I’m pretty sure I have mentioned before that the “utility” side of my basement gives me the jeebs.

Our house was built in 1971 as a one story sort-of ranch. Somewhere down the line, a previous owner hand-dug our basement. Hand. Dug. Our adorable neighbor, Fred and his wife were the first family to move into our neighborhood back in the day, so he knows just about everything about everyone in the area. He told us that the previous owner had brought the buckets of dirt up one at a time until it was all completed. I couldn’t even imagine… I would have stroked out!

So the finished part is just fine. Although it is a mushroomy-tan color from floor to ceiling (underneath all of the band posters that we’ve plastered on the walls as an homage to our youth), it is still a cool place to hang out when we have parties. However, due to our last party’s unfortunate turn of events, we decided we’ll probably be having wayyyy fewer parties. So we agreed that we’d like to start using the basement on a daily basis more.

We used to have “band practice” down there. Ha! That was back when we were all chain smokers so we didn’t even need a fog machine to feel like rock stars. You could actually go outside and see the smoke billowing out of the small window. EW!

There has never been cable run down there and the stereo sucks and the furniture is all old and college frat/crack house-ish, so we never really had much desire to spend any real amount of time down there. So before we do start chillin’ like bro-skies down there, we’ve got some work to do. And making the basement a crash-pad is kind of the last thing on our list of things we wanna/need to do right now. 😦

I’ve sort of gone off on a tangent in the wrong direction. I have a bad habit of doing that, my apologies! Allow me to start over!

I’m pretty sure I have mentioned before that the “utility” side of my basement gives me the jeebs. And next on the Casa Awesomesauce DO-OR-DIE!-LIST (that’s what I’m calling our to-do list from now on – DOD!L for short) is:

To get the shelves in our laundry room cleaned up and to reorganize and streamline the crawl space.

We made the executive decision to push this task to the front of the Do-Or-Die! List so we can get all of the things that are currently living in my master bedroom into storage where they really belong! (Remember this winter when there was a lawn mower living in there?! Old post about that here.)

Basement Blueprint

Since I don’t have pictures (the lighting down there sucks real bad) I have made this festive blueprint for you . As you can see, we really don’t have a WHOLE lot to work with. The crawl space is about 7 ft wide (and full of broken glass!) and about 12 ft deep. Then there’s that weird L curve. What’s that all about? Note that the PINK LINE in the laundry room is only a half wall. It comes up to about 4 feet and that’s where the crawl space begins. You actually have to climb over our washer & dryer to get to it. (Ugh. Hopefully going to relocate those to the wall where the freezer is eventually.)

The crawl space is gravel bottomed and as I’ve referred to in a previous post (here) is my Kevin Bacon Stir of Echoes crawl space. It’s the kind of space that prevents me from doing laundry when Travis isn’t home (or without the shotgun).

Stir of Echoes
We even have one of these bare light bulbs with the pull string!!! $#%&!!! I’m never going to be able to go down there again without this image in my mind.

It also doesn’t help that Travis stores our Halloween props in the crawl space… Including this guy who stares out at me like a bastard when I’m trying to fold my laundry. Couldn’t have even found a box for that?!

Known as "the Fuming Rotter" or the "Thing that makes pants full of shit."
Known as “the Fuming Rotter” or the “Thing that makes pants full of shit.”

So last week, Hubster bought an 8-pack of 18 gallon storage containers so we could start cleaning up the shelves, which contained tons of crappy boxes filled with poorly packed hand-me-down dishes, old college art supplies, boxes of shoes and other random home goods. I ended up purging probably 4 utility-size trash bags of sheer trash! I have a big box of donate stuff and only have 2 small boxes of stuff to re-home! I was kind of awesomely proud of myself since I’ve always been kind of nostalgia crazy. (I am pretty sure I don’t need my college Nerf Gun foam disc collection anymore.) We’re now going to designate our shelves in the basement to all of our non-Halloween holiday, camping and painting gear!

I found this printable storage container label online that I’m going to use to label each storage container so I don’t have to dig through them to find what I need.

The eventual end goal (after we get the bedroom done) is to turn the laundry room into a more user-friendly, less scary spot where I can do my thing without fearing for my life by accomplishing the following:

  • Paint the floor using this stuff that a lot of people use in garages and utility rooms (currently the floor is brick red which is scraped up really bad showing this lovely hospital-gown-green underneath.) Anything at this point would be an improvement!
  • Enclosing the exposed joists overhead with bead board or something similar to finish the ceiling and cover up the 9 billion wires and pipes that run through the joists.
  • Finish the drywall on one small wall where the door is (about 4 foot of wall in total).
  • Paint the cinder block walls, shelves, pipes etc so they look nice and clean.
  • Install a glass block window to replace the current out-dated and not-so-energy-efficient louvered window that we don’t even open because it’s super gross dusty/cobweb/bug covered.
  • Use either shower curtains or match-stick blinds to hide the crawl space without lessening access to it.

laundry room inspiration

Hopefully in the end it will look somewhat like this photo above! I love how they just used a super-tall table over top of the washer/dryer for folding & storage! That would be a super easy hack to a thrift store or garage sale find, or make our own table top. We could just use modified porch balusters or something similar for the legs, I’d think. But Hubs doesn’t like how low our washer & dryer sit, so they may end up going on top of washer/dryer pedestals or something like that that we DIY ourselves. Those pedestals are like $100-200 a PIECE! But it all looks pretty cozy and not so zombie-infested, no?


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