind.
    Five or six years later my mother, with father, moved to Desert Hot Springs, California leaving all kinds of stuff behind.
    Six or 8 years later my mother, with father, moved to Florida, again, again leaving much stuff behind.
    Another 4 or 5 years and after my father's death my mother moved to a motel in Desert Hot Springs leaving almost everything behind.
    After three years my mother moved to another motel in Palm Springs.
    After two years my mother moved to a motel in Florida.
    After another year or so my mother moved into a nursing home. The only stuff to move was personal clothes, etc.
    Over the next three years there were several two or three week stays in a hospital before she died.
    I had bought her a TV for the nursing home. A nephew took that for his kids. The staff at the nursing home took her clothes for other residents, including an ex-roommate that she detested. (I got a laugh about that.)

    I was exceptionally fortunate that every bit of sorting and disposing was done for me.

    I did have to make final arrangements for both my father and mother. In the last years of their marriage my mother hated my father and when he was transferred to a hospital, my mother made final arrangements with a local funeral home. When my father died a week or so later, my mother and I went to the funeral home and completed the arrangements. We encountered the most professional and ethical person I ever met in my life. The only up sell was $20 to have my father's ashes distributed into the Gulf Stream off the coast of Florida.

    When it came time for me to make the arrangements for my mother, I was experienced and encountered a shyster funeral director. As the arrangements had been made, as we (My brother and nephew) left the funeral home my brother said, "You are one cold MF."

    The point here is that if you have no real experience making the arrangements, bring somebody with you that you give authority to and is emotionally detached. They will save you a fortune and you won't waste money on "features" that your loved one can't feel and will never know about.
    Rich

    When SWMBO said "I won't cook in metric."
    The metric system died in the US.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    23,275

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rrich View Post
    We lived with my mother's mother (Grandmother) in Brooklyn.
    My mother moved us ( not grandmother) to California, abandoning 75% of furniture and stuff.
    Four years later my mother, with father, moved to Florida leaving 75% of furniture and stuff behind.
    Five or six years later my mother, with father, moved to Desert Hot Springs, California leaving all kinds of stuff behind.
    Six or 8 years later my mother, with father, moved to Florida, again, again leaving much stuff behind.
    Another 4 or 5 years and after my father's death my mother moved to a motel in Desert Hot Springs leaving almost everything behind.
    After three years my mother moved to another motel in Palm Springs.
    After two years my mother moved to a motel in Florida.
    After another year or so my mother moved into a nursing home. The only stuff to move was personal clothes, etc.
    My mum and dad were the opposite coming from very poor origins.
    When Dad came to Australia he arrived with one suitcase
    Mum arrived in Australia with two suitcases, a small steamer trunk and my 3 month old sister.
    They only moved 4 times in 46 years each time taking everything they had with them before dad passed away.
    At that stage mum was in a decent sized, 3 bedroom unit and even with dad gone she continued to accumulate stuff, much of it gathered on foot from verge side hard rubbish collections.
    In one bedroom she had double bed with two mattresses and another room she had 2 single beds each with 3 mattresses on them.

    Then when mum developed dementia and moved into the ground floor at my sisters very large two storey house mum was allocated a room with en-suite, another bedroom for storage, plus her own kitchen, dining and lounge room which were already furnished.
    Anyway clearly some hard decisions had to be made none of which were easy. I remember taking 7 pedestal fans and 4 electric heaters to Good Sammy.
    She had 20 pairs of gardening shoes in the shed, boxes full of short pieces of string, rags, old clothing etc. Every little item was argued about. We'd put some stuff in the bin and then when we went back later mum had taken them out of the bin. In the end one of my sisters and I were putting stuff in our vehicles and then to our rubbish bins.
    The most awkward things to deal with were mum's plants. Mum had over 1000 health attractive pot plants at her unit and she insisted on taking most of of these to my sisters place. In the end we pared this down to about 100 which transformed my sisters garden and we thought would continue to give mum something to do but no, 100 plants were not enough as mum started messing with the rest of my sisters garden (my sister already has a regular gardener) and many a bun fight ensued.
    A year later mum moved to a dementia care facility and is now down to one room. She still had two rooms, a linen cupboard and other cupboards full of stuff at my sisters place. Recently my sisters ground floor was flooded and they had to vacate the ground floor while repairs were being made. I'm not sure what's happened but I think my sister has moved it all onto charities.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    23,275

    Default

    Another day on the MILs house clean and time just seems to slip away when you're having fun.

    Primed a new gate and did a bit of ceiling patching and painting.
    Shuffled some furniture, bags and boxes around.
    Trip to tip to drop off scrap metal.
    Then filled van up to the gunnels with "Stuff"
    On way home managed to catch the schoolies afternoon traffic jam on the roadworks part of the Kwinana freeway AND stopped off at
    Vinnies to drop off 5 boxes.
    Hazardous wast disposal centre to drop of a small box of nasties..
    Son's place to drop off a piece of furniture and pick one up for the verge collection.

    The more I think about it the more we should have moved in to MILs plACE FOR TEH DURATION - would have saved a lot of travelling - maybe - then would have been traveling back home all the time to pick up tools and drop stuff off etc.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,288

    Default

    Been there done that.
    When my dad karked it I moved my mother and my bro’s junk from Sydney to Central Coast in my ute. Countless trips, this was 50 years ago.
    Mum moved 3 times on the coast I was involved in all of them,my bro a sparky worked at Gove, New Guinea, Antarctic etc. He had a huge collection of old elec stuff which I moved every time.
    Bro buys a house so a mate and myself help him move from his unit with 2 Utes.
    Stuff goes in my ute (for tip) bro moves it to Peters ute for new house, Peter puts it back in Tip ute. Bro doesn’t move it again.
    Years later bro ends up divorced and in huge ratty house up North coast and has to move to retirement village due to Parkinson’s so another huge clean out days from Sydney.
    Next bro has to move from unit to full care so I buy a small 240/12v fridge that fits behind the seats in the ute and wife and I move into his stripped unit for a week to finalise everything.
    Done similar for 5 Woodies/tool freaks latterly.
    I have several semi loads in my shed so god only knows how that will go when I kark it.
    At least it’s all in one place at my property,I know a few bods with multiple containers of ‘good stuff’ all over the countryside.
    H.
    Jimcracks for the rich and/or wealthy. (aka GKB '88)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Elizabeth Bay / Oberon NSW
    Age
    71
    Posts
    549

    Default

    It's always a tough job cleaning out the things which represented someone's daily living or possibly their life's history. I'd love to leave a selection of our books to a grandchild or three but reality kicks in when you realise that although you might value them they might not. The same goes for all sorts of other things like tools. Dad wasn't much of a handyman but I have one or two of his tools in the shed and never fail to think of him when I use them.

    mick

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    23,275

    Default

    We're now up to spending 13 of the last 17 day on this job - I feel like I need a holiday from it all.
    I reckon we are still 3 days away from completion of clearing the goods but still a few more days after that of repairs.

    Apart from the shed (still a mess) we've consolidated every thing into 3 rooms/areas.
    The stuff to go to Vinnies is in the downstairs dining/living area.
    The entry/hallway has 3 cupboards to clean out and a few boxes of stuff - 1/2 a day.
    The garage still has about 50 boxes of stuff that needs sorting - SWMBO can take her time over that as the cleaners can can do the rest of the two houses and we can do the garage.

    I spent half a day hanging the same garden gate twice. The first time it was too high and it could not close because of a cross beam above the gate.

    The best almost completed job today was SWMBO's stair repair. The stairs had a travellator/escalator fitted which when removed left every second step with 3 x 10c size holes in the floor tiles. SWMBO's ceramic repair skills came to good use.

    You can still see the repairs but you have to look fairly hard.
    By the time the fake glaze is applied it will be even harder.
    Stairs.JPG

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Huntington Beach, CA USA
    Age
    77
    Posts
    1,765

    Default

    I'm half blind but I couldn't see any repair at all.
    Rich

    When SWMBO said "I won't cook in metric."
    The metric system died in the US.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    23,275

    Default

    I have place a small red dot to the right of each repair.

    Every second step has 3 10c size holes in it with the same pattern repeated all the way up the stairs.

    Stairs2.JPG

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Campbelltown NSW
    Age
    73
    Posts
    126

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Glider View Post
    Dad wasn't much of a handyman but I have one or two of his tools in the shed and never fail to think of him when I use them.

    mick
    True, I feel that no one has really passed on while they’re alive in our memories.

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