Derelict Property Clean Up Helps Keep Community Tidy

trash strewn alley points out need for derelict property clean up project

Derelict property clean up can be a great benefit to your community beautification efforts. This term just means a vacant lot, parking lot, or building that is neglected and therefore dirty. 

Don't underestimate the impact of a cluttered, dirty, abandoned property on visitors and even current residents. If you live or work close to such real estate, you've probably grown slightly immune to how bad it looks.

But when businesses are seeking site locations, prospective residents are considering investing in your neighborhood, or criminals are figuring out whether anyone cares about your particular neck of the woods, the appearance of abandoned homes, abandoned factories, and vacant lots matters.

In this space please share with us what works. Use words and photos to just tell us the story.

Use the form at the bottom of the page. Then under that, you will see links to the accumulated stories of people who know about a successful cosmetic makeover of a parcel of land or a building, or perhaps a disastrous attempt at one. We tell failure stories too on this site.  Sharing all of these experiences about derelict property clean up is valuable to others.

If your community has a large quantity of derelict property clean up needs, you will need to recruit a large quantity of volunteers and some free use of suitable equipment. There is just no other way around it.

When prosperous communities are hit by a tornado, earthquake, or hurricane, they mount a massive campaign to get all the debris together and then have the equipment lined up to transport it to an appropriate location.

If you have several neglected properties, or one larger one, consider it to be equivalent to a natural disaster, and give yourselves a sense of urgency about getting everything cleaned up at once. A slow tornado is how one respected activist described what had happened to his community over a period of years.

This mentality of "we must clean this up now so we can move on" is really helpful to community revival and investor confidence. We consider home owners and building owners to be investors too. Their lack of belief is what has led you to need a derelict property cleanup in the first place.

Of course you will need to seek property owner permission for the derelict property clean up. Sometimes you will encounter resistance, especially if you try to shame the owner. Occasionally he or she will be unaware of the actual extent of rubbish or overgrown vegetation on the property, and will think you are just being nosey. So use your best human relations skills to show that your intent is to be helpful, not to humiliate or pry into why the derelict property clean up has become necessary in the first place. If you are kind, often the story will be volunteered.

So make it a blitz if you have a large quantity of derelict property cleanup facing you. Perhaps you can organize at the beginning of the summer to take care of one property each weekend. 

If it is just one property keeping the neighbors in a complaining mood, then you can see a variety of tips on the abandoned homes page.

Can you tell us how to clean up abandoned properties?

What's your experience? Do you know who did the work, how long it took, how it was organized, and so forth? If so, please share those details!

How Others See the Abandoned Lot Clean-Up Problem

Click below to see contributions from other visitors or editors.

The Saga of Silver Springs, Nevada 
Nightmare or feng shui challenge? This place is sadly lacking in prosperity, overflowing with derelict trailers, ugly buildings and the general epitome …

Down Town Vacant Lot Clean Up Not rated yet
Visitor Question: I live in Detroit Michigan and we have different groups of volunteers to try and clean the streets of Detroit. The group that I participated …

Illegal Dumping: A (not) Love Story Not rated yet
Having the unfortunate duties of looking over trash from a municipal aspect involves a lot of difficult tasks. One of these was undertaken during the …

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