Storing Things for Friend B

December 14, 2009

Spring of 2008 – Friend B was living 1400 miles south of here.  His apartment lease was up, he was having trouble find enough work, and was open to new opportunity.

An old girlfriend of his (let’s call her “H”) who lives near me had purchased a new larger house and was planning to move to the new house and rent out the old house.  “H” offered the old house to Friend B as a place to house-sit for the summer while he worked full-time, in exchange for helping to clean up the property to prepare for getting it rented.

So Friend B closed up his apartment, sold his furniture, and packed up everything that wouldn’t fit in his car into cardboard boxes, and mailed them all to me.  More than 30 large shipping boxes.  (My mailman was amused.)  I put them in the basement of the house where I’m staying, with permission from the owner.  The deal was that Friend B would find a job locally with no rent for the summer, then get a new apartment using the money he saved and the boxes would be moved to his new place.  Friend B drove north with a packed car, expecting an empty house that may need cleaning, painting, carpet shampoo, lawn mowing, etc.  He was almost broke and needed to get started interviewing for jobs.

When he arrived, “H” was still living in the old house, and had barely begun moving or cleaning up.  She made it clear that in exchange for this free rent, Friend B was to work full-time for her, doing odd jobs to fix up the NEW house and help sort through her possessions.  A tremendous amount of stuff/clutter was packed into every room of the old house.  He estimated she was at least a year away from being able to move.  He was also being treated like crap (no point in going into details here).  Friend B could not tolerate the situation and heard of a possible job opportunity back here he used to live.  So he left suddenly mid-summer.

Now it’s more than a year later.  Friend B is still living in temporary housing down south and trying to find steady work, also dealing with health issues.  The 30+ boxes are here in the basement, some of which were damaged in the flood last spring.  He says when he gets an apartment, he’ll send me postage money and I can mail them all back to him (quite a project, ten trips to the post office, heavy boxes).  Because of the poor condition of the boxes I think it makes more sense to rent a shipping container (from that I can load up here at the house and have them move it on a truck.

Anyway, it depends on having a place to ship to.  I don’t blame him much for this, and he’s at least willing to talk about it unlike Friend A.  My landlord is tolerating the extended storage, but does want to renovate the basement which requires everything to be moved out.  Once again I got talked into being responsible for someone else’s stuff.  I have learned my lesson, never again.

2 Responses to “Storing Things for Friend B”

  1. Lynda Says:

    You said it yourself in December 2007
    “It is also liberating to get rid of other types of things, like: unwanted responsibilities”
    In my opinion, Friend A needs an ultimatum now and Friend B can have a bit of leeway but needs an ultimatum fairly soon. You need to consider your relationship with your landlord. But that’s easy for me to say!

    • Thanks for the note, I agree it would be liberating to not hold onto these things, that’s why it’s a major goal in my life.

      The problem I have with ultimatums (ie. take your stuff back by this date or else it gets trashed) is that both of these people are living in other states and have no money. So I know that they can’t take anything back at this time. So I don’t think that setting a deadline would do any good.

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