Load of Rubbish offers Estate Cleanups as one of our many services. But did you know that not all estate cleanouts always involve family heirlooms or the question of whether something is a precious nicnac worth saving? Sometimes our crew creeps into little used corners of basements or out into the jam-packed back sheds of our clients. We sort through whatever we collect to ensure no precious papers or mementos become lost in the process, but the sad reality is, is that without proper preservation, much of those items end up bound for the landfill.

Trash vs Treasure

A jungle of weeds hides more

A jungle of weeds hides more than just bugs. Here there was tools, yard ornaments, garbage and more.

Such was the case at a recent estate cleanup job for Load of Rubbish. The clients were a couple from out of town, whose mother had recently moved in with a new partner. The grandparents had always lived next door and when they passed, much of their old possessions had transferred to this house. Unbeknownst to the couple, their mother had struggled to keep up with her regular upkeep, let alone sort through the new inheritance of belongings. It all got away from her and the clean up of essentially two houses worth of accumulated stuff fell to her son.

Shed full of junk

Without proper protection and preservation, most items left in improper storage lose all potential value

A lot of that stuff wasn’t pretty. While they tackled the house, time and distance made it difficult for them to sort through and empty the detached garage and crumbling shed on the back of the property. Calling in Load of Rubbish was the best thing they could have done.

Gloves notwithstanding, it was a very big job. The crew took three loads of mostly garbage out of the garage on a previous day. The last step was the shed at the back of the yard and it was crammed to the rafters. Literally.

Cardboard boxes barely

Cardboard boxes no longer retain their durability after years spent in a damp space. Even wooden crates offer no protection from the onset of rust

It seemed that many of the inherited items had been haphazardly tossed into either the garage or shed. As more items piled on top of other forgotten relics, the pile grew. In the case of the shed, no consideration was put into protection from animals, the elements, nor time. Any papers or photos we found were crumbling and moldy. Chairs held the unmistakable musty scent of decay. Rust crept into everything and was the predominant colour on any items within.

The clients doggedly tried to scan the contents that came out of the shed, but not much was even identifiable anymore, let alone held any value. As adults with their own home and possessions, it is hard to fathom wanting anything which has had so little care in its preservation. But the task at hand still required a certain amount of vigilance nonetheless.

In an attempt to help the clients, items were pulled out of the shed for inspection, but most still made it into the truck to head to the landfill

In an attempt to help the clients, we pulled items out of the shed for inspection. Most things still made it into the truck and landfill bound though.

Chris and Kelvin offered an essential service for the couple in order for them to sell the home, but the tragedy is in that so much of the possessions were lost. With proper storage, many of the items could have made for great mementos or exciting finds for antique aficionados. We pride ourselves on donating as much as we can to local donation centres. In this case though, that preservation was nonexistent and far too many of the items were relegated to junk.

We hate to add to local landfills, but unfortunately it is the nature of the business. And a good reminder that proper preservation goes a long way into reducing waste.