The next home improvement project on the agenda (after finishing the project Stairway and Storage Renewal) was the reorganization the other storage facilities in the basement. The starting point of this area looked like this:
Picture to the left: overview of storage area, looking towards storage room III; Picture to the right: looking the opposite direction towards the laundry room with a glimpse of storage room I to the right
Our storage facilities were at the time divided into three small rooms, as shown below to the left. By tearing down the dividing walls the room was opened up allowing for more efficient solutions, as illustrated to the right.
Also, one of the doors to the laundry room was eliminated giving us more valuable storage space.
The things we stored in the basement were typically Christmas decorations (used once a year), sleeping bags (used occasionally), clothes, shoes, sports gear etc that are either too big or too small or off season, tools (to be kept away from the children) and things we didn’t know where else to put. The last category should not be allowed to grow into hideous proportions.
Every time they resurfaced we talked about making time to sort through them to see if there was anything worth keeping. We actually still had a cassette player so it was possible to make a digital recording.
Oh well, they were going now! Even though flipping through them would make for some nostalgic moments, there were plenty of better ways to use these drawers.
Now, I could hardly wait to go at it with a sledge hammer and make us a new room, sending sawdust flying through the air.
There it was! I don’t know whether you share my passion for breaking things, but I find it oddly satisfying. Getting rid of junk that aren´t needed (including walls) clears and opens the space.
So far the renovation process had amounted to moving stuff out of the room and tearing down part of the excess walls (there was still a long way to go).
Admittedly I was a bit inexperienced in doing the rough-work myself. Mostly I had been doing the planning and left the carpentry to others. I discovered I enjoyed getting my hands dirty and doing some shoving! Keeping it simple was a good approach, I believed. For example when I discovered we didn’t have the proper tools for the job, I went out and borrowed a handsaw and an electrical saw from our neighbours (great way to get to know them better too) instead of buying new ones. After all, the point of DIY is to save some dough, right? The neighbours happily lent me a jigsaw to cut the frail plank wall which we needed to keep intact because of the wiring.
Instead of hiring an electrician we decided to keep the upper part of the wall. The shelves for storage would fit nicely underneath it. The result of this makeover wouldn’t be something to publish in a glossy magazine (it was a storage room after all).
I was enjoying this phase of the process; not before – not after, but in-between. Whatever was stopping us from getting started had been overcome; and all the possibilities lied ahead. I got inspired by this floating phase; finding the balance between anticipation and patience.
Of course, we needed to actually finish the job. If this in-between-stage were to take over completely, it would turn into an energy drain.