This past Saturday, I spent three hours packing up the remainder of the things my Gran wanted to move into her new apartment. On Sunday, after 7 hours of hard labor, we got her all moved in and mostly unpacked with only one casualty: a paper tapestry she hangs on the wall. It looked fixable. But if not? It was a hundred years old anyway. She told me yesterday that she is completely done unpacking and she had a bunch of stuff that she wasn't going to keep so it's all going back to the house this weekend. Monday and Tuesday during my lunch hour, I have gone to the empty house and tried to clean up the devastation that remains. I plan to do this for the remainder of the week.
It's funny, I always thought my Gran was super tidy. Her house always seemed to be the epitome of clean. Turns out, she was thisclose to needing a Hoarders intervention. Not only did she have a surplus of food in the garage (mostly expired), but she has probably not gotten rid of any tsotchke or accoutrement since the 1960s. Everything in her house is valuable according to her. She paid $100 for two lamps forty years ago and she swears they are antiques. God bless her. My grandparents managed to completely fill the garage and every room of their 4-bedroom, 2-bath home with shit and most of it is being sold or tossed in the trash.
Now that I am taking things off of shelves and out of drawers and cupboards, I am realizing what a mess we have to clean up before we move in. I don't think my grandparents were really "maintenance" people so we have to paint and do some deep cleaning and put in new carpet before we take up residence. The sunroom addition is totally not up to code and infested with termites so that has to go. The popcorn on the ceiling needs to be scraped off. The gaudy wallpaper needs to be taken off the walls. I'm looking forward to making this house my home but I have a feeling a lot of elbow grease will be needed.
MORAL OF THAT STORY: Busy hands are happy hands.