Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Midsummer Project List - The Learning Center#2

"Midsummer Projects"

In the alcove across from the learning center,
you'll find this one below here.


Incidentally, the stairwell used to look like this above, and the Creative Art Center is located on its left side at this present moment.

The second learning center I decided upon was prepared in another area of the vast hallway, one of two, located on either side of the stairwell to the lower floor. This side though had a large alcove here, perfect for more learning organization.

For the summer months, I decided upon a Creative Arts Center, appropriate for all those artsy and crafty summer projects the children look forward to every year. We gathered appropriate additions from all around the house, adding them into the shelving and book organizer shown here.

A variety of art things to choose from are tempting the children.

All the books on the book organizer are craft and creativity centered, and later on will be replaced with books focusing on our units of history and other schooling for each schooling semester’s syllabus. I like to revolve books to keep an interest level piqued, whetting their appetites for more, and the creative center shown here is a huge hit at this time! Don’t you just love this shelving unit? I purchased it at a garage sale some years ago and use it all the time!

We have a variety of art mediums for the children to help themselves to, and plenty of assorted paper for crafts. Once again we have a rubbermaid drawer unit filled with appropriate items for usage, paper doll stencils, a roll of paper for making banners or homemade wrapping paper, coloring and sketch books, stickers, glue items of interest, rubber stamps and ink pads, ink dots and a new supply of hot beads for their pattern blocks and idea book creations.

Rainbows of colors to choose from!

Don’t you just LOVE this time of year when school supplies are out in force, in your face everywhere you shop and the possibilities they provide for creativity being fostered in the children? I loaded up on glue sticks, white liquid glue, pencil crayons, wax crayons, paint supplies and so much more. It’s all here for their free time this summer, and so far the results are terrific!

And on the tabletop, more color
mediums are here to choose from.

Again, my trusty label maker performed well for me. This thing is absolutely indispensable around here! I've used it for every project since I purchased it, and purchased many refills to keep up the organization along the way. It's amazing how easy clean-up time is now, with every items clearly marked for placing them within their present homes. Such a breeze, such a blessing to me! LOVE IT!

Midsummer Project List - The Learning Center#1

"Midsummer Projects"

The alcove hallway area just outside of Room#3


The following area is not really a room per se, rather huge hallway areas we wished to use and incorporate functioning learning centers within. Therefore, the learning center creation was dreamed of and built upon this summer during my “Midsummer projects” organizational lower floor room spree.

For this project area, I stole shelving from other rooms, promising to replace it all “soon”, including our video collection, which I forced a few children to pack into the dreaded leftover moving boxes, which were sealed shut for a few weeks. This was not so bad, get outside more or stay inside and help mother out. Which did they prefer? Well, most hung around seeing all come to fruition slowly but surely and when tired of watching, or playing gopher (go for this, go for that!), they were outside enjoying the summer sunshine.

Our former home had many built in cabinets in our home office room, built in shelving my husband’s father assembled in the rec room closet and much other assorted shelving for the children’s games and schooling items. In this home, I was lost for this past year, floundering over where to put everything which previously wasn’t a dilemma. Here it soon became a huge annoyance, nothing having a home to keep organization within its boundaries to a proper standard.

The lightbulb idea was blinding! Buy bins, steal shelves, and in my mind I could even envision how they would look in this very alcove! Our learning center number one was in its beginning stages. It was to become the most difficult, and the most laborious task to date! Every little game pieces, puzzle bit, learning item, and assorted schooling manipulative was touched, and organized into its proper box, bin, drawer, and shelving unit. I worked sun up to sun down for many days assembling items from around the house to introduce the children to their new area of storage. I won’t kid you, it was grueling and never seemed to end! Then, many of the remaining boxes in the exercise room were filled with these items, inaccessible this past year almost because of the inability to store them properly once used.

I had all the shelving and only had to purchase a few drawer organizers. I cannot tell you how much STUFF I was able to store here, taking many items from former bins and baskets and giving them a drawer instead. Two of the drawer units are not yet full here, only because the STUFF for the inside wasn’t here for the photo yet.

Finally, with my trusty label maker in hand I mentioned in the very first posting on my "Midsummer Projects", I labeled everything! It was a glorious moment to proceed with the final step, a remarkable feat to complete! I was thrilled with the results, and so were all of the children. Hooray!

Remember when I mention about “Binderizing” your paper files into white three ring binders. Well, this is one stack snapped in a photo and about to be moved upstairs to the living room library. I’ll be happy when it’s out of the way, the last thing to go into another room…but man oh man, did we ever run little itty-bitty things all over the house upon these “discovery days” of organization in this area of our home!


A stack of my "binderizing" in need of movement to another spot!

Midsummer Project List - Room#3

"Midsummer Projects"

Room #3 - The Exercise Room

The third room in the series of “Midsummer Projects” was formerly used by the previous owners as a guest bedroom, slash, more abundant and continued storage area! As in most of the rooms around the home, it was a lovely hue of bright lavender pink on the walls. The woman who used to live here loved the color of pink, most shades from hot bubblegum hues to deep pink/purple kitchen and bathroom countertops. With four sons and a husband who didn’t seem to mind, even her master bedroom was hot pink, and almost the entire house followed suit!

Most of the basement was already gyproced and painted some sort of wash color (mostly pink!) and even carpet was semi-installed. The ceiling had not been finished, proper lighting installed (two lightbulbs for ¾ of the basement only), baseboards, doors, doorframes, the stairwell and window wells were incomplete. We were informed a large extent of illegal electrical wiring had been installed within all the inner walls, all in need of full replacement to obtain a new electrical inspection for the final completion of our own personal upgrade renovation to the basement. This was a huge added expense we weren’t prepared for and shocked at what had been used if only for safety sake. Since we had requested the name of the original building contractor and were using him solely with all the original subtrade businesses, all were able to acknowledge what was changed over the course of the short five year span since final completion was granted from their own work inside/outside.

Before purchasing the home, this third “Midsummer project’s” room was a chaotic harried bedlam! It contained a second deep freeze, filing cabinets, baby toys, queen sized waterbed for guests, many assorted boxes, and the electrical circuit box was located there, complete with long cabled wires hanging around for a satellite dish project not seen to completion. On the walls as in the newer bathroom area, steel rods were installed with shelves resting on top. All were loaded with many, many storage items. When I moved east with the children, all the basement rooms had already been “saved” from unwanted clutter. All the steel brackets were in the garage and the shelves were never even located to reuse somewhere else, so the former owners also took these with them, as in the bathroom area. What good are the brackets without the shelves?


The eletrical breaker box is now happily out of sight.


Resting out of sight behind the door!

The electrical circuit box was now boxed-in and formed with walls and a doorway to enter into for quick access. But it was now hidden out of sight, and the walls were gloriously beige in color. Thank goodness.

A new doorway was punched in at the top right corner of this photo for access into the three rooms mentioned in the last post, all entered into from the little hallway with ceramic tiles inserted in the flooring shown in the previous photos. Someday, for better traffic flow, hubby and I thought to have a better doorway straight across from the new one, so we can walk straight across the room, rather than diagonally as it stands now.

Same picture - BEFORE!

Along the same wall - AFTER!

I painted an old Ikea coat hanger white,
just perfect for placing our various rubber bands here.

So, back to this third room. When the moving truck arrived, the subtrades weren’t yet finished with final touches of the basement renovations. Therefore many pieces of furniture and an abundance of fully loaded moving boxes were initially assigned to this room, loaded onto tabletops and other furniture for a resting/holding place. The room was full indeed but all items were in the center of the room for the painter who had yet to complete the baseboards freshly installed by the finishing carpenters.

Slowly but surely all the boxes were moved out eventually, furniture too. This room was to become the “exercise room” or “family gym”. Our former home had a special little room for our treadmill and other assorted equipment, and last summer a “Bowflex Extreme” was ordered for the room, along with an upright exercise bike as our former one had bit the dust. All was ready to use, to workout, if only we could get access to all within it! I suppose this exposed bit of information wouldn’t be complete unless I also add the fact that my hubby and son took an entire afternoon to assemble the bowflex, and then a sudden change in health occurred for my hubby and he’s not even been able to use the equipment since. Therefore it became a non-priority on the long list of goals to complete, until now. The rest of the family wants in there, if only to use a the devices to our benefit now.

Due to the diagonal traffic flow as mentioned above, all items remaining within this space had to be ordered in a special way. But it’s literally taken me one year to figure out how to do just that, take stock of what would need to be organized, beginning with the removal of the wooden table, stacked high with schooling/learning materials, and other assorted items not required to be stored here.

But where?

Ah-Ha! I finally knew….

It was fun containerizing and labeling baskets for exercise room smaller items. I have walkmans and music ready, bottled water, videos and dvd exercise movies, free weights and pilates balls in the baskets. Magazines I haven't had time to read are also here for bike riding sessions. Everything is ready, now to get the time to get in here for my regular routines posted on the walls!

Therefore, here are a few before and after photos for you to see how the room has progressed. I wish I had a few “middle” photos to show you the difference on our decluttering beforehand as well, but you will have to use your imagination on that one. If anything, just imagine moving a few hundred pound bowflex piece of equipment with not only its weight, but also carefully ensuring the ceiling wasn't damaged in the process! It was a huge job!

2x2 feet ceiling panels and daylight lighting.

I want to make mention here on how wonderful it is to have excellent lighting in a basement without many windows. It’s very important to me to have this in place, so my hubby designed the ceiling with 2x2 foot ceiling tiles in a suspended ceiling, matching it with custom fitted 2x2 foot lighting. It becomes daylight at any time of day now, super for all areas of living on this lower floor.



The new doorway is located where the boxes
were on the shelves in the photo above.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Only in the country!

Heh Farmer Billy!

Noticed ya got ya hay baled up today.
Wanna go fishin till suppertime ?

Tractors have a dual purpose here.

Only in farm country folks!

I wonder if they caught any fish! Betcha they did!

Midsummer Project List - Room#2

"Midsummer Projects"

Room#2 - The Sump Pump Room.

Onward ho!

The sump pump room was next. It is located in an area in the basement where we decided to finish it’s surroundings, making it a separate room altogether from the rest of the rooms nearby. The gyproc was as it was last year when the drywallers finished their job.

The sump pump as it was with the previous owners.

Since it’s another moisture area, I wanted to continue the use of kitchen/bath painting for the walls, and the floor was another area to protect from possible flooding or moisture build-ups.

Michelangelo - I am NOT!

But, I can fake it BIG!

I loathe painting walls and such, however it was a necessary thing to complete, another item on my “midsummer project’s goal list”.

The newly purchased white, fluffy, roller brush, was removed from its plastic covering, and quickly installed onto the roller body device handle. Next the handle was screwed onto the long wooden extension pole to allow for ease in painting full-length wall applications. With paintbrush in hand, my ipod device in my ears, a water bottle nearby, painting clothes on, and old sandals fitted onto my feet, I began to create artistic impressions along corners, edges, and inside the doorway. As I prepared the workspace for the roller brush painting detail ahead, and using the white paint along the walls, everything in the room soon brightened up to incredible proportions, the lighting suddenly becoming clearer and easier to view my surroundings, rather than the dimly lit area I first began this detail inside of. I was amazed at the difference a fresh white coat of paint provided once again in a basement area, just as I felt when the storage area’s gray walls were spiffed up with the whitewash last year. Last but not least, when the walls were dry, the cement flooring was artistically sealed with a concrete paint to protect from possible moisture in the future.

Upon the painting completion tasks, vacuum holders were screwed onto the left wall area (we have two hoses to hang up, one almost toast and on it’s last leg, but it works!), one of the stainless steel commercial shelving units assembled was rolled into the right side against the wall, locking the wheels and loading it up with paint cans, and other paraphernalia for storage purposes. This will be known as the “utility room” now.

Did I mention how much we LOVE these shelving units?

I find here in the east the weather is far too extreme for regular storage details such as the west, those possibilities within a garage holding area, therefore many of the items out there will be eventually hauled into the house for winter storage. I hope to install a peg board on one wall in here eventually and hanging up all our tools indoors. A future project to be sure…

This past winter we hired a plumber to install a back up device for the sump pump in the event of a power outage, or worse yet, the current sump pump failed and gave up working for us. Apparently they need to be replaced every few years and it had been replaced by the former owners one month before we purchased the house. This was verified by our immediate neighbor, who announced he was the hired plumber who did this very task for them when their former one stopped working shortly before.

The sump-pump now, with back up system in place for power outages. We bought the cover and now it doesn't fit properly anymore though.
Oh, and note the gray paint and the ONLY spot on the wall I goofed up on!

The walls just need a rubber seal
strip to complete the room.

The back up device works like a toilet, flushing the water out and needs no electricity. When we leave town, our home insurance requires an inspection of our home every few days to ensure the sump pump is working correctly, and no flood has occurred in the home upon its failure to do so. With the back up system in place, at least we can rest at east if the power to turn off, as it did three years ago when the power grid failed for three days in this general area. The only drawback for me is peering into this room to view the sump pump lid unable to rest on the top of the hole in the ground now, due to the other plumbing required in the unit. It’s quite unsightly really, perhaps someone can remedy this for me and create a personalized one in the future here.

Incidentally while I’m at it, I’ll show you the storage area from the former owners. My hubby had all this shelving completely dismantled, as it was also smelly and in great need of dump disposal!

BEFORE! Former owners storage area.

In its place, there now resides a small hallway leading to three doors; the sump pump room, a lower floor basement bathroom, and finally the cold storage room. We no longer have to wonder through the rec room and into the office space to get into this area. My hubby has a good eye for how rooms should flow one into another, and this was a great idea to open up walls for easier movement for all.

AFTER! The new hallway constructed from another entry area.

AFTER! The former storage area is now a lower floor washroom.

Midsummer Project List Begins...

"Midsummer Projects"

Admittedly, I was falling into a slump the past two years or so, becoming more lax within the organizational structure of the home interior, not for lack of trying mind you, rather we spent enormous amounts of time and energy renovating our former home over the course of almost one whole year. Secondly, moving across the country was an issue for me, obviously requiring huge chunks of thoughtful decision processes to muster deep in my brain, choosing where and how our furniture and household affects fit best within our eastern new home’s inner walls.

It took me over one year of observing and deciding just “how” our lower floor was to be composed for optimal usage and energy flow. The “Midsummer project” actually initialized in a humble way, after I fell into a slumberous dream one night, and that’s when a light bulb blasted off in my head, waking me at precisely 3:23am with enough of a visual plan and idea to begin the endeavor. I actually gathered enough gumption to rise from my slumber and those thoughts became a solid link to the emminent reshuffling, a reorganizing structure to formally continue to move the stuff (ah-hem – crap!) within the lower floor specific rooms of;

  • Cold storage room
  • Sump pump room
  • Rec room and learning area
  • Exercise room

And last but not least;

  • My office/studio which dearly was in dire need of “tlc”.

Several weeks ago now, with a huge thrust of gusto, I donned my running shoes, and set off to blast one room at a time, which I can honestly say, “I did” and “I have”.

It is my honest opinion when an entire room requires a reshuffle, it’s more convenient to completely empty the room if at all possible, or at least remove all physical clutter on each surface and especially the floor. With my trusty helper son, we moved and hauled items around. We grabbed and hauled each box, every bin, tools, and whatever item was in our way, hoisting and heaving our muscles high to lift and crash land them all onto a section of flooring allocated for the temporary wasteland piling nearby within the next room. It allowed for a greater ease of movement to access the room of choice, the cold storage room in this case, and the humble beginnings for what would take many hours of labour to become completed. We temporarily opened up an emptiness with an entire room ready for its next step.

One room at a time, we commenced the “emptying detail”, and then revamped each item to a new location offering a better potential for organizational structure. I won’t kid you, and admit taking on this task has been utterly daunting, most overwhelming and exhausting at times, and especially physically with the manual labour accompanying it all, but I had a helper and upon occasion, up to four of them. Our little gophers and big muscle power kidlets made themselves available to tap into their energies here and there, so when able, they assisted when called to task.

This summer had a varying ambiance to last season’s same July month’s timing, mostly as there are no workers to wake up early for and prance about while we tiptoed amongst their presence. We weren’t underfoot to subtrade workers this year, merely here by ourselves, a great realization to functioning well together as a team without undue distractions. Dare I say my own time card has been punched in daily averaging approximately ten-hour workdays since the inception of this goal-setting workout? Dare I say one son averaged similar hours to me at the onset of the project in the first three rooms? It’s a true fact! Nuts? Maybe, but then I haven’t the time to set aside for such things ten other months of the year with schooling in session in our homeschool syllabus. I have a time limit for this "Midsummer project" and I intend to see it through to the end before too long now. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, though you are only able to see one room in this post! smile

Together, we’ve moved, yanked, shaked, rattled, and rolled about many items each day, every day in fact (except for Sundays thus far), many hours every day, until satisfaction was indeed – guaranteed after passing each room’s final inspection! We called upon our in-house inspector, my hubby, to provide another opinion and conclude if all was sufficient for passing marks on the “midsummer’s goal sheet listing” page.

I will place a disclaimer here lest you feel this sounds all rosy. Physically speaking, our adrenaline was pumping full throttle, so often the days turned into late nights. So tired were we, we hit our pillows almost in tears a few times, or at least I did, stiff, sore and yet landing with a smile for the huge accomplishments of the day. It was tempting to pull off “all nighters” three nights in a row for me, but I had to develop some tough discipline measures and continue the project by enforcing daily deadlines for everyone, though I broke the rule many times myself. By each week's end, I found I was in dire need of extra rest, so rather than continue with the temptation to do more, I bid good day to the area of work, and banked much sleep to recover. I would implore you, if you feel tempted by being as a I am, a project orientated person who likes to work and complete soon after beginning something, do set yourself a standard of rest and adhere to it.

The past few weeks have been filled with baby (monster!) steps, using huge amounts of energy to fulfill essential criteria required for completing each of the goals intended within my midsummer projects list. I’m currently on week five in our home, and today was a self imposed “nothing day” for all of us here. Hard as it may seem to admit it, we all needed to lay low and rest up. Tomorrow is another story….the first day of another week of work!

Taking time for sunsets is a must!

By day we work, by evening we watch the sunset, and then I’m often found working again until the wee hours of the morning when I drop into bed and we begin anew by dawn. On weekdays we work hard, though by weekend we rest and play (and nap!).

Nightly before surrendering to fatigue, dreaming of a deep and well deserved dreamy slumber, and as my head collapses on my pillow, neck and shoulders tight and so very sore from the day’s physical demands, kinks pulling and tugging on every muscle in my body, I’m hardly able to suppress the big smile developing on my face from the deep inner thrill of feeling most productive each day. Yes, it is so very satisfying to produce great results within a time period of one’s goal, and my goals include a multitude of tasks this summer to benefit our home and family.

Furthermore as the timing couldn’t be more perfect with other priority commitments not intently pressing me elsewhere for the time frame at hand , I have the freedom to instill long hours if I dare. It is here I shall boast proudly however about my terrific husband who has realized the outcome of such things, being witness to the progress each day in earnest brings, and has been so fabulous at firing up his outdoor barbeque and creating great meals for the dinner hour. Knowing I can forge ahead as long as possible each day has made a huge difference to me. I am actually far ahead of schedule as I type tonight, and for that special detail he assists me with, I am most grateful to him.

To my hubby; Love ya baby and thanks for begin my biggest cheerleader!

To the children; who have bounded up and down the stairs with water bottles, fresh coffee (yes, every child here knows how to make their parents coffee!), lunch, snacks and whatever else they feel we require to have little breaks from the tedious tasks at hand. Thank you to our gang at home for every little thing, and for lending me your muscles each day along the way.

There are moments when I feel the tasks in progress have been so long overdue, I have experienced triumphant emotions when completing each step along the way and finally checking it off the long “Midsummer projects” goal sheet list. I've been known to take photos and sit for a long while just to absorb what took place recently in its space. Admittedly so however, at no time in the past can I recall touching and organizing so many of our family’s possessions, but then, I haven’t ever taken on such a huge task in such a short of time before either. By winter, I shall have other priorities to focus on, taking me away from the midsummer timeline presently available to me, so progress must continue until all written and desired goals are concluded, and formally attained. At least this is my sincere goal.

All that said;

May I share our success thus far with you here?

In the beginning..

Please allow me to attempt recording the “Midsummer projects” online, sharing with you as I meander about my home in search of creating more efficient methods in organization which will ensure our family’s ability to live more simply, live less cluttered lives, and free up more time in the future. It is my greatest hope to also pass along and share my favorite websites and other resources with you, so “buckle up and get ready for a very wild ride!

As I write about our "Midsummer projects" on this blog, I will post some former owner photos I took when viewing the home before we purchased it, to show the contrast of work we've accomplished to date. See for yourself the sweat falling from our brows over the past year...laugh.

Beginnings. Where oh where to begin?

At first I decided our storage room was the very first area in need of an overhaul. The built-in shelving system was filled to capacity with storage items, all required temporary movement to a holding place, along with other bulkier items into the next room. Once the room was empty, and our voices soon echoed in the vast emptiness, I cast my eyes up and down perusing the interior trying to get a feel for what lay ahead. Recently the floor had been sealed and painted to protect this storage space from moisture, and the fluctuating temperatures the outdoor vent plagued it with from outdoor air flowing through.

Vent covered by former owners.

When purchasing the house, our home inspector made a recommendation to install a better venting device for this storage room, the smell of must caught his attention noting this on the inspection form for us, (though we never noticed the same when we first toured the home). Before the family moved here, and after we took possession of the home legally, as suggested, my hubby was present and began directing the hired contractor to tear the room apart first thing. The ceiling was dragged down, with new insulation and firewall replacement detailed. The air vent to the outdoors was plugged at first with styrofoam insulation material, so it was removed to allow more air to flow through the room when the renovation was completed.

At first sight this cold storage room looked great, all that home canning a feast for the eyes. However the wooden shelving was filled with mold growing underneath and against the wall support posts. It carried and oozed a smell over time they had temporarily masked when we viewed the house. IT HAD TO GO!!! ALL OF IT! The wood was so damp at times, it bowed heavily in the center spans.

Last summer, after we lived here for a while, and the room was filled to capacity with storage (including some furniture), too much humidity became a serious issue when the moisture was so heavy from the outdoor humidity, bits of green furry mold begin to grow on our brand new ceiling. Luckily our son entered the room soon after it began to form and discovered the plight we were thrust into. We were heartsick when finding so much moisture in the room, also knowing the danger mold offers by becoming airborne and ultimately ending up in lungs to destroy health.

In a quick flash, all present belongings stored in the room were suddenly and swiftly required to be removed, and action taken within moments after the discovery were ensured to rid the room of the green furry stuff, without intentionally endangering the family’s health by allowing it to become airborne. There was absolutely no way scrapping could be allowed with a palette knife, rather intense and immediate mold killing action was in due order.

Rubbermaid bin-lover!

Every box and paper item was damp and in dire need of pitching to the roadside for garbage day. Thankfully I’ve always been an advocate of using Rubbermaid bins, labeling each for handy findings later on. These were fine, not damp and not smelly...whew. A few furniture items were stored in there, taken outdoors to air out and are now stored in another location, though since revamping this room after that fateful day last year, aren’t required to be there. Eventually they’ll return to this area.

Don’t you just love those sudden projects requiring all to be placed on hold, sleeves rolled up and assistance called in? ugh. Our painter came to the rescue, drying up the room quickly, killing the moldy bits, and lastly applying two coats of kitchen/bath paint for deeper moisture vapor protection. The room was sprayed, dehumidified and an essential oil to kill mold and musty smells was diffused for three days afterwards.

For this year, my midsummer project was to gut the room, dismantle all the built-in shelving on the walls (as they still carried a bit of an odor that would not go away, even after all the painted sealant and mold killer our painter had applied on its surfaces) and finally, the plan was to invest in stainless steel commercial kitchen shelving on wheels from Costco. (These aren’t available online to see, sorry, but they are GREAT!) They can be wheeled about for easy cleaning or are portable for a move someday to bring along with us.

You can see the outside vent next to the new shelves here near the ceiling, the old wooden shelves removed from site.

While my hubby was away for a week to attend our friend Michael’s funeral back west, work proceeded round the clock at home, including a long drive to the nearest Costco over an hour away to purchase our steel shelving units. While there, we also purchased a dehumidifier, the most fantastic piece of equipment anyone could own with moisture always prevalent in a basement from a mandatory sump pump on the basement flooring.

Each shelving box weighed a ton! Our older son and I almost required a third person to assist us in changing the boxed shelf unit’s location from the store’s shelf to our cart! When all was said and done, assistance was offered and desired after purchasing the items at the checkout and a crew moved each shelf into the van for us. What a relief! Each shelf weighed upwards to 200 pounds each in the box! No wonder! No kidding!

Love those wheels for easy movement if necessary.
They lock too.

Inside the van when accelerating towards the direction of home, we laughed aloud after looking at one another, wondering just HOW we would get them into the house later on. I’ll share the secret with you. We dragged them out and plopped them onto the garage floor until assembly was required but it took three of us to drop them from the van onto the floor! During assembly soon afterwards, the boxes were split open, and individual items contained inside were carted indoors several at a time by “helpers”, leaving the cardboard recycling behind and ready for the curbside garbage pickup later on that week.

The greatest investment ever - a dehumidifier!

The decision to purchase the shelving units came two months ago when hubby and I were at Costco one afternoon. While perusing the organizational area for garage helps, when we gutted that particular area earlier in the spring (wink), we noticed the heavy quality of the stainless steel shelves on wheels. One unit was on display at the store to view the product closer and I knew right then, they would be perfect for replacing the built-in shelving within time. I also noted the size of the boxes for purchasing the unassembled ones, noting we’d need the older van with the seats down to transport them home from the bulky load prospect. The largest concern was whether or not this store would still have any in stock when the time came, almost two months later, and no where on their website could I find these same shelves noted there. We took a chance and drove to the store location, holding my breath all the while until I saw a stack of them still there. I figured three were going to be perfect, and I realized later on when loading the three we purchased, there would be no humanly possible way of loading one more even if I wanted to. But, we did get the dehumidifier in there and other assorted smaller grocery items, frozen goods into the large cooler at the back near the doors. All the way home, I felt the van was becoming airborne with the additional weight in the back.

Our shiny protected and sealed concrete flooring.

During the first week of room-gutting on the lower floor, it felt as though we were working in three rooms or more at once (we were!), as items were handled and sorted in general. Within the process, naturally we uncovered a variety of interesting “missing” items from other household locations which had been forgotten and moved about by little folk; therefore it was their daily tasks to become gophers, our courier mail deliverers zooming about room to room with buckets, bins and empty laundry baskets filled with a multitude of assorted items. This obvious ‘additional’ task should have all pitching in, but it always leaves me to ponder what the topic of “organization” is really all about. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this yourself, but when I organize a particular area, every room seems to become upside down as I uncover goods from other rooms where they don’t belong. The task would remain incomplete and cluttered if we overlooked the process of ensuring all items have their own exact home and locations, therefore they must be returned to their holding areas.

Containerized; with extras now to spare, only
these aren't in their final resting places just yet.

LOVE the clear options available in stores today!

Everything seemed to become a crazy tornado, spewing everything - everywhere! Every room seemed upside down, messy and often heavily ladened with cumbersome temporary stacks of STUFF; a great myriad of items in need of attention AFTER rooms became complete. At the end of my first three days, I had to rescue the rest of the house with, yet another task of reuniting items to their former glory, and spent an entire full day doing so. Ugh.

At the end of a long day, as I moved from one mess to another, and yet another, for sanity purposes I learned to place blinders on to overlook and forgive the bombing damage recently culminating around other rooms inside of the house. I had to throw in the towel to work my weary body all the way up the stairs towards bed often and allow the blinders to squash my temples to keep focused and get to bed. Isn’t it amazing how that happens!

So, I must always remember in the future as I continue the “midsummer goal list”, the initial goal of one area promptly becomes a multi-formatted room to room resorting, reorganizing, much more work obviously than previously planned.

Note to self; Leave room at the end of the day to gather and tidy “other areas” ridiculously affected by initial projects! The old saying that “one thing leads to another” should be monogrammed onto my forehead this past while, so true!

All the Christmas decorations were brought inside from the garage and added ino the storage area, solid Rubbermaid bins exchanged for clear ones (very cool to see inside!), and then stacked on my wooden table in the new location. After rolling in the two stainless commercial shelving units, they were quickly filled assembly-style with the children all-assisting in the completion. My myriad of food storage bins, canning jars, and many other assorted items were replaced to their new homes. Some of the food storage containers were washed again, and require refilling, especially since last year’s mold episode required us to dispose of everything perishable in there. I noted these food storage items on my grocery shopping list, another thing to do! ugh...laugh

At long last, this cold storage room is now safe from further troubles with moisture, all except the outdoor vent which will be resolved this week with new styrofoam insulation and permanent sealant. The can resting on the wooden table is an insulation sealant for the cracks in the ceiling tiny spaces next to the concrete walls.

As far as being an efficient cold storage room, it is cool in the winter, however without proper ventilation, we've decided to keep the door open, likely just remove it to keep all our hard work from falling by the wayside again. But then, we may change our mind when the winter looms nearer and the hockey equipment comes indoors.