we’ve got compartments

I hope this doesn’t come off like bragging but I know exactly where my S-hooks are.

Finally cleared out the basement workshoppy area—such a hopeless tangle of semi useful debris it didn’t even have a name.

One of us has wanted to do this for yonks. The other, more meh, got his way, way too long. (Please note: this wasn’t a job one of us could have done alone given that much debris was of mysterious parentage, needing ‘the other’ to classify.)

So, for eighteen years, if you needed, say, a rope, you had to fight your way through a jumble of paint tins, sacks of multi-coloured wall plugs, rubber tipped springy things that stop doors hitting walls, vacuum cleaner bags for long deceased vacuums, a plastic barrel of shims (used to slide under things to make them level I was told—apparently everyone needs five hundred); you’d have to move aside a trillion tins of assorted nuts and bolts, electrical stuff, hinges, plumbing bits, dried up drywall compound, tubes of caulking, a toolbelt (never worn), paint brushes, dozens of pencils, fuses, batteries, wood filler and individual cartons kept for the sole purpose of housing individual sheets of instructions no one ever reads; you’d find at least one broken hack-saw (kept because we didn’t know we also had an unbroken hack-saw) before you found any sign of rope. Unless of course you were looking for the hack-saw, in which case you’d find the rope first.

—Anyone still awake?

The point is… whatever you were looking for, it was just easiser to get in the car and drive to Rona.

Ah, but not so now, she said drunk on organization after a few glorious hours in the furnace room over the weekend!

Go ahead. Ask me for an S-hook.

Or a patch to fix an inner tube. Nails? Are you kidding me? What size? What colour? We have compartments. Sandpaper? Fine or coarse? Rope? There’s a drawer for that. Maybe you’d prefer a bungee cord (red or blue?), plastic coated fencing wire or two kinds of ordinary garden twine? Could your Theraband ball stand to be inflated… maybe just a titch? If so, come on over to our house toute de suite, I know where the pump is.

Even the reluctant other is impressed.

And hell, it’s hard not to be. For the first time in eighteen years we sleep at night, filled with contented smugness, knowing the exact location of stuff we almost never use.

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