Why We Do It
In December 2014, my Aunt Mary lost her ferocious fight with cancer. Immediately, the loss devastated my family to its core. In the middle of grappling with the gravity of our loss, we were also confronted with the responsibility of handling the care of her real estate. Cleaning out the properties and hiring contractors proved cumbersome. Local bulk pick up ordinances were inconvenient, recycling regulations were confusing, and contractors wanted way more money than we could afford for our clean out projects. As novice homeowners we spent lots of money and wasted great amounts of time learning to navigate affordable property care services.
At some point we completely depleted available funds for cleaning the properties out so I decided to research local, state, and federal environmental protection agencies, learn about regulations, understand pricing, and ways residents could dispose of their own waste.
Armed with my new knowledge, I began my own do-it-yourself clean out projects, room by room. As an asthmatic, I had to ensure that the cleaning agents and dust involved in the projects would not jeopardize my health. I started my research again. I learned about the differences in cleaning agents and air pollutants. I contacted industry experts to inquire about standards and best practices. I eventually learned about proper ways to conduct eco-friendly cleaning.
My family was completely surprised and absolutely excited about the work I managed to complete on my own and I was proud that I was able to figure out how to handle the cleaning projects without costing the family tons of money. There was the added benefit that the work I completed was safe for my health and the health of my environment. It also felt rewarding to donate the family's unwanted items to local nonprofits and senior homes rather than having the items end up in overcrowded landfills.
I knew I had done something that needed to be shared with friends, family and the community I love.