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Locking the basement

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silverhopes posted 5/23/2013 13:47 PM

Pardon me while I whine for a moment...

So I struggle with clutter, as I'm sure many folks can relate. We live in an apartment building with six units. The basement is shared, and it's where 90% of my stuff is, in boxes.

My extended family, who also live in the apartment building in other units, are kinda pushy. Two of them have said that they will lead everyone else in organizing all our stuff down there. I really don't want their "help". Been trying to make headway on it and slowly am as a personal goal, and it feels nice to be in control of my stuff, as opposed to others moving it around and/or throwing or giving it away as they see fit.

Well, a few weeks ago, one of the typically drunk neighbors (we suspect) made off with the key to the basement. In spite of him being in the same building as the rest of us, no one has gotten the key back. One of my extended family is having someone come out today to change the lock. She says that she will be keeping the key from now on. So now if I want to go to the basement, I will have to go find her each and every time to go down there. She's kinda flaky, and she's one of the ones who wants to "help" me organize, so not big on that.

I asked her upfront if I could have a copy. She said yes but that it would have to be our secret. I honestly don't know if she'll follow through giving me a key or not. This sucks! All this headway I've been trying to make, overcoming my personal demons tied up in the damn clutter, and it's about to be cut short because my stupid drunk neighbor couldn't put the key back on the damn communal hook!

Strange, of all the things that are going on, this is the one that's bringing me closest to snapping.

Amazonia posted 5/23/2013 14:23 PM

Who owns the building?
Why on earth would one resident have the only key?? I don't understand why all residents don't have keys, or why the management doesn't hold the key if there can only be one.

silverhopes posted 5/23/2013 14:29 PM

The building is co-owned by my godmother, her sister (the one who wants to hold the key and "help"), her sister's best friend (the other one who will "help"), a sister in another state, and a longtime family friend (the drunk one).

Uhhhh, I am so angry. The lock is being put on as I type. I went down there, son in arms (I almost never do because I don't want to expose him to the moldy air down there), took up a couple of things... I feel so angry and POWERLESS right now. Soon I won't have access to my own stuff anymore!

I agree, all permanent residents should have keys. So we don't give them to any guests, that's fine, most of us residents are permanent anyway. I wonder if there's a way to tactfully bring it up. Thank you Amazonia. I'm feeling a little calmer right now. Deep breaths.

silverhopes posted 5/23/2013 14:55 PM

Gahhh, I shouldn't be this angry. I shouldn't be. I'm thinking about all the times I asked H to watch our son during his nap so I could run downstairs for just a few spare minutes and get stuff done. And the many, many times he would go outside and smoke for a half hour, then come back and ask if we could play video games. He KNEW how important getting down there was for me! And turned it into a struggle! When that mountain of stuff is already a struggle!!!!! GAAAAHHHH!!!!!!! So angry!!!!! I know they're not *intentionally* trying to sabotage my efforts, but it feels that way sometimes!

Need a new plan... Going to think of a new plan..

nowiknow23 posted 5/23/2013 15:03 PM

Strange, of all the things that are going on, this is the one that's bringing me closest to snapping.
Not strange at all! This isn't just about a key, it's about power, access, and control. Toss in some patronizing and unwanted "help," and it's no surprise this has you upset.

Can you rent a small storage unit and move your stuff there? I would want it OUT of these people's reach and under your sole control ASAP.

wifehad5 posted 5/23/2013 15:51 PM

What about renting an offsite storage unit? The added cost would be temporary, and would give you motivation to get it done.

silverhopes posted 5/23/2013 16:05 PM

I'm thinking it might be worth it to do that after all. I was resisting it for a while because money is tight and I'd need a place that's public transit accessible (no car). Looking some up now online.

This isn't just about a key, it's about power, access, and control.

That's it exactly! It feels like they're taking control of all my stuff, which is one of my biggest goals right now, and now it feels like it's in their hands. I hate that. For me, that stuff feels like it houses a whole lot of emotional baggage and issues I've been working through and finally getting through it will be regaining my freedom. Making the key and therefore our stuff inaccessible to all of us feels like a power trip. Or maybe that's too harsh... But so upsetting.

I hope she'll give me a copy like she said.

Amazonia posted 5/23/2013 17:16 PM

How much stuff are you storing there? Could you move it into the apartment in order to 1) get it out of the basement and 2) be able to work on sorting without having to leave your baby?

hitbyatruck posted 5/23/2013 17:49 PM

I would bring up the stuff to your apartment. Go through a few boxes...on to the next.

silverhopes posted 5/23/2013 20:11 PM

Good news! Looks like I got angry for nothing.

I was going to try Plan B: call her every single day to ask to go downstairs so that she would eventually give me the key. So I decided to start right away when my son went down for his afternoon nap. When I went to her for her to let me in the basement, she gave me a spare key as promised and said we should keep it a secret. I'm so happy, she did it after all!

I still think everyone should have a key who is a permanent resident. For right now, I'm glad to have a copy. She still was trying to push that she and her best friend (another co-owner) want to "help" me organize, but I think it will be easier to handle now that I have access again.

Yes, I definitely think it's a good idea to bring things upstairs to work on them up here. I have a bunch of boxes of papers up here I've been trying to work on for a few weeks, but papers are challenging, so it felt like I'd hit a roadblock. I was talking with my mother earlier venting about this situation, and she offered to help me get started on organizing the papers. So thankful. I have about 30-40 boxes of papers, about 100 boxes' worth of stuff total. Way too much crap that it will be wonderful to get rid of.

[This message edited by silverhopes at 8:14 PM, May 23rd (Thursday)]

nowiknow23 posted 5/23/2013 20:13 PM

I have about 30-40 boxes of papers, about 100 boxes' worth of stuff total. Way too much crap that it will be wonderful to get rid of.
You will not BELIEVE the weight that will come off your shoulders when you make progress on this, silver. Good luck!

silverhopes posted 5/23/2013 20:15 PM

I know. I dream about the amazing feeling that will be at the end of the tunnel!!!!! Thank you everyone!

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