Weirdest thing found in home you bought (apt. you rented)

There is a bat rescue in central Pennsylvania.

After reading recent posts, I swear I’m going out and put up the bat house we’ve been storing and carting around for years.

Oh, and possibly the oddest thing we found on move-in last year was the industrial-sized carton of aluminum foil in the kitchen. Something like this:

We’ll probably still be using it years from now.

Use it on your roof to stop satellites from listening in to your conversations. :grin:

Sounds like a person/s who were cheap (in the “stretching a dollar” sense) and very much into saving money and re-using things, and used organization as one way to do so. Labeling tools could be a way of keeping track of how long they last, what they cost, and which type lasts and is the best value. For example I’ve still got a heavy ugly old wood & steel snow shovel my dad passed down from 50+ years ago. I’ve gone through several new lighter designs that last 1 or 2 seasons before breaking. It would be cool to know what that old shovel cost back in the 60’s and how long it’s lasted.

Gas cans might be different grades of gas, mixed or straight. At ay given time I might have non-stabilized regular gas for my riding mower which gets used weekly, stabilized gas for my ATV which gets stored half the year, premium gas for my expensive boat motor in the summer, and mixed gas for my chainsaw. And plastic gas cans do wear out; I’ve had one spring a leak in the body, sometimes the nozzles get brittle and break, and the rubber seals often get mangled and stop sealing properly. But, these things never all happen at once. So you’re left with various parts that still work that you try to mix and match and re use rather than throw out, and you’re left with 8 cans of varying size and content. Then you grow too old to bother with them anymore and pass it on to someone else who says WTF?

Old carpet can be re used for various things when you want to save money. I used some as treads for my snowmobile trailer and ramp rather than spending money on expanded metal. Also good for various types of padding. Not high end fancy projects of course, but still useful. I still cringe at the thought of spending about $950 on carpeting for a stair case that I never installed. It sat rolled up for years before I sold the house with bare wood stairs. That stuff is expensive when you buy it new, and it can be hard to just throw it away without trying to get every penny of use out of it.

I discovered this same feature in the house I grew up in, built in the 1940s. The slot was in the medicine cabinet above the bathroom sink, and just seemed to go to nowhere. I read that it was simply a standard practice to install the cabinet between 2 wall studs, which on an interior wall would have an empty space from the floor to the ceiling, and to just drop used blades there and leave until the house gets demolished. They are so small and thin that it would take tens of thousands of them to ever fill the space up, and they don’t really rot or anything so they just sit.

The oddest/neatest thing I found was not in a house, but in an antique coal stove I bought around 2007. I cleaned it out and blew all the old ash out from the burning areas, and when that was gone I found a cardboard box that had held seed peas for planting. It was obvious that the stove had not been fired up since that very flammable box got stuffed into one of the nooks in the stove (or it would have turned to ash). Not an exciting find, but the box was dated 1963.

Probably just kids stuffing garbage into the parents old antique when they were too lazy to walk to the actual garbage can. But interesting to know those peas were planted the spring before Kennedy got shot, and that the stove hadn’t been fired up since.

Another interesting thing I found in our house after my parents had both died was all the mail my mom had kept. Hundreds of letters dated between the late 50’s and early 80’s. They were mostly bland (to me) news updates between relatives saying that so-and-so had a baby named X, how the weather had been that summer, wishing pleasant thoughts, asking simple questions, etc. I knew some of the names, but mostly it was just strangers talking to each other about mundane things. My mom had told me all the interesting family stories before she died, so I had no ambition to read through all those old letters.

But I did find 2 kind-of interesting letters from the small sample I did look through, which confirmed the story mom told me about my step dad. The story was that before they got married, he had caused a drunk driving accident while driving out to meet my mom one summer. He got charged, convicted, and sent to jail for a few months as a result. The other driver, and older man, sued him for some medical issues he’d suffered, and won. Details like how long, what dates, names had been forgotten.

I found one letter stating that step-dad had completed serving X months in Y facility, and had now been released as of Z date, and was basically free to go. Also, a different letter from a lawyer said something along the lines that [old guy] had accepted the offer in X$ in case # whatever, relieving step dad of anything further and that everything was basically closed and done.

By themselves the letters didn’t tell me what had happened or why. Likewise, my mom’s story may or may not have happened the way she said and was just one of a hundred tales I heard as a kid… some very believable and some obviously made up.

It was weird to find official legal papers confirming a story my mom told me when most of her stories were quite distorted and twisted to either teach a lesson or clean up the past.

I found a machete on top of the AC unit in the garage of the previous house we rented. Must be symbolic of something.

When I bought my house, there was a giant cable spool in the basement. It was About four-feet high on its side and five feet in diameter and I have no idea how they got it there unless they disassembled it and put it back together. We used it as a table for several years, putting cheap paneling on it to give it a useable surface, but eventually took it apart and got rid of it to make room.

There also was a plastic rake I used for years.

One time, I found a 1951 Topps redback* baseball card in a crack of the wall. Alas, I tore it a bit before I realized what it was.

*Topps’s first year. There were two series: redbacks and bluebacks. They were designed to look like Playing cards. Bluebacks are rarer.

Totally innocent. Everyone has a machete. Someone probably just put it there after using it.

I live in Queensland and the traditional house style (known as a “Queenslander”) is built on posts, (known as “stumps”). Here’s a picture:

(not my house sadly).

The stumps were traditionally Australian hardwood logs, which are incredibly durable but do eventually get termite eaten and/or tend to slump and lean by the time a house is a century old or so. So when renovating, these days they are typically replaced with steel or concrete posts.

Mrs P and I bought a Queenslander. It had been entirely re-stumped with concrete stumps, including in all the awkward, harder to reach places…except for one stump which was still the original, rotting, leaning wooden one. The whole staircase to the upstairs was sagging and twisting because of this one rotten stump.

Myself, the professional re-stumpers who we got in to replace it, and every builder etc who I’ve ever asked have never come up with any reason. It was clearly rotten and would have been since well before the re-stumping job had been done. It was easy to access. It was obviously causing problems. But it was the only one not replaced.

The only thing I can think of is that the re-stumpers were one stump short, so they left that one to come back and do later but never did.

You win.

Just to piss you off.

very small. very very small.

Moderator Note

Dial it back, please. This is MPSIMS.

Or if you insist on having a go at each other, take it to the Pit. Your choice.

You know, you may be onto something. We live in the Sunshine State and a couple weeks ago, I was trying to prune back one of our palm trees that was getting shaggy and hanging over our neighbors’ front yard. My pruner pole-saw just wasn’t getting the job done when here comes the neighbor with a machete. “Allow me.” Whack, whack, the fronds are history; most impressive.

I think people might have preconceptions about machetes. But when you use one, you use them more.

Yeah, there are both places in the world and lines of work in which machetes are in common use. I think I’ve got one somewhere, probably out with other hand tools in the barn. I don’t use it often; I probably got it to whack at some brambles growing in the wrong place and not easy to get at with a mower, but in practice I often wind up using shears instead because they’re easier to carry so I’m more likely to have them on me.

I apologize.

My house had a mystery switch in the laundry closet (upstairs). As a matter of hygiene, I left it OFF. A few years after we moved in, a cable guy was in the attic and told me my attic fan wasn’t running. So I called an electrician, who stomped around up there and then said “C’mere, you’re not going to like this” and (you’ve all seen this coming) showed me the switch.

Since then, we’ve had the roof redone with a ridge vent, so now the switch IS a dummy, since there’s no fan up there any more. If/when I sell the house, I hope to remember to explain to the buyer.

I’ve mentioned before a couple I knew bought a very nice home years ago. They were shocked at how high their electric bills were. LongStoryShort they had heated walkways that were mystery-switched “on” all summer.

We had a mystery chimney. The bathroom abuts the kitchen. The chimney, about a foot or so square was in a corner of the bathroom. It was drywalled, and it was just there. When we re-did the bathroom floor, we had it demolished. There was an iron door, but I don’t recall which side it was on. Anyway, we still have the bricks neatly stacked off the patio. One or two are useful from time to time.