Unfortunately, we only get to go to the house on weekends which doesn't leave us much time for cleaning. We usually leave after work on Friday and drive the 7 plus hours and hit the sack. If it's winter we have to get the fire going so we don't freeze during the night!
This first planned cleaning trip my brother and sister in law joined us and gave a hand. Knowing the basement was filled with home and store bought canned goods that dated back to 1990, we took a pick up truck bed filled with milk crates. Saturday morning we get up and head straight to the basement to clean. We filled that pick up truck with some NASTY food. I mean some of the cans had leaked and sat there long enough for the food be dried out inside the can. Some of the home canned items looked so gross that our son was actually gagging! Thank goodness we can use the dumpster at Dave's office because the dump isn't open on weekends.
Once we filled the pickup we continued cleaning so we could have a staging area. We figured there had to be one place in the house we could put stuff we wanted to keep. We were covered with dirt and cobwebs. I did realize that I probably shouldn't wear my cream colored fleece while cleaning.
The main task we gave my brother and sister in law was to dispose of the items in the chest freezer. I was the first to open it and discovered in baggies, two perfectly frozen pheasants. Hmmm, well maybe he was really fond of them. Fast forward a couple hours to when I realize the picture on the fridge in the kitchen is of the birds alive in their cage! Funny story about the food in the freezers (we'll discuss the other one later), my dad totally felt that the food in the freezers was fine to eat. When Dave brought to his attention that we had no idea if the power had gone out in the past two years long enough for stuff to defrost, there was a long pause (insert him thinking "Huh, hadn't thought of that.") then he said again that it would be fine! YIKES, what is he feeding my mom??!!
So, we clean like maniacs. One surprise was no rodents. No droppings, nada. LOVE that. Another surprise is the plethura of wonderful tools. The man loved tools, lots of tools. We're afraid to buy anything because we just know the minute we do we'll find the exact item in a pile somewhere.
We still have about a fourth of the basement left to clean but had to move outdoors now that the weather has broke.
We learned quickly to have a sense of humor about all of it. While trying to find an extension cord to charge a flashlight I hear Dave laughing hysterically. He has found at least 5 cords but one end or both has been cut off. Why? We don't know and we've come to the conclusion that we just need to stop asking why.