Dream big!

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life56 Comments

I have a dream.

And in this dream, Waste Management arrives in the pre-dawn hours to deliver an obscenely large leave-behind dumpster. And when Dan wakes up to see the large depository sitting out behind our garage, he smiles and says: "Go ahead. Get rid of anything you like. I’ll be home at 6."

Shivers down my spine. Truly.

I’m fully aware of how dreaming too big can get you into trouble. So I’m starting small.

Today, I’ve hired a dude who’s coming to remove one of what I hope are many large things that clutter up my otherwise peaceful world. I present to you, Barely Used 1970s Box Freezer:

(I know it looks like this is also the place where we clean and gut our deer, but stay with me here for a minute.)

We bought our Mom and Dad’s house. Not literally, mind you. Because if that were true it would mean that Dan and I are brother and sister, and that’s just ewww. But when we bought this house, there were so many things that felt WAY too grown up for us…like a Box Freezer… and it made us feel as if we were living in our parents’ house.

We tried at first, to play along. We bought numerous turkeys. Frozen burritos in bulk. We even went in on a full side of beef with Dan’s dad. All in the name of filling up the Box Freezer. You know, for all those elaborate, meat-laden Sunday night dinners that most people in their late 20s make.

Over time, we forgot about the Box Freezer. I just don’t plan ahead like that, end of the world be damned.

Then 12 years passed.

So last week I called a haul away service. I figured if I can’t justify a cleaning service, I absolutely can use some of my hard earned dollars to start chipping away at the glutton of stuff that is taking up space in my house. You know, to start making room for the basement remodel project of 2022!

And while they’re here, you know what else they’re taking away? Let’s just say there is a 1960s air conditioning unit, almost the size of the Box Freezer, that’s been sitting squarely in the center of my deck since October, and its hours are numbered.

And I know what else you’re wondering, "Is that grey chair in the shot what I think it is?"

Yes. You are correct:


It too, came with the house. A giant, 1960s, sit-down, hair dryer. Now THAT is something every family needs. (I know, Tara, the garage-saler in you is DYING right now that you can’t turn this into a shoot prop.)

And guess where this sucker is also going?


I think I just had an orgasm.

Wait…. no. I didn’t. Still, I have a really strong urge to smoke right now. 

Suffice to say, maybe you CAN dream big, because in a matter of hours, I’m going to become a shining, living example that some dreams really do come true.

On a final note, I really am looking forward to the basement remodel of 2022. Because as I’m now able to see more clearly the walls of this same basement corner, I only hear one word:



Cathy ZielskeDream big!

56 Comments on “Dream big!”

  1. #2
    Jenell Stock

    Hilarious! I’m going through the same “get it out of here” mode. We have now lived in our house 31 years and after 3 kids, a set of drums, numerous pieces of hockey equipment, collections/donations after parents have passed away, etc. etc., you just can’t walk into the storage area of our basement. I did have the “oh-so-profitable garage sale” last Sat. and made a whopping $99.00 (even with the sale of said drum set). But I’m on a roll and it’s going to get better.
    Thanks for the laughs, bringing it home and keeping it so, so real!


  2. #3

    Oh to be able to chuck stuff out it is such a distant dream for me! LoL I wish we could still see the basement when we moved into our large house way way back we cleared it out it was wonderful but then my dad’s OCD just took over and he has filled it with wood (I joke about the funeral prior) & we can’t see the floor or even open the door & he really can’t seem to get a grip (it really has him in it’s grip no offence meant to anyone but it’s a night mare to live with) so we will just have to wait for our dreams to be fulfilled! Dream big for me Seeya Hugya *G*

  3. #5

    coffee just came out my nose. Thanks for the laugh Cath! woohoo! if throwing stuff away gives orgasms without all the work then 1-800-got-junk here I come (no pun intended~! LOL)

  4. #6

    OMG! Cathy, I think we were separated at birth. Yesterday I had 3 men here at my house for 6 hours hauling away crap that has been on the side of my house since God knows when. We find that it is just so much easier to walk over there out of our usual line of sight and dump crap there and then turn around and walk into the house. I can so relate to what you said about feeling orgasmic. I mean damn, that was one terrific feeling to come home from the office last night and look down the length of the side yard and see nothing but empty dirt. Someday I might actually do something over there but for now I’m content to be junk free on that side of the house. They’re back today to trim bushes that have grown over sprinklers in the back lawn. I can’t wait to see how it feels tonightwhe I see it tonight!

  5. #7

    Seriously need to remove the ubercool label from the hairdryer and frame it. Find something similar and hang them over the bed or something. (I know i would love to go to bed every night with some guy whom I associated with a blue streak.) I think I just had an orgasm.

  6. #8

    I feel ya. We’ve only been married 10 years and I often think, “How in the hell did we accumulate so much junk in such a short amount of time?”

    I would LOVE to have a dumpster in my backyard (or the front, not picky) and just start chucking stuff. Yeah, a garage sale would be very lucrative but I’m just not organized enough — or at all, really — and rather than spend a weekend haggling with strangers over the price of chipped dishes and too-small jeans, it’d be so much easier to pitch it all.

  7. #10

    I’m with Tara…LOL (disclaimer my attic is full I don’t need a sit-in-chair-hair-dryer b/c there is NO where to put it!) LOL & thx for the laugh.

  8. #11

    We had our house burn down a few years ago. Talk about liberating! Poof! All that acumulated junk gone, and a clean slate to start over! I will never be a pack rat again. (and yes, I did save most of my photos and albums. must be diligent about keeping backups in a sepearte location!)
    You go girl…

  9. #12
    Heather H.

    That is so wonderful that you get to have these dreams come true! I love to clear out clutter and debris. It’s like dumping a monkey on your back!

  10. #13

    I saw that photo anad knew EXCATLY what is was and i am very sad that I can’t come to your house and take it away for you–I am in the middile of putting ‘salon’ in my laundry room and it would look SO cute with my decor–but alas–I don’t think they would let you check it as luggage the next time you came to Utah would they?
    Anyway–glad you can de-junk,it is a wonderful feeling isn’t it? ;0)

  11. #15

    Your wall is scaring me… 😮 (That Gollum-esque stuff IS mold, isn’t it??) Anyhow, I hear you on the basement clean-out. I have dreams of converting my storage room into a shiny new crafting space, but doing that is going to require a LOT of work. Right now we’re working on getting rid of old bookcases (and their layers of dust). Tonight we find out about the status of natural gas service for our area — and the prospect of getting rid of our commercial-sized oil furnace. Whoot! 🙂


  12. #17
    katie scott

    when we moved into our house, it was fully funished (the gentleman who lived in our house went on vacation and died while on vaction so everything was as he left it). we’ve got lots of old treasures like an old underwood typewriter and binoculars and a 50th anniversary Christmas ornament that we put up in his honor every year; but we also got a lot of weird stuff like bed pans and other yucky old man stuff. we had a giant yardsale and got rid of most of it but there’s still little bits of him here and there.

  13. #18

    I honestly don’t think I can say I’ve ever ‘known’ anyone with a hairdryer chair in their basement. My life is now complete. And I’ll tell you what: my daughter would never set foot in that basement. Which actually might be a good place for me to hide, come to think of it…

  14. #19
    Jenn B

    I’m so excited about your cleaning but can you warn people how FUNNY your posts are beforehand?! I almost peed my pants reading your blog.
    Thanks for my daily dose of ‘Zielske Humor’ as I like to refer to is!

  15. #20

    Wow Cathy… you’re giving a lot of girls out there some really cheap thrills! I sit here in my kitchen’s crap-covered-counter (not really crap — I think I need to clarify this, given your mold pic), and am now feeling a bit more motivated to clear it. Probably more productive than this distraction of checking e-mails and reading my 3 fave blogs (yours is numero uno as of late).

    No basements, or attics (did I even spell that right?) for that matter, here in the southwest, so I’m feeling a bit envious that you have such luxuries. ;o)

    Again, thanks for all of the scrapbooking goodies you sent! They are still residing in the American Crafts box when I’m not digging through them to use. One day I’ll muster up the energy to sort them and relocate them to their new home in my scrapspace.

    Keep cool,
    Paula in Phx

  16. #21

    Wow, how did you get that pic of my basement wall/window? Seriously, it looks just like my basement. Well, not mine anymore, finally sold it 2 weeks ago. And might I add, a coat of paint did wonders. Just sayin’
    My theory about the collection of crap? Everyone should move every 5-10 years. I think people should have to pick up and handle EVERYTHING they own, and make a decision. “Do I really want to wrap it, pack it, carry it, un pack it and find a new place for it?” Helps to thin out the collections.
    Keep dreamin’ big!

  17. #23

    Oh but first you need to put glass block in those window like the 95% of people who live in homes like these. Yep, I did back in the late ’90s. 😉

  18. #24
    kimberly Ackerman

    I am so glad that I no longer try to drink anything and read your posts at the same time…you are too funny. Thanks for the motivational minute-I am going to go clean something out.

  19. #25

    As the ONLY girl in our little family I find myself saying about 793 times a day “you’re such a boy!” to all manner of ‘funnies’ and pranks and such. Today tho’ being the loving wife I am, I read aloud your orgasmic moment. Do you know what my blushing, almost speachless husband said? “You’re such a girl!”. YES!!

  20. #26

    You are soo funny! But I really think you should rethink letting them take the hair dryer away; it would make a great prop for a photo shoot!! Have fun! 🙂

  21. #27

    We move every 12 – 18 months (I should have known my husband was a mover but he always has a good excuse). I managed to stay 3 years somewhere! BOY did we accumulate! I hired a skip bin and cleansed.. I also gave away ALOT of our furniture as moving back into the city meant a MUCH smaller house. I looooove this minimalist new life… the lack of all things clutter! I have just gone through every cupboard, bookshelf, drawer and box.. and we are officially clutter free and over organised… come to the light white side.. sure.. smells like bleach and we sleep under microfibre cleaning cloths.. but it is blissful! (for now).

  22. #28
    Hillary Chybinski

    I hear ya – we too are burdened with lots of stuff – making me feel closed in. . .it’s mostly house and husband stuff at this point – and toys. . .so much stuff – garage, basement. . .it’s obscene. . .


  23. #29
    Jen K

    Hey Cathy,
    Do you have a freecycle or craigslist up there. People will pay you or come take stuff away for FREE!!!
    Just a thought, I have slowly been doing this with my basement

  24. #33

    OK – how weird is it that I read this post, not one hour after my husband and I were just talking about getting an extra freezer like this? So now I’m having doubts. And would you believe that when we got married, my husband had an actual planetarium chair just hanging out in his basement?

  25. #34

    OMG…maybe I can convince my own DH to finish our basement by 2022 also! I would honestly orgasm if I could convince him of that BEFORE 2022:)

  26. #35

    OMG…maybe I can convince my own DH to finish our basement by 2022 also! I would honestly orgasm if I could convince him of that BEFORE 2022:)

  27. #38
    Tonja Trump

    Truly comical as all getout!! I feel your joy though and can relate heavily! Good luck and have fun!

  28. #39

    I just lived your dream…I had a dumpster in my driveway, and I just said to my husband that I missed it. It is such a good feeling. I love the purge…but it is addicting.

  29. #40

    Nothing makes me feel better than getting rid of stuff! LOL I hate clutter and throwing stuff out or giving it away is pure joy. What a sad life huh? LOL

  30. #42

    You are too funny! I’ve been getting rid of a lot of clutter around here too…just haven’t found anyone to take my dh (no wait…I didn’t just write that!). ;-O
    I want to throw a suggestion your way. You might try freecycling the things you don’t want. You would be amazed at the things people are willing to take off your hands….for free!

  31. #44

    I am oh so jealous as I sit her and think of all that is currently residing in the unfinished area of the basement aka The Room of Shame.
    Enjoy your freexer free day!

  32. #46

    I’ll take the hair dryer! It would go perfectly with my 1958 kitchen appliances. (Of course I wouldn’t put it IN the kitchen…) What do ya think it would cost to UPS somethin like that to Utah?

  33. #47

    Bwahaha!!! Yep, I am doing the same thing right now (only smaller since we don’t have room for a box freezer and awesome hair dryer.)

    The Torso Track? Going.

    Bow Flex? Finally convinced my husband to “loan” it to a friend.

    Are you seeing a trend here? So what if it is all exercise equipment? Clutter be gone!

  34. #48
    Kim G

    I am reading your twitter and my husband screamed when George Michael came on too! He was so good…..{but I was a little concerned with the husband screaming}.
    See you in Buffalo!

  35. #49

    You are the bravest person in the world. In Internet world your virtual home can be anything Photoshop allows and yet you show us an actual basement. I’m in awe.

    I’m married to a man who is unable to throw away empty beer boxes, worn out shoes, and clothes that are 2 sizes too big or too small. (I have my throwing away issues as well, but at least mine are reasonable.)

    By now the junk must be gone. Has the lightheaded feeling subsided? Or has the Livin’ the Dream high continued??

  36. #50

    So glad I thought to click on your blog tonight, cuz this post just gave me the biggest laugh of my week. Thanks for the endorphin rush 🙂

  37. #52
    Alisa Davis

    PLEASE PLEASE CATHY…. Tell me your not just dumping these items. Aren’t you going to sell them?? I wished I lived in your area I would RUN to get the dryer. But I am a pack rat.

  38. #53

    ** Add on from previous post **
    The dryer does look like something tara or elsie would LOVE.. just reminds me of them girsl.

  39. #54
    Rita Weiss

    omg. do you ever crack me up. I have to share this with you. When I was 10 (which was forever ago) my family moved to NH from MA, and my dad became Farmer Rick (as we refer to this stage of “him” now) and he bought a big box freezer…and 20 chickens and 2 pigs. That lived in our yard. and we had to feed them. Well, the day came when Farmer Rick fired up the ‘ol barrel of boiling water….and….eeeeek! My sister & I still can’t stand the memory. Anyway, back to the box freezer. Every night that Mom would make chicken or pork for dinner, we would ask the same question……and she would say “No, silly, it’s from the grocery store”, and we’d be all happy and gobble it up. SO FUNNY to remember now… thanks to Your box freezer! lol.

  40. #55

    Hey girl at least the walls are blue!LOLIt could be a happy color! its like eery other basement in the midwest!LOL I was surprised to see her playing in reruns of crossing Jordan. Ikept thinking man shes familiar, then she yelled or screamed something and it so just clicked! It was precious all over agian!

  41. #56

    aw, man, I know I’m late jumping in on this, but next time you’re in the mood to purge the crap (feels so good doesn’t it?) just list that baby on freecycle. people will take ANYTHING! random things I’ve loaded off on others include half-used bottles of bath & body works type lotions, a DVD player that didn’t even work, a lexmark laser printer that hasn’t been produced in a good 15 yrs and also sucked 15 pages thru at one time…etc. although sometimes I do get pissed when people say they want something and don’t show up, but more often than not it is an easy and good feeling!

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