SH: What is that?
Me: The guy down the street was throwing these shelves away.
SH: They're crap! Look! They're rusted and loose!
Of course, just stacking boxes of old phone bills, old computer parts, and 21 gimme hats on top of each other is also a solution. This stack of boxes? If SH's plane crashes, this is all going straight to the curb. I am not even opening them to see what's inside. My theory is that if he has gone seven years without opening them or dealing with them, they are not essential to life.
Me: I can clean the rust and maybe paint. Can't you fix the loose parts?
SH: Why do we need these?
Me: Because we need more shelf space in the basement and these are FREE.
SH: Look! I bolted the shelves to the wall and tightened the loose [parts -- he used the technically correct term and I don't remember what it waas].
Thank God the beer is safe.
SH: And now there's room for my beer.
Me: Who knew?
The next challenge? Getting rid of this guy, who now lives on the top shelf. SH: But Doug* gave that to me! It would be an insult to get rid of it. Me: If we can't sell it or give it to Goodwill, then why don't you give it back to him next year? If it's that great a gift, surely he would want one just like it.
* The same Doug who gave SH a paper towel rack a few years ago and was not insulted when SH said, "I already have one of these."