One man’s rubbish is another man’s…. rubbish

Apparently the previous owner’s tenants didn’t leave a forwarding address and having lived in the house for around 15 years, just abandoned it with all the junk they didn’t want any more.

The majority of this was cleared by Mr B before I viewed the property – he said it took him 4 days and two lorry loads to clear it.  After I heard this story I recalled that a few months ago there’d been some ‘house clearance’ emails with long lists of things on the Freecycle mailing list and realised it had been this (now my) house.  But the first I heard of any of this was the surveyor’s report which mentioned “Many items are stored within the loft” (Mr B had not being able to access the loft as there was no ladder present). There was some deliberation with the advocates on account of this, apparently when you buy a property you are normally entitled to ‘vacant possession’ but I ended up buying it ‘sold as seen’ with the agreement that I could dispose of the contents as I wished.

Before I got the house the Maplin Electronics ‘deal of the day’ was a 4×3 multi function folding ladder, knowing there was no loft ladder present and being pretty confident that at 5’1″ tall I was going to be in need of a ladder at some point – I decided to make it my first house related purchase 🙂  With the deal of the day, plus a voucher code and cashback, it was about £36 – not bad considering it’s currently selling for £60.

So on the day I got the keys I tentatively poked my head up into the loft to see what was up there and realised pretty quickly that this was going to be a two person job!  Paul had been warned before he booked his ferry that if he visited me the weekend after I got my house, we’d be doing DIY so the very night he arrived (after the pallet trip), we started hauling things out of the loft.

Until each of the bedrooms looked like this:


the ladder was wedged in like this:


and the view from the top of the ladder was like this (I’ve blurred the baby’s face out):


Sadly, clearing someone else’s rubbish out wasn’t anywhere near as exciting or interesting as you’d think it could be.  It was, as Mr B said, simply like they’d never been to the tip, they’d just moved everything aside.  Most of the stuff was empty cardboard boxes and old carpets (which in fairness I think pre-dated the last lot of tenants).

Things of note (term used lightly):

  • 1 computer monitor
  • 2 small TVs
  • 5 very old electric heaters including one ceramic one (I tried a couple – they didn’t get hot, they just made my fingers tingle).
  • Bin liner of soft toys
  • About 70 VCR tapes
  • About 20 PC games
  • Bin liner of washed and folded linen
  • Sleeping bag
  • Brand new roll mat
  • Loads of old carpet in various states of decay (including a spectacular 1970s swirly green number)
  • Spanish guitar (with a split seam)
  • Artist paint set
  • Glass painting set
  • Book on house plant care (I note this as unusual in being the solitary book)
  • Several board games
  • 3 old mirrors
  • Wrought iron candle holders
  • Large witch’s broomstick
  • Small witch’s broomstick
  • Blinking skip light
  • Letters about tax and benefits
  • Fencing kit (foil, mask, gloves etc)
  • Stack of 1980s vinyl records
  • Bed frame including rails
  • Old broken stereo and speakers
  • Old printer
  • Naked lady lamp
  • Vase
  • Tennis ball
  • Cricket ball
  • Pile of sea shells
  • Original xbox (no controllers or games)
  • Very minging duvet
  • Pair of boxer shorts
  • Pair of men’s sandals in box to be returned
  • About 15 empty beer cans
  • Stationary
  • School reports
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • 4 or 5 computer mice
  • Bits of wood
  • Golf clubs in golf bag (and some extras which wouldn’t fit)
  • Golf trolley
  • Old phone
  • Letters in brown envelopes which turned out to be love letters written from the prison.

We filled Paul’s van as with as much stuff as we could and then took it on probably the scariest journey of my life – a lefthand drive 1964 VW camper, on wet roads in a side wind, driving in back to back traffic through Ballabeg/Colby (when the Shore Road is closed so all the traffic is going that way) with the windows all misted up and erratic windscreen wipers…. I was not a good passenger.  I also had very wet feet by the time we got to the tip!  The van did hold an impressive amount of stuff though so the majority of the junk was gone in just one go.  I went to put the videos in the reuse section but apparently they already had too many, seems all that video tapes are good for these days is the incinerator.

We also did a trip to Manx Metals in Balthane with all the metal bits and made a grand total of £5.11!

The following weekend I did two more trips to the tip – I’d offered Matti the golf clubs but he’d turned his nose up (although he swiped the balls), so I kept the wooden woods and took the others and the golf trolley to the reuse section.  I also took a mirror, the fencing foils and naked lady lamp – all of which were snapped up before I’d even finished unloading the car.

Being a bit of a hoarder, it was difficult to not keep more of the stuff than I did, but seeing it being taken away so quickly from the reuse section of the tip, helped.  I’ve still got the following though so I might have to get a bit more ruthless with myself yet:

  • Sleeping bag (I’ve washed it – I might give it away yet but thought it might come in handy)
  • Brand new roll mat
  • Spanish guitar (with a split seam)
  • Artist paint set
  • Glass painting set
  • Book on house plant care (can’t bin books – sorry)
  • Stack of 1980s vinyl records
  • Vase
  • Table cloth (which plan to use as a dropsheet – I actually meant to keep more of the linen back for the same purpose but the bin liner obviously got muddled up with the other bags)
  • Tennis ball
  • Cricket ball
  • Pile of sea shells
  • Old phone (might be handy for testing)
  • Panda teddy bear (I’ve washed it!  Paul also claimed a set of magnetic turtles of the roof of his van).

I had some fairly strong reservations about posting photos and lists of other people’s former stuff on the web but heck, they’re the ones that left all their junk but no forwarding address!  I hope I’ve taken care to ensure there is nothing which will enable them to be identified.

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