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Victoria S

Page history last edited by Victoria 12 years, 6 months ago



Victoria Stiely


Over the summer, I got the opportunity to make a little bit of cash. How you might ask? Well see, there's this lovely thing called renting out houses. My Grandparents rent out houses to people, and of course they must make sure when one party leaves, the house is ready for the next tenant. There is also this lovely thing called hoarders. Hoarders, for those of you who don't know, are people that pretty much do not throw anything out. They are also not the tidiest of people. My Grandparents' last tenant in this one home was a family of four, and the entire place was, for lack of a better term, trashed. Everything was simply thrown on the floor. My cousin Keith, my Aunt Kris, my Grandma (also known as Mommom), and I spent two days cleaning up the entire house; it was an absolute mess. Part of the reason I agreed to help was because my cousin was helping as well. He's awesome to be around, and can make pretty much anything fun, even if it's just cleaning out a hoarder's home. The kitchen had pots on the stove, with macaroni noodles still sticking to the sides, and a bowl of macaroni that was only half-finished. There were about five trash bags stuffed in a corner filled with food scraps, what you throw away off your plate after dinner and such. When we moved one of them, a giant lizard scrambled out. It was about the size of Guapo, from Ms. Faircloth's room, and we had to get Keith to chase it down with an empty bin and shoo it out the door.


The refrigerator was filled with food that had been sitting there for at least a week, probably longer. The kitchen led to the garage, the only clean place in the entire house, since it was pretty much empty. In the living room were two couches, which had piles of trash, clothes, and other various objects simply thrown on them. In fact, ironically I found a full roll of trash bags buried beneath all the trash. We found tons of DVDs, a massage chair, two Zipos and about seven other regular lighters, and even a small jewelry box. Down the hall was a room that didn't even have anything actually useful in it. It was as if its only purpose was to be a giant trash dump. It literally looked like every time they finished a soda for example, they would just throw it into that room. Luckily, I didn't clean this room nor the little boy's room, which I didn't get a good look at, but my cousin and I cleaned up the little girl's room and the living room.


The girl's room had one bedspread shoved in a bundled heap in the corner, with no mattress. There were three bins stacked on top of each other, a lamp that was exactly like the one I have in my room, only hers was pink, and a chest full of random junk. I remember she had a children's book titled How to be a Princess and also had a castle dollhouse which was never assembled. When we opened the closet, a spider crawled out and started running around the room, with Keith chasing it down with the end of a broom handle to squash it. There was a plastic bag filled with cereal, I presume Coco-puffs, that was spread across the floor. It was pretty safe to say that bug spray was my new best friend. Crawling pretty much everywhere throughout the rooms of this house were tiny bugs, about a centimeter or two long, completely black, and disgusting. The stash of cereal in the girl's room did not help. Now, I'm not the type of person to jump on a chair and scream “BUG! BUG! BUG!” but I swear, I have never seen so many bugs in one confined space. Everywhere you turned, there was a bug. We even found a candle, with a dead bug in it. This house was every bug's dream. Discarded trash and half eaten food, what could be better?


The cleaning wasn't even the worst part! Imagine taking out the trash. You dump the trash bag into the larger trash can and when you drop the lid that gust of air is sent out and unless you held your breath you must suffer that terrible garbage smell. Now imagine that smell, confined within a house. Imagine having to spend hours working in that smell. It's enough to make you want to throw up. Which luckily, I didn't. I did learn useful things while there though. For one, with all those lighters we found, my cousin taught me how to use a lighter. I don't intend on using one any time soon of course, but I'm a failure at simple stuff like that, so I felt a little proud. Don't judge. I also learned, that between Febreeze and Airwick, Airwick works a hundred times better. I have never been a fan of air fresheners, but Airwick at that time was like giving water to a man stranded in the middle of a desert. It was our salvation against that horrid stench. I have also experienced stuff some people won't for a good decade or so. I have raked and shoveled a living room, I have seen a bug lit on fire (don't ask), and even heard a spider scream. I have stuffed, tied, and stacked dozens of trash bags so they filled three quarters of a garage in a giant heap. I have seen a house where the closet was cleaner than the person's room, which for me is completely reversed.


The best part was at the end of both days. We got a 72 ounce soda from Kmart. Some people say cleaning isn't work, but it is. We were actually sweating towards the end of the day. It was so nice just sitting at my normal smelling house with a nice cold soda doing absolutely nothing (pretty much what I had done my whole summer). In total, I made about forty or so bucks, although I can't remember exactly how much, because my memory fails like that. Oddly I didn't even care about the money anymore. It was more like, get this done so you can go home and turn on the air conditioning. (The air conditioning at the house we were cleaning wasn't working, and the fans we found had so little power, you couldn't even feel the air unless you were literally standing right in front of them.)


So, what did I learn from this experience? Well when your parents tell you to clean your room, this is exactly why you should. It will become a jungle you have to excavate through, fighting off demon bugs, spiders, and lizards, trying not to breathe because if you do, you'll want to puke. I also resolved that I will never ever rent out houses to anyone. Seriously not worth the trouble. My grandma had people come and completely clean out the kitchen tile, which was stained by what I presume to be decomposing food from the trash bags in the corner. After the smell, according to my grandma, was gone, I revisited the house with her, and whether it was just my imagination or really there, I could still smell it despite all they had done. I seriously could not understand how people could live in a house like that. Stench aside, where did they sleep? You could guess the couches, since we found no actual beds, but even the couches were cluttered with junk. Not to mention, I could never fall asleep in a place infested with bugs. I'd sit there imagining them crawling over you in your sleep. It's just terrible.


Also that family, along with leaving that lovely mess behind for us to clean up, ended up staying there for four months for free. They were evicted, and it took them four months to actually leave and they hightailed it before paying. So pretty much all pity I had for them, disappeared. I still felt a little bad for the kids, since it was the parents' fault for making their kids live in this environment. They're obviously teaching their kids no responsibility, and that will get the kids nowhere in life. It's enough to make you grateful for what you have, even if it's responsibility, which in most cases you don't want. I don't want to clean my room, but it's just something you have to do or else it will end up like that house. There are things you don't want to do, and don't want to take responsibility for, but you just have to because that's how life is.


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Comments (4)

sliewen said

at 11:37 am on Sep 10, 2010

Gross but funny story. You made me feel like I was surrounded by spiders and trash. You didn't have too many grammar problems, "commas" and the word "and" were your biggest problems but it wasn't too bad. Good ending, so true.

Diana Cortez said

at 8:30 pm on Sep 21, 2010

I like loved your story, I could practically see the mess that you described in it, I'm glad you learned something useful from it, because would've been way too sick to even want to remember all the trash. I liked your sarcastic humor, it added a nice touch.

Peter said

at 10:41 pm on Sep 21, 2010

You did a good job of describing the setting, and it captured your feelings about the situation well.

Natassja said

at 11:06 pm on Sep 21, 2010

Your video was interesting and made me want to read your story. I liked your cover, especially where a part of your name was magnified by the magnifying glass. Nice touch. Your story itself was really good. My parents rent out a condo, but we have never had to clean up more that a little bit of left over trash..you must have a strong stomach, I almost puke whenever i smell dumpsters. That was the dirtiest house I have ever seen, by the way. Your story made me want to keep reading, even when I was disgusted by the bugs. Good job.

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