In which I explain that I’m still alive, sort of.

My presence for the past month or more has been so intermittent, at best, that I feel I ought to at least pop in and apologize.
Tom's late aunt's estate left stuff 90% to his mom, and 10% to her husband's nephew, and the estate has been in a mess one way or another for the past five years.
The creepy conservator finally got fired, or rather, was persuaded to quit, and things are finally getting sorted out (except that the 10% heir wanted to go after the conservator and tie things into legal knots yet longer).
But finally the dust is all settling, her house is landing in Tom's mom's estate, just in time for the housing market to pretty much go bye-bye.

So instead of selling it we are renting it out.
Of course, as of December it was all full, and I do mean full of his aunt's stuff.
Much of it I can just toss on my own, but some of it Tom, who is teaching full-time, has to go through.
And some of it we don't know what we want to do with yet, like a small ton of furniture.
The solution is that we are renting it out furnished to people coming to the University for short-term projects.
(Berkeley has rent control, and lots of tenant protections — which I am perfectly okay with, having been a tenant here myself — but if you have a sitting tenant and sell a place you can end up paying thousands to persuade them to move. Hence the short-termness of the tenants.)

But tenants, even short-term ones, need a civilized place to live in.
And the house was very full of his aunt's stuff.
Very, very full.
Like maybe she had never, ever thrown anything out.
Every bit of clothing she'd ever owned was in there — fifties ladies' suits with weird metal side zippers on the skirts.
And every box they'd come in, with tissue paper still in it.
The house had lots of closets, big closets full of clothing.
And the main bathroom had yet another clothing rod full of hanging stuff over the bathtub.
And closet shelves full, drawers full, suitcases full, of folded paper bags, folded plastic bags, family letters, photograph, bills, bank statements, matchboxes by the hundreds, old pajamas torn into strips, paper napkins from restaurants from thirty years ago, and so on.
I've been triaging stuff: paper to recycle, plastics to recycle, stuff for the goodwill/estate sale, legitimate garbage, stuff for Tom to check out, and the occasional thing I might want for us.

And trying to leave/acquire a full functional set of  dishes, pans, linens, whatevers for the tenants when they arrive – this made difficult because ten years or so of his aunts' caretakers some of whom appear to have walked off with bunches of stuff.
Not that I blame them, because she must have been intolerable to work for: insulting, racist, nasty, and actually physically abusive – throwing food at people, hitting, biting and the like.
So some stuff seems to have walked, and for all the sheer volume of junk, there wasn't even any set of four dishes or silverware, hardly any saucepans, though a few scraps from a couple of sets, and the like.

the dishwasher and dryer need replacing; the washer needs repairing; the sink drips; two toilets out of three run constantly; the valve under the sink for the dishwasher needs replacing; all the drapes/curtains are rotting and generally trashed and need to be replaced with blinds; the back two bedrooms need painting (gouges in the walls from wheel chairs), and the rugs in those rooms are filthy and need pulling out.
Oh, and maybe the chimney needs to be repaired, or maybe that inspection report is a fraud since it came from the conservator, who I think was getting kick-backs on things.

That's just the stuff I'm dealing with now, as opposed to the stuff I'm putting off for a while:
the entire house needs painting inside and out; there are two cars in the garage that haven't been moved since 1995; the first floor of the house is still full of junk (the first floor isn't a basement, but it isn't the entry level either – it's weird – I'm only clearing/fixing the entry-level floor now); all the rest of the carpet needs to come up too; the hardwood floors need finishing, and the floors in the kitchen and bathrooms all need new flooring.

Oh, and I have to do the taxes this weekend for Sarah's financial aid applications.

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15 responses to this post.

  1. Whoa. That is some load of burdensomeness… I hope that you and Tom get things squared away as quickly as possible and can return to some sense of peaceable life.


  2. Holy cow. That is a great deal to be done. (((((Hugs)))))


  3. Ohmy. Sounds like a heap of work. You're definitely excused from writing… 😛


  4. I fourth what the others have said-and wish you good luck!


  5. If I were you, I think I'd be too tempted to put those match boxes to work. Good luck with everything.


  6. This makes me so glad my mom has downsized herself into a condo. So much less for us daughters to deal with when she goes.


  7. Deer jeezus. That sounds like a royal case of packrattism! Wow. Best of luck with that, and sanity too!


  8. Yoiks lauo! That's a hard thing you're doing. One of my best friends is doing the same right now, her father's house, on the other side of the bay from you. It's overwhelming sometimes, she says. Good luck to you. I hope you get your life back soon.


  9. What makes this all the more painful is that I have some degree of packrattitis myself.So I am taking this as a dire warning.My current plan is to spend this summer doing the same thing in my own house, because I can't stand the idea of making Sarah do this for us some day.


  10. Amen amen!
    I have to at least put off dying until I get some of my CRAP thrown away!
    And, I have high hopes of someday getting away from the computer and doing some of that. 😉
    Nice to hear from ya, lauo! Good luck with all of it!


  11. What an annoying time this has been for you! Thanks for dropping by =) Good luck getting everything worked out!


  12. Lovely to see a post from you! I hope posting about it helped?You need to rent a big dumpster.I am the opposite of a pack rat. I hope you are not too stressed. Take care, sleep and stay healthy.


  13. Wow, sounds like a nightmare. By the time you are finished, I'm sure the Goodwill people will know you on a first name basis!


  14. Omigosh!!!!!!!!! That's so huge! And frustrating! And aggravating! And tiring! And annoying!Wow.That's JOB-job. Man. Well, it's wonderful to see you, when you can be here………I wish I could help……..


  15. Yowza. What a big freaking mess. Makes me want to make sure my house is in order…just in case! I would hate to leave such a burden to my family. Bless your heart.


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