Working underground

Work continues in the basement. I’m experiencing what happens when you let a basement lie pretty much fallow for a year. In the past twelve months, I’ve been down there for pretty much just four reasons. Find Xmas stuff, put xmas stuff back, use printer, use scanner. The printer and scanner are in the office area which is set apart a bit from the rest of the basement, but the year of neglect has pretty much manifested itself there to a degree in the form of either dust or some moisture.

Not my basement. Not quite as bad as this, but it feels like it. Not for long, though.

Looks like there was a small leak in one of the bathroom pipes that slowly built up to a bigger leak. I was lucky enough to catch the big leak before it got worse, and fixed it, but there was still some minor water damage here and there. Nothing much to worry about. A few books and magazines got ruined. Some old papers that could be safely tossed anyway. A couple of more important records got some damage, but I now have the dehumidifier running 24/7. The most important things–work-related files and some old family photos and scrapbooks survived just fine. Let’s hear it for clear plastic tubs.

This is the kind of stuff you discover when you start purging a basement.

I could live with this.

I’m making progress. Possibly even visible progress. I’m throwing out a lot of old stuff, but it’s tough. There are certain heirlooms from certain periods of my life that I like to hold on to. And I’ve got knickknacks and odds and ends, some of them gifts, that I don’t want to part with. Fortunately I’ve got a lot of nooks and crannies for placing such items so they are both a.) out of the way, and b.) pleasingly visible.

I also have a bunch of empty plastic tubs I can fill for storage, and then use the tubs and some boards to make work tables. Ah ha. A method to my madness.

What I want to do overall is: 1.) reclaim the office area in its entirety so it is more efficient and easier to maintain; 2.) create a working studio area for painting, printmaking, and other projects; and 3.) have a small corner as a little hangout; 4.) organize the general storage half of the basement so it is manageable and won’t encroach on the other half.

This would be even better.

Essentially a half office/half man-cave for the caveman artist.

What do I have to work with? I have half a basement. Rough rock/brick walls, concrete floor. Exposed wood beam ceiling with a lot of pipes runing around. We have some attic storage space we’ve not touched yet, so I can put some stuff up there after I’ve gone through what’s in boxes and tubs right now. A lot of stuff hasn’t been opened since we’ve moved. Some of it hasn’t been opened since it came up from Alabama.

Challenging, but I don’t believe impossible. Some sorting. Some purging. Some cleaning. Some reorganzing. Eventually, some additional shelving and lights. I need to reworking the extension cord network as well. But I’ll get there.

In the meantime, though, I have other work to do. So here I sit up in the kitchen surrounded by files and notes. And here we go.


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One Response to Working underground

  1. John Teehan says:

    Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we… wait… Obama’s people didn’t trademark that, did they?
    Anyway… it’s not just your stuff. A lot is _our_ stuff. Plus, you’d be amazed how much junk I’ve accumulated over the years in the form of miscellaneous printed matter. When I discover my dad kept copies of his electric bills from the 1970s, I am no longer surprised when I come across an old phone bill from only five years ago.

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