Monday, January 3, 2011

Free time, Day three, Tip One: Being a first responder is refreshing.

So Day Three was an odd, practical, twisted denouement; a stark understanding of what exactly I'm up against spearheading such an optimistic project.

I think I realized today what a big job this will be, this accumulation. Because today, in addition to piecing together what will hopefully become the elements of someone else's surroundings, I had to work at my real job.

I must say, I was highly productive, from 8 am to 4 pm.

But in those few vacant moments, I was thinking in a completely different, non-work-related direction.

I need a place to store this stuff I'm getting for free.

So during a break from my real life, I called Public Storage. There's a location just a few miles away from my house. I talked with lovely Linda, who is skilled in the art of customer service.

Apparently, Public Storage offers a variety of empty spaces.

I have no clue how much room I need, and Linda was so very helpful. She let me know that typically, the interior of a 3-bedroom home can fit nicely in one of their 10'x20' units.

And today was my lucky day, because Public Storage is in the midst of a crazy-ass promotion.

Typically, a 10'x20' space would cost $126 every freaking month. So much for my Free Time.

The cost was deflating, but only for a moment.

Because Linda told me that Public Storage is offering pinch-me-you're-so-full-of-S-cheap rates right now.

What's the bottom line, you ask?

Public Storage is charging me $1 for storing my treasures for the first 30 days. After that, we'll talk.

I'm sure they're banking on my stuff sticking around a while, so that they can make a bundle on my procrastinatoritude; my hoarding essence. But I intend to be done with this project in 30 days, maybe less.

Yes, there's a $22 administration fee. And Linda suggests that I purchase their very sturdy lock, for 13.99.

Let's review.

For a shade under $40, I'll be able to store my stuff for a month. I'm no mathematician, but I think that evens out to a daily rate of a buck and change.


Maybe my car will see the inside of my garage before the next Colorado snowstorm.

Okay. So the storage part is a done deal. I'll wander around my fabulous empty space tomorrow.

As for today, I realized that the refresh, refresh, refresh sensibility has its benefits when it comes to craigslist.

Because some of the groundwork I laid yesterday completely paid off today.

Suzie called me today. I'd been the first responder to her wingback chair craigslist post.

I drove my son's freakishly large truck to Suzie's house as soon as I was done with work at 4 pm. Oddly (...or is it? This entire exercise continues to confound me with its seemingly intricate serendipity...), Suzie works where I work. And she lives four miles away.

So I picked up Suzie's chair. Everything she said is true. This chair is to my hind quarters every bit as a comfortable as a well-worn shoe is to my bunion-spackled feet. Like an old shoe, this chair has seen a few miles, but it's solid and issue-free. It's an inanimate version of the perfect friend, if the friend were a wingback chair.

So there you go. This chair is the tangible benefit of being a first responder.

And that's not all! In addition to laying claim to my little patch of storage space heaven and adding Suzie's wingback to my collection, I made plans to pick up a new queen sized mattress and box spring from Thomas tomorrow!

Thomas emailed me today, solely because I was the first to have responded to yesterday's post.

So, despite being tethered to my job today, the groundwork I laid yesterday with the borderline OCD refreshment paid off today.

I think this project of furnishing someone's house (who I don't know yet), for free, in a month, in my free time, is exhaustingly possible.

An ancillary benefit? The exhilaration of finding great stuff.

Another ancillary benefit? Meeting such generous people.

Now I just need to work on the end game.

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