Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Translating AT to the Basement.

I don't know how well this will work.

I do know that I can't allow myself to be distracted by the tasks allocated to the actual rooms featured in the Cure. I haven't time for that. So, while the refrigerator may need a cleaning, I don't think it's going to get done except incidentally.

There are two aspects to the Cure: the One Room Remedy and the Deep Treatment. Why not call it a One Room Remedy, follow the tasks and be done with it?

1) A One room remedy requires money. 'nuff said.

2) Without jacking up the house and adding another six inches, it will never be anything else than a huge storage closet. The ceiling is just too low for Code. We can never put a bathroom down there, we can never put a bedroom down there (no proper egress in case of fire), no granny suite, no rec-room, etc....

3) This is not a room. It is 800 sq feet of rough, uneven concrete flooring, poor lighting, about two outlets, duct work and cords strung along the ceiling. It is an enormous STORAGE room. It is cool in summer--and freezing in winter. (Yes, we have played with the ducting outlets. If we want heat upstairs in the bedrooms, this is the way it has to be.)


I am actually going to have to borrow from both streams as I tackle this. It will be my very own customized cure.

Week 1: Create A Vision.
Start clearing a space to work in. Literally, you cannot get into certain areas right now. I'll start with 15 minutes a day and see how it goes. (Note to self, check garbage bag supplies and buy some if needed. Get boxes for temporary storage).
Set out my goals.

Week 2: Kitchen.
Well, here we have a nice corollary. I happen to have an old bookshelf in the basement functioning as my pantry. We also have a lovely upright freezer. Cleaning these out (and making donations to the food bank) will be the priorities this week.

from the ORR:
Plan what goes where.
Make a floor plan.

Week 3: Entrance Way.
This will be interesting. I happen to store out of season clothing here. Perhaps this would be the week to tackle the outdoor clothing and boots and so on?

Week 4: Living Room/Books.
Aaah, here we go. This is where the genius of "translating" is evident and will (hopefully) work for me. The basement, as storage area, contains all the videos and books I mean to sell someday. It also holds left-over lamps and picture frames and pillow covers meant for the living room when I want a change. All of this stuff needs to be sorted through and made either more functional or got rid of.

Week 5: Office Area
Yuck. Do you have any idea how many files I have? Never mind my husband who once ran a business and is paranoid about throwing anything out even remotely related to money.

Week 6: Bathroom and lighting.
I think I'd like to create a lighting plan...and file it away among all those papers! As well, I'd like to figure out how to keep the electrical cords dangling from the ceiling from hitting me on the head when I venture down there.

This should probably be the week to deviate entirely from the AT plan and organize my over-flow of scrapping supplies.

Week 7: The bedroom.
Yes, you guessed it. This is a huge area for the basement. It's not so much having a place for the bedding--but the Laundry Room is down here. We did some nice things to it last cure...but it's quickly piled into a big mess. I have been considering converting our water lines so that I can have a functional sink in which to wash those hand washables. (We have the sink, we have the indoor clothesline--we don't have taps.) I'll have to look into this.

Week 8: Prepping.
This week is a bit of a wash for those of us who don't plan to have a party. However, the spirit of the week is to put the final touches on the area and make it purdy. I have been collecting old sheets and I have purchased the Deci "curtain wire" from IKEA to put up along the wall of shelves. I have yet to figure out how to do that'll be the project for this week.

This AT plan, however, leaves a few things out of the net.

1) When do I tackle the dressers?
I have four dressers in the basement holding various bits of stuff. Not sure when to tackle those.

2) What about the seasonal decorations/large items storage area underneath the stairs?

3) What about the furniture down there? What do I do with it? I don't really want to throw it out....

4) Do I clean out the "chemical" cabinet? This is a locked cabinet my husband built to keep dangerous things like ant killer and wall paper remover and paint out of the reach of the kids.

5) I will NOT be going into the husband's workshop. That's his area...even though I use it just as much as he does.

So, next up: pictures of the way it was when the cure ended last fall and a floor plan. I'll also take a stab at thinking about what activities, if any, to house down there.


drwende said...

This is brilliant!

As far as the chemical cabinet, you only need to care if stuff is leaking or expired, so I'd make a note to go through it when your city announces a Household Hazardous Waste pick-up, or when you feel up for a trip to the drop-off (if there is one).

For furniture -- and anything else -- I'd ask myself why I want to keep it. There are scads of good reasons (I'm not a minimalist by any means!), but it's important to have a reason, other than a vague feeling that it's wrong to get rid of things (that could be blessing someone else's home).

Elissa said...

I'm thinking of doing something similar. Most of my apartment is pretty good, but the kitchen is hard to cook in and not very comfortable to eat in, and the basement is a disaster. I was thinking of splitting my weeks between the two.

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