Home-buyers with a preference for older properties are often likely to be lumbered with an additional, unforeseen expense: paying for …
10 Strangest Things found in House Clearances
Chances are, you or someone you know will have been involved in a house clearance at some point. They’re an inevitable part of life, whether it’s emptying a house after the death of a loved one or clearing a recent property purchase of the trappings of previous occupants, ready to do up and sell on. They’re also a confusing, dirty and often unwanted side-effect of life’s big moments, and one that most of us would like to avoid.
That’s why many people are opting to employ house clearance specialists, who come in and essentially strip the property from top to bottom of all its furnishings, decorations, and sometimes even the carpets and curtains too. At JS Removals, we’ve got years of experience clearing houses ready for resale, demolition or a complete refurbishment, and we’re experts in knowing the most efficient way to get ‘back to basics’, whether it’s a flat, town house or sprawling mansion.
But in the course of duty, house clearance professionals will sometimes come across something utterly (and, at times, terrifyingly) unexpected. Often these arise in houses where tenants have been living, or someone has owned the property for a considerable number of years. Luckily, not every find is as disgusting as you might imagine – some of them are wonderful, incredible or downright miraculous.
Here then, are the top 10 strangest things ever found by someone following a house clearance:
- Louis Vuitton Handbags
Yes, someone had (probably unwittingly) let several hundred pounds’ worth of designer handbags get thrown out with the rest of their rubbish. We can’t imagine any other reason you’d throw out perfectly good accessories by such a well-known brand.
- Razor Blades
Although it may seem strange, razor blades are a common find, especially in older houses. Before the days of disposable razors, people would buy new blades to fit their existing razor. They needed somewhere safe to dispose of the old, blunted blades, so slots were built into the back of medicine cabinets in bathrooms, where the razor blades could be deposited into a special box built into the wall cavity. Nowadays, they tend to only be discovered during major renovation works.
- A Shoebox Filled with Dozens of Mouse Skeletons
Less scary than finding a human skeleton, but still a nasty shock for whichever house clearance company drew the short straw for this property. The previous owners must have been collectors – what else can account for such a grotesque set of artefacts?
It may surprise you, but money is actually a pretty common discovery. It’s usually found in houses where the owner has died, often at an old age, and had a lifelong mistrust of banks, and can range from a few hundred to several thousand pounds. The places money can crop up is where the real intrigue lies, though – it’s most often located in the bathroom! It seems like the mattress strategy is just an urban myth.
- 120-Year-Old Bible
This was found following the purchase of a house, where many of the previous owner’s belongings were still inside. The Bible was from the late 1800s, and had clearly been passed down through the generations of a family before ending up stashed away, only to be rediscovered in the mid-2000s.
- CIA Documents
It seems unbelievable that someone would leave anything top-secret in their house, but a collection of CIA ID badges and other documents were found in a home in the United States. Chances are, it made for interesting reading!
- First Edition of Charles Dickens Novels
Dickens is so well-known now for his Victorian England stories of gutter boys and rags-to-riches serendipity, it’s hard to believe that anyone would throw them away. Yet the set of novels were either cleared out of the house by professionals who didn’t take the time to check their worth, or passed on to a relative who simply didn’t realise their historical significance.
- Four Life-Sized Taxidermized Tigers
Imagine going up to the top floor of someone’s home and finding four genuine, stuffed tigers staring back at you. That’s what one very surprised person clearing out a house found – though it’s unclear whether the property owners requested the tigers be removed or left as memento.
- The Bones of Apostle St Clement
Finding old bones during a house clearance is always unsettling but finding the bones of an early Christian saint really takes the biscuit. These old bone fragments were kept in a locket sealed with wax and inscribed with the name of St Clement, the third pope, and date from around the 2nd century CE.
- A nude painting of Albert Einstein
Of all the weird and wonderful things to have found when emptying a house of its contents, a nude portrait of the great physicist Albert Einstein surely has to come first. Having anything relating to Einstein is already a coup, so why anyone was happy for a painting with such unusual subject matter to be discarded along with more mundane household items, we’ll never know.
So there you go; chances are good that your house won’t contain anything nearly so controversial as some of these have been, but before you get someone in to do a professional house clearance, it’s definitely worth checking over the contents of the property to make sure you’re not unwittingly waving goodbye to an auctioneer’s treasure trove.
Once you’re certain that everything in the property can go, though, that’s definitely the time to call in someone like JS Removals, to deal with the heavy lifting, frustrating emptying of drawers and wardrobes, and all those other dirty, awkward jobs involved in getting a house ready for a new lease of life.
Our fair and reasonable rates mean that regardless of location, the same sized job will get the same quote – just snap some photos of the rooms in the house to be cleared and we’ll send you our price. And who knows, maybe something from your house will make it onto this list in the future?
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