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Maybe it would be easier to do it myself...

AFTER THE HASTY sale of our home last year we had to move quickly into our new home, a smaller one and a “work in progress.” There was so much to do and I needed help, but I wondered if it would add to my workload to coordinate timebankers’ activity. Maybe it would be easier to just do it all myself.

      How many times have I heard that and encouraged members to at least try to see if it would be helpful? It was time to walk the talk.

I took my own advice and, thanks to a total of five hours with yard sale expert Jackie Mendoza, a garage sale not only substantially reduced the amount of stuff we had to move, but her efficient organization and knowledge took much less of my time and actually freed me up to get more done.

     Still, there’s always more stuff than you think! So I ended up stacking a whole lot of excess stuff in the new garage. We finished necessary repairs, got a bit more settled in our new home and, before we knew it, it was time for the final bit of remodeling: tackling the room I had been looking forward to fixing the most—and also dreading because it was pretty crammed with stuff I use every day.

That stuff now had to go somewhere, too. One idea was to just pile it up in the living room and ignore that room for a couple of months. But I was already attached to enjoying my new living room and felt a need for preserving the relatively calm atmosphere there. I remembered how much easier and more efficient a daunting task could be when I could rely on someone with more expertise to guide me. So I turned to timebanker and super organizer Angela Ford to help me think of a way to have my happy space and store stuff, too.

We devised a plan, measured and re-measured, then dove in to start moving furniture and boxing stuff up. I was limping from a foot injury, but when it felt like it was too much for me Angela just kept going. So I sat and sorted until I could keep going, too. The office found its place in a fairly tidy corner and is even better organized after the sorting.      Angela turned her eye toward what was in the garage. I’ve been storing all the Time Bank stuff in our garage for years: signs, bins of orientation materials, tables. Angela suggested maybe someone else in the Time Bank could store that stuff. Co-chair Larry Needlemanpicked it all up and facilitated a solution with the help of timebanker and builder extraordinaire, Robert Dewan. Our enthusiastic orienteer, Roberta Ryan, agreed to store it. That freed up quite a bit of space so we could fit all the excess in my garage.  And the new location is much more convenient for Roberta since she does so many orientations. Win win!

     Now prepared for the remodeling to begin, I was able to relax and get back to my normal activities. Since I couldn’t drive but could stand on my foot with a post-op shoe, I asked for a ride to go help one of the new mothers in the Time Bank pilot program. New member and new Sebastopol resident Susan Barrynot only gave me a ride there and back, she helped, too! We talked as we worked and traveled in the car. I learned, among other things, that she had a dining room table but was looking for chairs to go with it. I had 4 extra dining room chairs just taking up space in the garage and she agreed to “store” them at her house—indefinitely. Now our garage had more than enough space and we would even have easy access to all of our stuff during the remodel.  

Total time spent: 13.5 hours: 5 for Jackie’s help in organizing and holding the garage sale last year, 3.5 for Angela’s recent expertise and 2 for Larry’s pickup and delivery to the new storage site. Roberta paid for the materials to enhance her own storage area in order to accommodate the Time Bank materials. Robert spent 3 hours building the shelves.      As I type those numbers to the sound of jackhammers in the background, I know the true value of all this help is priceless. My dread of living in “remodel chaos” melted away with the support of this talented and generous community. —Gayle Bergmann Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough: we must do. — Goethe

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