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Beware the Furnished Home Move In

When we relocated from the Mojave Desert to the Oregon Coast, we were moving from a fairly large four bedroom, two bathroom, three car garage home. Our new house would only be 1,000 square feet and a completely open concept aside from the guest bedroom and the one bathroom in the house. We were definitely not in need of a furnished home as we already had more furniture and belongings than we could fit in the new home. However, the house we chose was offered as “furnished” and there were a few nice furnishings in the house and some built-ins that we were really in love with. We decided to go for it and got rid of more of our furniture and belongings to accommodate the furniture that was already there.

I must stop here and insert a warning – buyer beware. Purchasing an already furnished home is wonderful especially when much of the furniture was built custom for the cabin to match its decor. With that said, I highly recommend that you ask what else the sellers plan to leave behind. We were in for a huge surprise when we moved in – some good but a lot of bad. Insist that they not only get the home cleaned but that all food and trash has been removed from all cupboards, closets, and drawers as well as the main living spaces.

The cupboards were filled with old food, some of it with dates over ten years old. There were toxic chemicals left behind – cleaning products that they must have used. We try to use natural cleaners and things that are safe for the environment. The drawers were filled with flatware, dishes, glasses, pots, pans, spatulas and serving utensils – all things that we brought with us of our own. We now had two sets of everything in the kitchen. Never mind the rest of the house. We found clothing and blankets and towels. There were two vacuums, neither of which worked. So much trash could be found, little bits of old board games, children’s toys, and even a condom wrapper under the sofa. They essentially left everything they didn’t want to clean, pack, or move.

For me, I was infuriated. We had cleaned our home that we sold back in California top to bottom. It was so clean they could have eaten their first night’s dinner from the floor. While I hadn’t expected the new house to be spring cleaned, I had expected them to take all of the junk and trash and old food out of the house. At our old home, in a suburban neighborhood, having all of those extra items would have been a bit of a chore but we could have easily given them away as free curb alert items. Our new home is located at the very end of a rural gravel road, miles outside of town. It also has fifty-five steps from the driveway to the home – that’s one hundred and ten steps round trip. Hauling all of their belongings and trash out of here was quite a chore and we were unable to really move in for days after we got here. To add insult to injury we also had to take all of the items to the nearby landfill as the house does not receive trash service and we had to pay to have it thrown out.

My love saw the bright side in things from his end as he found some tools and fishing gear in the little garden shed. For me, the whole experience was a lesson learned. If we ever move again – we don’t plan to as we absolutely love it here – I will certainly insist that the new home we are moving into be cleaned either by the seller/owner or by a cleaning service at their expense. It was a dreadful way to move into a new home that we had been so excited about.

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Illustration by Blume Bauer ©

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