First weekend of cleaning
Right after closing, I head over to the place to start cleaning and organizing trash. Since the main house has been rented and is seeing some wear and tear, I'm planning to toss most of the stuff in the house, especially since I'll be re-decorating that and will want to get my own furniture. The cottage and studio have seen less wear and tear so we start with the main house.
I didn't ask for the house to be broom clean and bought it "as-is" so there's quite a bit of stuff left so we start the process of just bagging up all leftover items that we immediately want to throw out. Lots of books, linens, and knick-knacks. I gave my mom first dibs on anything so we start putting aside anything she would want. After we have things bagged up we start moving furniture into keep and toss piles. The next big task is to clean out the crawlspace. When the foundation contractor came by, his first comment was there was a lot of debris under the crawlspace and that when he returned for work he wanted that cleaned out so he could safely work under there.
I got my spouse a work suit with a headlamp so she can crawl under the house and pull out all the junk. No way I'm going under there with my claustiphobia. We start the day with a shoulder workout at Atilis Gym and then she suits up and continues the work by pulling out pounds and pounds of debris from the crawlspace. I help out by bagging everything up and taking the large piece to the backyard.
Most of the debris are old tiles, asphalt roofing shingles and excess vinyl siding so nothing of value there. But as she digs deeper into the crawlspace she finds some old pieces of wood with old paint on them. I put them aside since they could provide some clues as to original colors used on the house. There's also some old molding pieces, but no jackpots for old items. With things being damp under a shore house, there's not much that has survived in good condition.
As the day winds down, we finish up bagging up garbage and organizing things into "keep" and "toss" piles. I do locate a folder with some information about the house from 2 owners ago and I page through that. I find the sales listing from 1978 and copies of pages from the Wildwood City directories published in 1922, 1947, and 1960 showing the names of the previous owners. Since I had already done the title search, I recognize the names and that information doesn't add anything new. But the interesting tidbit is that the city directory shows the name of the house at the time. I see in 1922 the house was named "The Larchwood" and in 1960 it was named "The Anchor". In the past, people in Wildwood (and other shore towns) would name their houses similar to how people name their boats. There's a few houses on the island that retain their original names, but for the most part that tradition has disappeared. I'm interested in restoring the names so this bit of information is exciting to find.
Next week I’ll have a dumpster delivered to start carting away the discard piles.