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the problem with garbage

No one ever told me this before we started reno-ing (I’m sure I’ve used that before, but is that even a word?), but getting rid of stuff is really freaking expensive, highly annoying, and incredibly time consuming.

Last year we got a huge dumpster and filled it in about a week – which totally amazed me.

We took down one wall, removed some plaster and some flooring and $600 later, the dumpster was full.  I never would have imagined we would have generated so much rubbish, but there ya go.

But this time, getting a dumpster was out.  I didn’t think it was necessary, I didn’t want to spend the money, and we’d also created a nice garden area so there wasn’t room anyway.

(and yes, there is a glimpse of the hammock – successfully installed on a real post! – more on that later…)

Of course, then we inherited a mountain of crap in the flat upstairs.

We did put a lot of stuff out on garbage day, as Halifax has one of the most generous garbage policies of any city I’ve ever lived in.  Every two weeks you are allowed six bags of garbage – yes, SIX – plus one ‘bulky item’.  I called them and asked, ‘Surely by bulky item you don’t mean something like a stove do you?’  Oh yes they do.  Not that it even made it to garbage pick-up.  We put that sucker on the pavement and it was gone within half an hour.  Amazing.

But there was still a ton of stuff left.  We moved everything into one room and piled it up (thanks to Sam’s years of professional furniture stacking skills) so we could start working, but it was still annoying (and I should have taken a photo of the stacked room of furniture but sadly didn’t – just imagine the room above stacked to the ceiling).  Actually, it annoyed Sam more than me.  I still had visions of reclaiming some stuff, maybe taking some to a charity shop, putting some in the basement for future projects, but Sam, rightly, argued that all that would probably take just as long as the reno itself and we really didn’t have time – plus, there was very little of it that anyone realistically would have wanted (30 year old mattresses anyone?), and then there was the little problem we have of not even owning a car to take stuff anywhere.  So before I really had a chance to argue, Sam had called some guys with a truck, paid them $275 and POOF – it was all gone.

It was a real relief to be honest.  We now had space to move and work and some of the skanky smell had disappeared.  Horray!

We’re creating more garbage now though as we’ve finally decided to tear down the plaster on the one wall that was beyond repair.  We had a brief thought that the wall could stay as is in a sort of ‘shabby chic’ look.  Actually, I just googled ‘shabby chic’ and that is definitely not what I mean.  I don’t know what you call it in design-speak, but basically it’s that ‘this old house is so awesome even the peeling paint looks good’ look, but one that also says ‘we live in a climate that rarely falls below freezing so don’t worry about artistic holes in the walls’.  So that was out.

So now I need to figure out what to do with all that plaster.  I’m going to bag it up and see how much I can get rid of today (it’s garbage day tomorrow), but the rest might need some more drastic, and yes, costly solutions.  I just called the city though, and see that old toilet?  It is also considered a ‘bulky item’.  It’s going out on the curb!  One problem solved.

So today is a very glamorous day of breaking down and bagging up all the various piles of stuff around the house…

We’ll see how long I last before the hammock starts calling.

(and no, I’m not showing the whole hammock as there’s a load of other reno garbage under the deck that also needs attention…to be dealt with, later…)


5 responses »

  1. ‘artful neglect’ is the phrase i believe i was looking for. check it out here:

  2. i also googled shabby chic, DO NOT WANT.

  3. your garden area looks great! what is the paint/stain on the picnic table? Our picnic table and outside chairs are starting to look like they’re suffering from ‘artful neglect’.

    • – we used whatever the deck paint is that Sherwin Williams sell (i think they only have one kind) and had it tinted black. don’t look too close though – we haven’t done the underside so it looks kind of stupid from certain angles right now!


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