Skip to content
November 21

Homeowner Diaries: Day 1

After closing on our house (YAY!) on October 30th, I finally got in to get to work on the place this past weekend.

Updates:

Felix and I have been focusing on packing up our apartment the last few weeks, which we thought was the priority vs. getting started on our house.  But as it turns out, getting renters in to pick up the remainder of our lease has proved more difficult than we imagined.  While half of our house is packed up with no new renters in sight for December, we decided to stop packing and dig in on the house.

Felix has gone to the house and has made more plans with my step-dad, Bob than I have.  So for me, Saturday was the first day I was doing actual work over there.  We had planned to meet my parents at the house bright and early (9am for me since I like sleep).  Felix and I got the car all packed up when *nothing* happened when we turned the keys to start the car.  We popped open the hood and saw lots of corosion near the battery – which was my first guess as to why the car wouldn’t start.

Luckily, there was a nice passer-by who gave us a jump.  We got some coffee (priorities amiright?!) and then drove over to the dealership where we got the battery replaced and stuff.

What was lucky is that my parents were running late, too.  We gave them spare keys a while ago, so they were able to go right into our house and unload while we were wrapping things up with our auto troubles.  We finally got to the house around noon, so we just went and got some lunch before starting in on the real work to be done.

Job #1: Cleaning out the Attic

The previous owner of the house was a bit of a hoarder, from what we were told.  The house sat unoccupied for close to a year while people were cleaning it out – there was that much stuff.  Someone had started cleaning all the trash out of the attic but they had given up – which was clear when my mom and I saw the empty trash bags up there.

I didn’t know what I was getting myself (& my mom into) when we decided to clean out the attic.  I mean, I knew there was trash up there and I knew there were squirrels up there… Bot woah!  In short, the attic was SCARY.

My mom and I donned Tyvek suits, gloves, and a mask to protect ourselves from the fiberglass insulation.

I’m in the middle, my mom is hiding on the right.

We quickly came to realize that we needed the most protection from was the mouse poop and pee and the horrible stench that was in our attic.  YES, I kid you not!  It was really disgusting up there.

Yup, that’s me with the headlight on my head.

Our main objective in the attic was to clear out all of the boxes & rubbish that was tossed in the attic.  We worked inch by inch, hauling down boxes & sweeping up packing peanuts that had gotten *EVERYWHERE*.  You’d think they were using packing peanuts for insulation, given how much we found.

I don’t want to gross anyone out more than I have to, in order to get the point across that our attic was dirty.  So I’ll just let your mind wander as to how slippery it was on certain wood boards we were standing on due to “something or other”.

After sweeping and cleaning up there for close to 5 (or 6) hours, my mom and I came down the ladder.  We could not get those tyvek suits off fast enough and wash our hands and faces!  It was such a relief to get out of that attic and get washed up.

The tyvek suits kept our clothes and shoes really clean, but there is no air circulation inside of them, so we were also a heap of sweat.  My mom had on latex gloves with a cotton glove liner (for her latex allergy) and her fingernails were still black underneath those 2 layers!  Luckily we were pretty clean otherwise – underneath the wonderful tyvek layer.

I’m happy to say, my work in the attic is mainly complete and my work up there is done!

We still need to block the hole where the squirrels are coming in from (which will be done on the exterior of the house) along with setting some mice traps.  I’m just happy I’m not living in this house yet since it’s imperative that we not haul in food to attract any more pests before we get the holes taken care of.

My next order of business is to begin stripping the woodwork on the first level.  While this also will be a messy task, it will be far better than the attic ordeal.

My mom has also had squirrels in her attic before and is the owner of a house built in 1910 that once had shag carpeting in the kitchen…  And she still said that my attic was the grossest thing she’s ever had to contend with.  Thanks mom for helping me!  And I can’t express just how happy I am to say that – having done the grossest thing I’ll ever do – is far behind me.  :)

  1. Kelly / Nov 21 2013

    Oh, gosh. That sounds horrific. You must feel so relieved, though, it’s all downhill from here! It’s actually really nice that you can take your time moving in – it’s always easier to do tasks like this when there aren’t piles of half-unpacked stuff around. This is exciting, that’s your attic! You’re not just cleaning up another rental after moving in after some terrible previous tenants. You may never have to deal with a gross attic again! Unless the squirrels and mice win the war…

  2. K-Line / Nov 21 2013

    Wow – that’s elbow grease. You’re going to be proud of yourself forever, for undertaking that job. And what a story you’ll have!

  3. Gail / Nov 21 2013

    You have a lot more perseverance than I do! Yikes! I certainly hope you’ll never have to do anything like that again!

  4. Ellen / Nov 24 2013

    May I offer a suggestion? You might be wise to have a professional exterminator take a look at your attic. About 2 years ago, we heard “noises” in the walls upstairs. I called an exterminator and got a very quick education in the breeding cycle and habits of mice. They only need an opening about the size of a dime in order to gain access, and it is virtually impossible to locate where that might be. My attic was heavily baited, along with the basement and attached garage. The bait used forces the mouse to go outside in search of water and their demise. There is no need to remove traps and no odor. As explained to me “you never have only 1 mouse.” I have never seen a mouse in my house (thank goodness), and the baiting was guaranteed for 6 months. After having this company treat my home on three separate occasions, I decided to enroll in a regular treatment plan, where they will inspect/bait 2x a year but each treatment is guaranteed for 6 mos. Peace of mind is worth every penny and this company uses ecologically safe products. I wish you all the best and hope you come to a quick resolution.

Leave a comment