First things first. You must understand that Marcus' grandmother is simply amazing. She has been through so much in her life and spends her retirement caring for Marcus' mother (who was hurt in a car accident) and helping us whenever she can. She has hilarious stories to tell and mysterious secrets in her past. I absolutely love her... for who she is and what she's done for us. She gave us this house for a wedding present. Yes, it's filled with furniture and trash but as we've been repeating to ourselves over and over "no rent, no mortgage".Now picture one of those "hoarder-houses" in your head. Picture bags and boxes of stuff from floor to ceiling in every nook and cranny of a 3bed/2 bath split-level home. Now add the fact that no one has lived there for almost a decade. That's what we had to prepare for... We painstakingly went through every single box and bag, every drawer, every shelf, and every closet. We found tons of newspapers, trash, and old mail. But we also found so much vintage home decor... some of which you may see incorporated into our interior later! :)
Because there is not heating or A/C in the house yet, we waited to begin working until almost spring. At the end of February, we hooked up a couple of portable heaters and got to work. We explored the piles of memories from one bedroom to the next with Marcus' grandmother. We found gift cards, a high school diploma, tons of pictures, an entire wardrobe from the 70s to the 90s, and even a diamond ring! Needless to say, she kept that... but I almost said "finders keepers". We also found a cache of antique keys that I plan on putting in a shadow-box near the front door.
By mid-March we were done cleaning out the 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, and 2 linen closets upstairs. By the end of March we were done with the kitchen and had begun exploring the living and dining room. Now it's May 1st and we have finished emptying all of the upstairs rooms, the kitchen, hauled Marcus' sister's stuff out of the den, and completely demolished the trash-filled garage. Well, I shouldn't say trash-filled... we did find quite a few antique kitchen items: 2 egg-beaters, a pair of enormous tongs to pick up an ice-block, tools, and a large, heavy ice scoop. We also found an entire set of dishes that match our taste and a few random pieces of silver. When we were emptying the den, we found the family silver... I was ecstatic about this and called/texted everyone I could think of to let them know it had been found.
We've also been spending a lot of time at our local Lowe's. We've replaced some plumbing for temporary use, but ultimately almost everything will need to be replaced: the entire kitchen, all flooring, paint in every room, new vanities, fixtures, and toilets in each bathroom, as well as all the materials used so far when cleaning things out. I've been overwhelmed up to this point... but now that we've finished cleaning out the house, it's time for my favorite part: redecorating!
This is a picture of our backyard in full azalea bloom: