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GoFundMe details
the space that needs clearing

Our family of 4 has been surviving on basically $2500/month and dancing on the edge of a debt-spiral for a long time now, which means a lot of stuff keeps getting postponed. Now, though, we've got a one-month deadline to get some stuff taken care of in order to be able to help out a friend (who isn't herself the expense; she's just the catalyst... I'll explain in a bit) -- so I'm thinking it's time to ask for help with this.


I've been dusting off Mel's lego pieces and boxing them up

It all starts with Mel's room. (It has roots that go back further, but that's much too long a story for this space. Some other time.) I've been wanting to use that space for various projects and storage essentially since I moved up here 20 years ago, but it hasn't really been available because... well... it was Mel's room.

When Mel (Harena's eldest) finished 8 years in the Navy a few years ago, he rented a storage space for all his accumulated stuff because there was no way it was all going to fit in his room (or anywhere else in the house, because... there just isn't room in this house).

He lived with us for a few years and then got a job in Savannah last year and moved out. We moved him and a bunch of his stuff down there in Daisy, the 2010 Space Odyssey minivan -- but that left his room still about 2/3 full of his stuff. Fortunately, he also kept the storage space -- in part because there's still quite a lot of his stuff there, and he's not planning to move it all down to Georgia anytime soon.

Purchase #3

So I've been boxing up his stuff in preparation for taking it out to storage (anything he doesn't want us to bring in our next load, which I'm hoping we can do this spring or early summer) -- but his storage space really needs some shelving in order not to become a completely hopeless logjam. I think what we need is at least one wheeled steel shelf from Costco, $120. We'll probably need more eventually, but one rack will definitely let us get started... and when he's done with the storage unit, I'm sure we can find a use for them (we already have about 5 units purchased back when they were only $60-$80, now in use for equipment and food storage).

Purchase #2

Mel's room is on the top floor, and his storage unit is at the far end of an indoor storage facility, so it's really time we replaced our missing hand-truck; boxes of books are heavy. This one ($90) looks like what we need.

Purchase #1

baby needs a new pair of shoes terminals

Before we can start moving things, however, I really need to get a new battery for Daisy, because the current battery isn't holding a charge for very long and is almost certainly past its expiration date. I'm thinking it's a bad idea to get the cheapest one; the next one up is ~$200. If that doesn't resolve the electrical issues, I'll have to take her to the mechanic... but I'm pretty sure that's all it is.

Purchase Totalizing

Allowing an extra $10 for unforseen expenses, that comes to (200 + 90 + 120 + 10 =) = $420, which I swear is just a coincidence[1]. (Our finances are only figuratively going to pot. ...though we do fully support cannabis legalization and those who find it a helpful tool in their coping arsenal, for whatever that's worth.)

The Deadline

What's happening is this: a nearby friend (lives in Greensboro, about an hour's drive from here) is having her SRS done in Durham (MacPhee) on February 24 -- one month from today, as of this writing. The surgery appointment is very early in the morning (6 am), so she needs to crash here the night before... and the only possible space we can make available is Mel's room. So I need to get enough stuff out of there to make room for a mattress (which we do have) by the 23rd. (As I mentioned above, she is absolutely not the expense; she is quite properly compensating us for travel expenses.)

The Plan

So then: we've got just under a month to do the following:

  • get some money together for this
  • take old battery out, take to AutoZone, get new battery, install new battery, establish that Daisy seems happy with it
  • take a bunch of stuff from Mel's room to his storage place and temporarily pile it there
  • move the futon frame out of the living room, where it's been sitting on its side for a decade or more now, and up to Mel's room, and make sure it can still be used as a bed
  • move the futon mattress from where it's being kept and put it on the frame and vacuum it, not necessarily in that order

I don't want to assume we'll have time/energy during this phase to get the shelf (heavy!), drive it out to the storage unit, and assemble it, but I did want to make sure we had the budget for it so I could be sure that this would happen soon afterwards at the latest.

The Future

the inaccessible workbench

Once we're past this immediate deadline, I have numerous uses in mind for the room (formerly Mel's):

  • a place to organize and digitize my library of original recording tapes
  • an electronics repair/testing workspace (my workbench is currently inaccessible in a corner of the living room)
  • space to set up musical keyboards for recording purposes
  • storage space so we can get clutter out of living spaces (especially the living room)
  • a guest lounge where we can actually have people over for chats and maybe shared meals! There just isn't space in the office...

I don't know how many of these functions it will be able to serve simultaneously, but it should be able to do at least 2 or 3 -- and that will be a huge (and long-awaited) improvement for me and for all of us.

If there's anything left over, we've got several other issues that need monetary attention (our 25-year-old stove is about to die, for one thing). I'll probably do GFMs for them in the future, if this one is at all a success.

So, if you've got any surplus capitalist power-tokens and would like to help this happen, we'd be grateful for any and all you might be able to toss our way!



  1. I was originally allowing a nice round $100 for "unforeseen", but then the hand-truck ate up $90 of that, so now it's a more arbitrary $10. If I think of anything else, I may have to bump "unforeseen" back up again.