(fortunately not my basement!)
Any conversation that commences with I (or we) have a simple request, is bound to be complicated beyond belief, not to mention definitely not to my benefit. Some people have a gift for getting others to do the job. Some might call it 'passing the buck'
Yes, it would simplify matters for the requestor if I would lead the committee, clean out the entire basement and paint the walls. My father had a saying that the easiest money was that which you could talk yourself to. I could add that the easiest job is the one you get someone else to take on.
I've come to realize that enunciating the request is the simple part. The execution is complicated, if not impossible.