Posts Tagged ‘Cleaning’

Our basement is officially gutted.

We’re finishing this floor before we start on the kitchen and the bedrooms upstairs. This way, we can escape the remodel disaster zones and maintain slightly more sanity.

Here is the current layout:

basement layout current

And the intended layout:

New Basement Layout

We’re making some large changes, but we have our reasons 🙂

Reasons 1 & 2: Bedroom-caves

The two rooms down here are pretty useless. They need an egress window to be a legal bedroom.

Bedroom of Cave-ness

The plan is to combine the two rooms into one legal bedroom with a gigantic storage closet. Since we’re turning an upstairs bedroom into the master bath, this will keep our bedroom count at 4.

Reason 3: Terrible bathroom

As we talked about in this post, the bathroom has a terrible layout. Actually, the only thing I like about it is the adorably ugly sink.

Mini Sink

We’ll be removing the space-eating linen closet, and redoing the resulting 7.5 by 8 foot bathroom.

Reason 4: Utility looking room

We’ve introduced this project, also.

Utility Room

We’ll be covering the pipes and wires when possible, and upgrading the floor.

Reason 5: Wandering layout

The basement is currently split with this short hallway.Maze of Doors We’ll be opening the wall up to make the basement feel less cramped and reduce the likelihood of someone getting lost in the maze.

Reason 6: It isn’t pretty

Spider Room

Brick linoleum and paneling is not my idea of a good time.

We started demo in the laundry room. Then we scratched our heads a bit about whether we were starting on the laundry room, the bathroom, or the entire basement. The only thing we used on this floor was our 35 year old dryer and it’s slightly younger pal. We decided to gut the whole floor, and hook the new washer and dryer up in their sad little concrete room full of pipes. At this point, that laundry room is frightful looking.Somehow, it looks worse

After making a mess with the laundry room, we realized that step 1 should have been removing all of our stuff. Whoops 🙂 A ton of it is being sold or donated, and we moved everything else upstairs into a spare bedroom. Just emptying out our junk took most of one day. Note to self: have less stuff .

Then we removed bits of the building 🙂  We listed the paneling, carpet, media cabinet and interior doors on Craigslist for free, and it was gone in a weekend. Someone actually paid us $50 for the carpet… even though it was free.

Less basement

Electrical outlets and plumbing fixtures were donated, and we knocked down the hallway wall and  linen closet. The only trash was the carpet pad, some linoleum, broken trim, and the shower.

Voila! Empty(ish) floor.

Empty Basement

After Demo came Discover. The best thing was this linoleum hiding coyly under the bathroom floor.Beatiful vintage find

I think I may keep it.

We also found 29 mice skeletons in one wall. That’s not an exaggeration; we counted. They had a lizard buddy hanging out too.

The less fun discoveries include water :{ Water seeps between the floor & concrete block in the laundry room.  That seam is easily fixed, but both corners of the basement  have seepage through the wall. Shucks

The adhesive on the floor looks like a puddle in that pic, but only the concrete bricks are damp. Coincidentally, that’s exactly where the gutters drain to. Our plan is to improve the gutter drainage, which should fix it. We’ll waterproof the interior corners as a back-up.


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Okay, I don’t personally want to lose 350 pounds. I’m only 60 inches tall; even weighing 350 would take talent…

I do want our basement to lose 350 pounds, though. We have two rooms without purpose in our basement. As with all rooms with no purpose, they collect stuff.

One is the ‘troll room’. It’s the bigger of the two, and I figured a basement troll would spring for the room with a closet.

The troll room’s semi legitimate purpose is to store sporting equipment, camping stuff, etc. It’s also storing all of the orphaned furniture from the 2nd floor (being redone), and some boat project-stuff, and inexplicably large amounts of craft stuff. It’s so terrible.

The other is the ‘spider room’. Face it, this room looks prime for a spider den. We spray for bugs voraciously, so I highly doubt anything survives in here, but if a spider could pick a pad, this would be it.

The spider room is the designated storage room. It’s  awesome for that purpose. Unfortunately, I’m using 60% of the shelves for stuff left over from our DIY wedding that I really need to sell. (24 sets of  S&P shakers, tablecloths, all sorts of junk!) I’ve been sitting on this stuff for nearly 18 months. There was even a deadly ‘left over yard sale’ pile. There are also some items that belong in there; Christmas decor, painting supplies, electronic components ( more wires and adapters than most Best Buys), etc. These pictures are after I removed some things.

My goal for the next… um… six weeks? Sure. My goal for the next 6 weeks is for the basement stuff to be neatly contained entirely in the spider room, and for that basement ‘stuff’ to be severely reduced in quantity.

I’ve already taken most of the deadly pile of yard sale leftovers to Goodwill (two boxes and a giant bag). I’ve also sold 15 of the centerpieces from our wedding (silver plated coffee pot sets… and yes, that is an odd choice), and sent some stuff to Habitat for Humanity. I’ve also severely reduced the pile of the packaging materials that I’ve been hoarding to ship them in. The pictures below are just the packaging that I gave away on Craigslist.

I’ll be back at the end of April to see how I’m doing.


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Die Chores Die!

There are a ton of chore schedules available.  Pinterest has a lot, magazines have a lot. I don’t like any of them.

Here’s one I found on Pinterest for monthly deep cleaning.There is no way I could do that. It’s totally arbitrary. Why vents in August? The A/C will by cycling on constantly! I can’t do weekly lists like this either. If I tried to follow a list, and it said to clean the bathroom on Tuesdays, I’ll bargain with myself. I’ll end up finishing the entire list except for bathrooms… all on Tuesday.I’d clean the bathroom when I had a conniption fit and decided the entire house needed to be clean. Or, the day before company come, I stay up late and make the entire house perfect.

I decided to make my own chore list for things I need to do more consistently. I would draw a random chore when I got home Monday-Friday. I even made the little slips of paper. I made different ones for Saturday, for things that I still needed to do more consistently, just not as often; like the fridge.

As soon as I made them, I was irritated with the stupid scraps of paper. Where would I keep those anyway?

Then, I thought of dice. I would roll a die to randomize the stupid chores. I can even give it a cheesy title. Like Die Chores Die. The title alone is totally worth using dice. The new version also has a flow chart, because I am a nerd.

This way, there is only one piece of paper, and I will end up doing the weekday things about weekly, and the weekend things every 5 or 6 weeks.  The issue will be when I roll a 5, and really don’t want to clean the bathroom, and just roll again. Maybe I won’t do that 🙂

“Vacuum” means put the Roomba in a room, push start, and then come back later and empty the bin. It’s totally cheating, and I love it.

“Clear flat surfaces” started out as “Clear the Dresser” because we pile things there. Then I remembered the file cabinet. And the coffee table. So now it’s just flat surfaces.

Cleaning the counters means clean the kitchen. I have a mental block; I cannot clean the counters… unless all the pans are washed, the dishwasher is started or empty, and the floor is at least swept.

This will change. While typing this I decided to add ‘Empty Compost’ to the weekday group, and sheets are done with the laundry, so that’s not really needed. Actually…

Here’s the new one 😀

Feel free to steal my idea. You can even come give Emma a bath if your chart tells you to.

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