I had been planning on cleaning the basement all summer. I did a few boxes here and there. Put together a couple of boxes for charity and promptly forgot about them when the charity called. Threw away a couple of boxes. But I was having a hard time making decisions about what to keep and what to throw away.
Then I had a dream. I dreamed I got married to someone I didn't know very well. One day, he came home and found me taking out the trash. He said, "what are you doing?" in a gruff way.
I thought it was pretty obvious, so I said, "It is Odor Removal day. Anything that smells - dishes, laundry, change bedsheets, clean out refrigerator, that sort of thing gets taken care of."
He said, "taking out the trash is a man's job."
My first reaction was to stand up for my rights. After all, it is my house, my trash, and I have been taking care of my own trash for all these years. But I got smart. Here was a man who, not only was offering to take out the trash, but forever after-wards. I shut up and handed him the bag.
While he was taking out the trash, I started worrying. What if he is one of those men who forgets his duty. I've read about wives who have had to put the trash where he will trip over it, so he will remember to take it out.
When he came back, we discussed it, and he said "how about we just do what we do, and at the end of the week, we can have a family meeting and see what needs to be changed."
It sounded like a good plan, so that is what we did. I showed him my chore chart, and we took turns taking care of the things on it.
Things were going well, when at one family meeting, he wanted to discuss the chore chart. I was worried that he wanted to talk about changing the plan, saying he was doing more than I was. But no, he wanted to talk about the thing on the list that hadn't gotten done during the month. That was cleaning the basement. He said he couldn't do it, because it was all my stuff, and he needed my help to make the decisions of what to keep and what to throw away. So we set up an appointment, and together, the whole family set out to spend the weekend cleaning the basement.
Then I woke up. I'm not going to waste valuable dream time watching myself clean!
But still, despite the plans and the dream, the basement still needed work. Last week, the basement decided I had wasted enough time and I needed some motivation. Water backed up in the basement, about 2 inches worth. It's an unfinished basement, so the only things on the floor were things I put there for storage. I didn't want to buy more shelves or plastic containers, because most of the stuff basically should be thrown away or given away. No need to keep what I'm not really using.
After the plumber got the main drain snaked, I took care of all the boxes on the floor. The decisions were really quick and easy. Any paper that got wet was trash, no matter how important it might have been. And non-paper items, I would have to clean and sterilize, so anything that I didn't feel like cleaning and sterilizing was trash. My mother and brother are helping me take care of things. We need to clean the entire floor, so we have to move the things I am keeping back and forth to clean one part at a time, doing a few hours a day.
We have made great progress, and it should all be done this week. I'll have a nice clean spacious basement again.