When Dirty Dave gets out of his truck, the game begins. “Whoo boy, what do we have in store today?” he says. “Let’s take a look!”

The walkthrough isn’t as exciting for Dave as it is for the rest of the crew, because Dave reviews photographs before heading to a job site. This way he knows exactly what equipment to bring to the property. This is an important point: each job requires something different. For example, a Bobcat is great for scooping piles of exterior debris or tearing down an unsafe outbuilding; a wet basement might demand an immediate water extraction; hazardous materials demand special handling. “We show up prepared so we can do the job right the first time,” Dave says.

Still, there's nothing like a first-hand experience. After all, the pictures aren't the scratch-and-sniff variety. There is no substitute for actually being there. So now it’s time to take a look at what the day has in store for the rest of us. As the three of us walk the home, we take note of the amount of debris, where we’ll need to work as a team (such as to remove a refrigerator or couch), where we’ll need to take extra precautions (with hazardous materials, for example) and where we can split up for maximum efficiency. This particular home isn’t anything out of the ordinary, but there is a lot of paint in the garage, and there are several queen-size mattresses upstairs: pretty standard for a foreclosure in Minnesota. At least there aren't any unplugged freezers full of meat.  “OK!” Dave announces. He looks at me. “You and Randy can start upstairs. I’ll start in the basement. Ready? Let’s knock this out!”

And then we start working. As always, it’s a labor-intensive endeavor, and there is plenty of grime to go around. Still, step by step, bag by bag, room by room, we make our way through the house until we met Dave downstairs. Together we finish the basement and garage. Then we move outside and make sure there isn’t any debris or safety issues around the property. Before we realize it, the entire property is debris free. The trucks are loaded, our gear is stored, and it’s time to head back to the shop.

But getting back to the shop doesn’t mean that the day is over. We have to unload the trucks, sort any household hazardous waste, file paperwork, and make sure all of our tools are put away. Then we crew members head home. Meanwhile, Dirty Dave sits at his desk, looking at pictures of the next day’s jobs. This is life at a foreclosure cleanout company.

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