The Basement Project: Week One

newhouse 1207 031 Just as a bit of background, when I bought this place, the basement was a rabbit warren of little rooms and scary dark corners.  There was a tiki bar right by the back door, and only later did I discover that someone had died down there. (Flood, light switch… you get the idea.)  Because of the fact that I’m not sanguine about basements to begin with, I decided to have it redone.  It took weeks and cost me a small fortune (That’s not hyperbole either.) at least in part because of a broken sewer pipe which had to be completely dug out.  I’m glad we found it when we did because it would only have gotten a lot worse.

Villa May 635 In any event, two months after we moved in, it looked like this.  Improvement, right?  Well once it was finished, we brought a metric fucktonne of junk down from where it had been stacked in my apartment, and there it’s sat for nearly four years.  We talked a lot about fixing things up, but never did much.

However, in light of the whole resolution thing, Glinda and I said, “Hey, let’s talk about the project in a positive way.” Not so much, “Oh god we really have to clean up all that crap!” but “If we get things squared away down there we can start working on crafting projects and perhaps earn some money at it.”  This really was a more appealing prospect than doing things because they needed doing, and though, as Glinda had said many times, there wasn’t much help she could give me sorting and putting stuff away, it was past time to do some cleaning down there too.

We made a pact.  Every weekend we would spend at least one hour, preferably two or more, in the basement, getting things sorted, moved, put away, thrown out or otherwise cleared up.  This will give us a work space, and make the basement as a whole 1) more welcoming and 2) easier to keep clean!  Also, it’ll be simpler to find things stored down there.  It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.  (I’ll take pics next weekend and post them.)

Workspaces So today after breakfast (French toast made with the last of the panettone) and mixing up a batch of bread dough, which is rising more slowly than I ever thought possible, we headed downstairs.  Glinda began to clean and I began to sort.  Here is what I discovered: I was seriously deranged in the early years of this century.  This isn’t a surprise to me considering what I was going through, but the net result is that I have more craft supplies than I know what to do with including bolts of fabric, stacks of fat quarters (Quarters of square yards used mostly by quilters.) piles of vintage napkins, doilies, handkerchiefs and god knows what all.  Guess what? I. Don’t. Sew.  Yeah.  I have buttons, beads, mosaic tiles, old silverware, paint, pencils, pens, more paper than I know what to do with, boxes of rubber stamps and old postcards… I don’t know how to explain how much stuff I have to go through.  (The photo to the left is from my old place where I actually had space to put this stuff.)

What tangible things have I discovered in the process?  Three silver serving pieces I forgot I had.  Two are badly tarnished, one isn’t.  Go figure.  Also a gorgeous blue and white Meissen pedestal serving dish, a stack of clothing which I used to wrap some fragile things, a stack of throws and pillows, stuffed toys, scarves, and all my luggage!

I still haven’t found my software.  WTF?  Where the heck are the two boxes of discs I packed?

There’s so much to do.  Next weekend I’m going to tackle the holiday stuff.  We need to get it all put away in the rubber tubs, and labeled.  Then we’ll stow it under the front stairs which will make it easier to take it up and out the front door to decorate.

And I am going to have a load of stuff to sell.  Not that I’ll make back what I paid to have the basement fixed, mind you, but if we can realize enough money to buy the paint, I’ll be really gratified.

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