The house was quiet and dark. Kat was used to Bill waking early every morning, switching on the lights and clattering around in the kitchen making his first cup of coffee. But not this morning. He was still away on his caravan holiday, enjoying the sun and teaching Tiffany to fish.
Meanwhile, Kat was at home surrounded by her stuff. She’d read that people who hoard said they could rely on their stuff more than they could rely on people. She thought to herself, “Even though I’m not a hoarder, I can see what they mean. The people who are supposed to be there for me, have just left me behind. My things never disappoint me like they have.”
It’s all right for Bill to go off galivanting while she was left to be the custodian of the family heirlooms. Someone had to take the responsibility seriously. And Kat was very serious.
The trouble was, she thought, there was just not enough storage, or not the right kind of storage. She’d been trying to tell Bill for years. But did he listen? No, of course not. He just planned his little getaway. If he’d only helped her get this storage thing sorted out, they could have gone together. But he just wouldn’t wait another week.
To top it off, the stupid council had replied to her request to remove the complaint against her. But it wasn’t the reply she’d hoped for. They still insisted that her front yard was an “environmental nuisance” and told her to clean it up. She didn’t have the energy to keep fighting them, especially with Bill gone.
Now she had even more reason to get better storage. Bill refused to rent another storage unit, so she’d just have to deal with it on her own. As usual.
She found the answer online. She placed an order for immediate delivery and then did another online search. Now that new storage solutions were on their way, she’d need some help to put it all together. If the people who were supposed to help her had better things to do, she’d have to hire someone. She found a listing for Bob the Handyman and booked him at his earliest possible availability.
He sent back another photo of a fish and simply said, “Good on you, Love”.
The next day the delivery arrived. “Where do you want this to go, Mrs.?”, asked the delivery driver as he opened the truck doors.
Kat looked around at her lawn, path and front porch. She hadn’t realised there’d be quite so many boxes. “I suppose you can put it on the driveway.” Bill’s car wasn’t coming back today anyway.
Two men unloaded six large boxes and twenty-four plastic tubs. “What are you building, Mrs.?”
Kat thought they sounded impressed. She was impressed with her ingenuity too.
When Bob the Handyman turned up, he asked the same question. Kat explained that all she needed for him to do was construct the six sets of steel shelves and put them in the garage. She would fill the tubs and put them on the new shelves.
Together they went to the garage to discuss the placement of these shelves. As the garage door lifted, they both stood staring at the wall of items that faced them. To Bob the Handyman it looked like an impenetrable fortress of furniture, boxes, appliances, decorations and lots and lots of shopping bags. To Kat it seemed like a fun game of Tetris.
“Lady, you’re going to need more than six steel shelves to get this lot sorted out.”
“Oh, do you think I should have ordered more?”
“No, I mean there’s no room for any more shelves. You’ve got more junk in here than the local op shop. You don’t need shelves, you need help.”
“That’s why I hired you. To help me.”
“Lady, I can build the shelves, but they won’t fit in here. You should think about going on that Space Invaders show.”
Kat huffed. “If I wanted your opinion, I’d ask for it. Just build the damn shelves. You can leave them in the driveway till I get someone who’s willing to help.”
Kat was furious. This man was more useless and judgemental as the one she married, only less diplomatic. She stormed into the house and watched him closely through the curtains. When the shelves were built, she paid him cash. As he left, he handed her a business card. She threw it in the bin before coming back into the house. That was one thing she didn’t want to keep.
She was just about to go inside when she heard a friendly toot and turned to see Bill’s car and the caravan turning into the driveway. Bill braked when he saw his way blocked and it was another 10 minutes before he’d parked safely on the street.
Kat was never so glad to see him. They hugged for a long time.
“What have you been up to?” Bill asked.
“Well, I said you wouldn’t recognise the place. You weren’t here to help with the new storage, so I had to do it on my own. And it’s all gone wrong.” And then she sobbed.
“Love, you don’t need more storage. You can’t keep bringing in more stuff without letting some go. I was sitting next to a dam, waiting for the fish to bite, and I realised something. Our house is like that dam. Stuff keeps coming into it, but if we don’t let some stuff go, this dam is going to burst.”
Kat’s eyes welled up. She was speechless.
“But don’t worry, Love. I’m here to help.”
“That’s all I ever wanted, Bill.”
He nodded. “I’ll order a skip tomorrow.”
Catch up on all the past Adventures of Kat here…