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.