Our Neat House: backyard clean up

Welcome to the second installment about Our Neat House; the backyard clean up. Aside from the water heater closet, the other thing we hit the ground running with was cleaning.

As mentioned in the water heater blog, our property had seen a fair share of neglect. We were facing piles and piles of trash on every inch of the property. Cleaning started right away and continued quite heavily for about 1.5 years.

The Backyard Clean Up

In the backyard, we had an old ramshackle chicken coop we had to dismantle. We put it in a pile, and slowly got rid of it with the weekly trash pick up. In the same area of this coop were a torn-up billiard table, some more children’s toys and seats, and various other trash.

Stacks of pressed wood wheels sat in front of the shop. Despite asking around online, no one had any idea what they were originally intended for. Indeed, it took almost two months before someone finally picked them up from our local FreeCycle. I wasn’t home when they picked up, or I would have asked what ideas they had for reusing them.

Backyard clean upBackyard clean up

The attic to the shop was full of old swimming gear for children. I piled this up and estimate the pile might have filled up a quarter of a trash bin. We tossed this pile out bit by bit through the weekly trash collection.

so much trash…

Old tenants had started a fire pit in the center of the backyard and burned pallets for the wood; it became a five-foot diameter area with nails, bottle caps, glass, aluminum foil, bolts, screws, and more. We used a shovel and a large five-pound magnet to clean this up.

Backyard clean up Backyard clean upBackyard clean up

The old shop had an old vanity, toilet, and miscellaneous trash that we dealt with through weekly trash collections. Pigeons had been allowed to nest in this building and we removed three filthy nests. We encouraged the pigeons to nest elsewhere by shooing them out every time they ventured back inside.

We had to demolish a do-it-yourself fountain. Old tenants had built it with milk crates, trash, rocks, chicken wire, and cement. It was cathartic to beat this object into rubble with a maul sledgehammer. This demolishing project I decided to take on. I hammered, pried, tore at, snipped, and pulled it apart over the course of 3 weekends. I tossed the trash, chicken wire, and cement over the course of weekly trash pickups. We decided to repurpose the large rocks and gave the crates away to a family needing a temporary bed base for a new mattress.

Backyard clean up

Backyard Clean Up: the next mess

We have two large messes we are chomping at the bit to get into. Both will offer a great number of reusable materials to re-purpose. The first being an older water-pump shed. The second being the back fence. However, those projects are for another blog as they are significant enough to go into detail on how we demolish them and reuse them.

Our Neat House: your support

Our Neat House could always use your support for rehabilitation projects. The biggest way you can support us is by buying some artwork from our store or by buying some prints, stickers, and shirts from our RedBubble store and our Society 6 store.

Author: Colleen

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