We Did the Best We Could to Honor Him
A Hoarder Cleanup Story
It was a cold day in February. Sleet peppered the air, stinging my face as we approached the apartment. A string of yellow caution tape flapped in the freezing wind, barricading the front door.
We were ready for this. Had done hundreds of hoarder cleanouts before: evictions, foreclosures, downsizing, move-outs. But this one was different. This one was for a marine.
A Troubled Young Decorated Marine
He was only thirty-six years old. A decorated veteran. The apartment property manager warned us this was a bad one.
One of my crew members lifted the yellow tape for me to duck under. The smell is the first thing you notice. It never leaves your senses, something you never forget.
The next thing I noticed was the empty gallon vodka bottles—forty or fifty of them lined against the walls. Filled with something we won’t mention. Let’s just say it required our hazmat suits. But we didn’t flinch. We did what we needed to do.
We got to work, started removing items. A one hour job for an apartment that size took us five hours.
Why Property Managers Hire Us
Property managers rely on us as their #1 junk removal service so their rental units stay free of junk and debris in between tenants. They also use us frequently to remove junk previous tenants dump next to the apartment dumpster that the city won’t pick up. Abandoned furniture, mattresses, TVs—we’ve seen it all.
They say time is money, which is true for property managers. If they can’t rent a unit quickly, they lose money. They know we do a thorough job, and we do it fast. This project, however, would take a little more time.
No Marine Should Die Alone
The more we dug through the junk, the more we realized the state of the young man’s mind. They don’t let dummies into the marines. “The Few. The Proud.” You must possess a tremendous amount of physical and mental strength. What happened to this marine was unthinkable.
No marine should die alone.
The condition of the apartment is the worse we’ve ever seen. Not at a Collyer brothers level, but terrible.
Where was his family, his friends, veteran groups? This man went to war for us. He raised his right hand to defend our country, but no one raised their right hand to help him.
We gave him the best farewell we could. Honored every one of his items with care. I felt connected to him and still do. Every time I see an American flag, I think of him, send him a little prayer.
Eliminating the Smell for Good
Our work amazed the property manager, especially regarding the smell. Where did it go? She thought it would take weeks, maybe even months, to rent the unit again until the smell disappeared. But our ozone generator got rid of the odor within 24 hours.
It’s important to understand that we don’t mask the smell, we eliminate it. That’s a big difference.
Using an ozone generator is just another one of our added values that other junk removal companies don’t use. I challenge you to find any local or franchised junk removal company that can eliminate odor the way we do.
We left that marine’s apartment with our heads held high.
He wasn’t a hoarder. He was a marine.