Home, Sweet home. Sort of.

This last weekend has been a busy one for us. We found out on Saturday afternoon that the tenants of the house we were wanting to move in to, which incidently belongs to my mother-in-law, would be completely moved out by the end of that day, meaning we could start moving stuff in on Sunday.

As is customary with a house move, the first thing we had to do was go in behind the exiting tenants and double clean. The best case scenario is arriving to find a house that is absolute spotless, allowing you to go ahead and get on with the business of moving. In most cases, its a simple case of wiping down surfaces, vacuuming any carpets and mopping the floors. Unfortunately, we weren’t met by either one of the scenarios described above. It was quite the opposite.

My first duty for the day was to go with my father-in-law, Bill, to the storage and collect our living room suite and oven and take them to the house. We left Bill’s place, which had been our place of residence for the past four or five months, at about 10 am. By the time we finally got to the house with the first load, it as about 10.45am. What greeted us was far from a happy homecoming.

As we parked the truck, with love seat and couch sitting in the bed, we were greeted by a pile of trash on the front porch. We opened the front door to find my mother-in-law, Cindy, hard at work clean the interior. It turns out she and Greg, my step father-in-law, had been at the house cleaning since about 8 or 9 that morning.

As I walked through the house, the gravity of the mess that was facing us began to sink in. The tenants hadn’t wiped down any of the walls, or any of the cupboards.  Nor had they vacuumed any of the floors. The shower was absolutely covered in filth and looked like it probably hadn’t been cleaned the entire time they have lived there, some two years. In the backyard, they had left us a large, as in huge, broken inflatable pool, several broken kidsized baseball bats, plastic horeshoes and piles upon piles of dog poo. There is a huge circular area of ground that is nothing but dirt from where they had left there pool sitting since summer. By the time I got there, Cindy and Greg had already moved most of this stuff in to another large pile of trash at the back of the yard, ready for either incineration or disposal.

As it turns out, what I had seen was just the tip of the iceberg. Once I had dropped off all the furniture and stove, I was to take Jennifer’s place and look after Lily while she came down to the house and helped Greg and Cindy clean the house. It turns out out there were dead bugs all over the place, the fridge was absolutely disgusting  with rotten and molded food throughout. The walls in the kitchen had ketchup splatters all over the walls and there was hard, crusted snot stuck to the walls. SNOT! What the HELL kind of slob allows their children to wipe snot on the wall and not clean it up? I mean really? Also, to add insult to injury, they broke the heat pump and had been running it on emergency heat mode for the better part of the last month which has likely burned out the fan and the heating coils. I think Bill managed to get it back to semi-functional state, but it still requires repairs and we are just starting to get in to the winter months. Unbelievable.

In the last six months alone, this family has completely clogged the septic system, called Cindy and Greg to have them fix a lot of around the house stuff that they should really be fixing themselves. It ended up costing Cindy something like $200 to get the septic system functional again, only to discover huge wads baby wipes that the tenants older children (less than 10) had been using as toilet paper and flushing them down the toilets. They also found large quantities of what appeared to be ice block wrappers, cue tips (cotton buds in New Zealandese) and a bunch of other stuff that just should be going down the average household drain. Again, unbelievable.

So while Jennifer was down at the house getting things cleaned up, I started to clean up Bill’s place while Lilyana was taking her afternoon nap and managed to watch the latest PBA Scorpion Championship on ESPN, wash the dishes and tidy up the lounge in the 3 hours while Jennifer was gone. At about 3pm, she picked me up to take me to the bowling alley (as is the norm on Sunday afternoons) so I could strip and oil the lanes in preparation for the league that was to be bowled that night.

So here we are, late Monday afternoon. We’ve finally cleaned up the kitchen and vacuumed out the rooms we’ll be using for the next little while. It has taken some 30 – 40 man hours to get the house to where its at right now and there is still a lot of work to be done. As I type this, Jennifer is unclogging the sink in the bathroom after she discovered it was packed full of crap. I know I may not be the tidiest person in the world, but I at least know that you should clean a house when you move out of it. Most people would do their best to leave the minimum amount of mess for the people to follow. It would seem this family doesn’t believe in helping making things a little easier for their fellow man.  I guess some things are just a little too much to ask.

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