13 March, 2008

Nature Abhors a Vacuum--Or An Empty Basement

This is the largest of the basement rooms. There are 10 in all, or nine if you don't count the little room under the stairs, although it is big enough to stand up in. At least if you're five foot almost two inches tall like me. Or maybe there's only eight rooms, if you don't count the toilet closet. I try not to think about that room; it's a very scary toilet room. In any case, I took this photo during the inspection. That elbow belongs to our agent, Joel, who is peering into mechanical room #1.

This is the same room today. We have a lot of crap. Every room in the basement looks like this. (And if the post office asks why we we're using their boxes to store our books, of course they were left over from our former eBay book business.)

I swear, all I've been doing for the last few days is cart boxes from one end of the basement to the other, arrange them in new and interesting patterns, and try to enforce some semblance of order on the whole mess. It's not easy. But I don't think I'll be able to tackle any serious projects on The Box House until I can at least point out, with no uncertainty, my bank statements and tax documents, my work-related books, my box of current reading and other obsessions and hobbies, and the box with Harley's ashes. (Mom's black lab died last summer, and, like our cat Pascal, we wanted to bring him with us to bury here.) So far, I'm O for four. But hopefully by the weekend I'll have a better grasp of everything.

Yeah, right.


Jean Martha said...

You're scaring me. When my sister moved into her house...last Spring...the movers put everything in the basement...then it rained...

Do you have any pallets you can put the stuff on?

Amalie said...

Doesn't it feel like that's all that gets accomplished? Just moving one box here and another one there, and maybe you clear a path, but maybe you'll have to cover that path again here in a second when this other box needs to be moved from over there to make room for these boxes that are TOTALLY in the wrong pile.

Ugh. One year, indeed.

Joanne said...

ILU--We're not too worried about the basement. The inspector couldn't find any evidence of past flooding, and we were first looking at the place during some pretty bad storms. Other buildings had evidence of water, but not this one.

We're on a slight rise, have several drains in the floor, and I found a date on a piece of wallboard I took out that was dated 1922 (strangely, a few years older than the house is supposed to be, and stranger still that it's wallboard down here in the basement and plaster and lathe upstairs). Anyway, the wallboard is all old, but looks fine. The foundation is mostly concrete and without any real cracks. The portion above ground level is brick, and the only efflorescence is around a few windows we need to replace anyway. That said, the more valuable stuff, like my antique radio collection, are in boxes higher up.:-)

Amalie--I know what you mean! We're trying to assign each room in the basement a "role"--office, workshop, mechanical room, storage, jacuzzi and spa (ha!). But when we chucked stuff down here, it was to any available floor space. Now we're trying to move this couch here, but to do so I have to take out this crappy sideboard the PO left, and to do that I have to clear space in the garage, etc., etc. Phooey.

Yeah. It will be more than a year.