Thursday, January 31, 2013

Basement, Part One

by Julie

We've been cleaning the basement for the past year or so in anticipation of turning it into a room we might actually use for more than just a dumping ground. Our original plan was to put up a little drywall and put down a little carpet. Warm up the space, you understand.

You've heard of scope creep, right? That's where a job keeps getting bigger (and more expensive) because you keep thinking of more that should be done now, because it would be more efficient to do so. Well, let me tell you, our scope didn't just creep, it exploded.

I'll post a few pictures as we put the basement back together now that it's finished, but first I thought it might be fun to show you where we started from.

Yep, this is what it looked like, even after the first few trips to Goodwill. What a mess! We moved in here fifteen years ago and as you can see, that gave us plenty of time to accumulate.

One of the most important things we needed to do first was to make sure we had a working sump pump with a battery backup. We also had to make sure all the seepage cracks in the walls were sealed.

The contractor who was fixing our walls told us that they'd be chiseling out some concrete and they suggested we put up plastic to prevent the dust from flying all over the rest of the house. Great idea. But, couple that with my need to bleach the walls and floors in case of mold, and you have the perfect setting for a Dexter episode, don't you think?

In any case, we were ready to start purging for real. Getting rid of some of our old stuff was easy. Paperwork from 1985? Gone! Why had we kept any of that in the first place? Maternity clothes? Gone! I don't plan to wear them again and no one I know would want to borrow those dated frocks (great word, frocks). We donated those.

When it came to other treasures, however, decisions got tougher. I confess that we probably saved far more than what we really need, but it did my heart good to keep my dad's old paints, and his briefcase. My mom's pictures, her collection of greeting cards she'd saved. Her aprons.

One of my favorite boxes is labeled "Pictures of people we don't know." I kid you not. These are old, old studio photos. Mostly weddings, circa 1920. An occasional funeral (yeah, seriously). Whoever these people were, they were - at one time - important to my grandparents so I can't get rid of them. And it's just one box...

I know it's silly and it makes no sense to keep these photos, but it's impossible for me to part with them.

Do you have anything like that?