This, That and Other Stuff


Cleaning, rubble, dirt and trouble

Bob Neuman

Cleaning, Rubble, Dirt and Trouble

That is what one eventually gets if he owns a house. It is an unwritten consensus in our country that we are ordained to do so.

As the newlyweds bask in the excitement of just married, their eyes are already madly revolving while the dream takes form. Throw in the kids and you have a perfect dream.

However, even if attained, the dream house can become your master. After all, roofs wear out, water lines break, paint crumbles and baseballs fly through expensive windows. Upkeep becomes a common word. Tough you say, but with today’s prices, be warned.

In my real estate days, I entered hundreds of houses, many so dirty I wanted to run out the back door and hang myself on the clothesline. Obviously, folks of German descent did not live in those.

My paternal German grandmother had her day to clean, and when that came, all inhabitants better take flight or be swept out. But my grandfather took house cleaning lightly and tended to his own diversions.

My father, however, was a clean-nick. I saw him many times take a half hour to walk a short distance to the garage. He would notice and pick a few weeds, maybe grab the hoe and take some quick licks at the garden turnips, etc., on the way.

The young family may not realize that stuff multiplies, not only children. Their dream house is only so big and, unlike the contents, it won’t become larger. Without vigilance, the closets will overflow, and the garage is the final resort. It will soon expand with stuff that is broken or too sentimental to give up. After all, did not Aunt Effie give them that purple and green flowerpot for their wedding 18 years ago?

Eventually, as if by magic, space has become nearly nonexistent.

Still, who could ever toss out junior’s first tricycle. So what if the wheels are long gone.

For those who choose to live with the above, what are the options? First, realize that there could be a better way to live. Then, instead of making feeble attempts and promises, be serious and give it away, toss it away, have a garage sale, or another alternative might be to do nothing. When your time comes, someone else will shovel it out.

Those people in real estate and other types of workers who must enter houses are unaware until inside. I have observed dirty clothes piled in corners of bedrooms that would rival the pyramids of Egypt. Filth… with its ever-present aroma… abounds.

If I took on the house at all, after the owners swearing they cleaned it up, I would have to find a buyer who lived as this owner did to have a chance of selling it. A revelation hides behind many families’ closed doors.

Dear Readers: I am very relieved that none of you fit any derogatory descriptions in this article. All your homes are free of useless junk, and your garage is used as intended, to house your automobiles. That is correct… isn’t it?