The plus side is since the woman passed in 2012, the family has kept the power and heat on. This would have been extra nasty if the power had been shut off. Did you know that eggs eventually evaporate and there is just a shell left? Just a little something we learned through this.
Again, so thankful they kept the power on. There were 3 freezers full!
One of the two bedrooms
And the creme de la creme .... the basement
One of our initial options was to clean the house out and maybe even rent it out for a year or two until we were ready to re-hab it for us but that was just.not.an.option, The smell was so bad even after removing the belongings that we gutted it to the studs and the subfloor. Understand when I say "we gutted it" what I'm mostly saying is "DH gutted it". I helped a few times but this was mostly his winter project. What a guy! The smell even through a face mask drove me right back out the door. We've gutted flooded homes after Hurricanes and I can honestly say I've never smelled or seen anything quite like this.
Please understand, that I am not trying to poke fun at or belittle the woman who lived here. In fact, I actually felt sorry for her. As I was cleaning out the freezers, it really saddened me that she lived there by herself with her only family out of state with freezers full of food possibly for when they came to visit. It makes me wonder how many other elderly live in wait of a visit from their far away family. Truly sad and we are just as guilty as the next.