The Front Pasture and Home Cleanout Progress

I took some gorgeous photos a few weeks ago of a foggy morning in our front pasture that I wanted to share! I also wanted to give an update of how much “invisible” work has taken place in the last few months, specifically around dealing with our attics, and thought it would be a good excuse to share some pretty photos while dealing with the un-pretty topic of cleaning out dusty junk.

So, cleaning out our attics doesn’t lend itself to ‘before and after’ photos, but what a difference it’s made in real life. We have three attics. One above the oldest part of the house, one that is a crawlspace above the kitchen / TV room area (also from the 18th century), and one above the modern addition in the very back of the house.

To make myself feel better about the fact that visually all the time and money I spent has made no difference, enjoy these pretty pictures …

We hired a junk hauler company to deal with the situation in the older attics. Specifically, the previous owners (and probably many, many owners past) had thrown a bunch of old junk in the attics they didn’t want to deal with.

You’re probably thinking – that sounds like an amazing before and after! Everyone loves something filled with junk and then something with no junk! It has made Marie Kondo a multi-millionaire, after all.

BUT, in our attics, a lot of this junk was (1) insulation that had fallen down, destroyed by the leaks we fixed or eaten by mice, (2) extra pipes that had long-ago been taken apart but never removed and (3) wires. So many wires. Dead wires coming out floors, hanging from the ceiling, hiding in corners. In the larger antique attic, junk visually just disappears. This is because it is huge and super dark. In the crawl space attic, it would be before and after photos that just look like an attic with insulation on the floor, and one without. Even though there was so, so much more stuff in there.

In other words, not a very exciting or even visible before and after.

However, we hauled out so much junk. Like, an entire U-Haul truck full of junk. A few hundred pounds of old pipe type junk. Along with some normal junk like old trash cans, busted lampshades, broken bits of wood, broken tables, two full trash bags of twisted metal hangers, etc.

It was so, so satisfying to see a bunch of dirty useless mice-ridden gunk leave the house. I was very excited to go see my new, “clean” attics. And then I got up there, and it’s like – oh, right, they’re still dark, dirty attics that house working pipes, working insulation, working wires … and as a result you can barely even tell anything was done.

Even though I know it was, because I was there. And so were two dudes who worked for six hours to haul everything out. And vacuumed with a shop vac. That they had to empty TWICE. If you’ve ever used a shop vac, you know that is crazy gross.

Invisible work is tough, guys. Hence me sharing pretty photos to comfort myself. I hate paying money for something I can’t see. But of course it had to be done. And since I did it the mice have lost their darn minds. I clearly tore out all their hiding places, bedding, etc. and at first they were running around like crazy. So gross. Then of course I had the exterminator out (I have him on retainer, for real) and now? SO MUCH LESS mouse activity than we’ve ever had. It’s amazing. I mean, we live in fields so no matter what we’re going to have fat country mice. They don’t eat our food, they have nuts and grains and whatever else they want just outside. They just come in to be cozy, so getting rid of bedding and hiding places is key. Also, when we go to the attic now to check on whatever, we’re not tripping over, say, ten foot lengths of what was probably lead pipe manufactured circa 1920.

All in all, a good project that I’m glad is over and a great reminder not to just put stuff out of view. Because then you will never, ever throw it away and will have to deal with it when it just gets gross.