Basement Saga: Chapter One

If you follow me on Instagram, you are already all too familiar with this month-long project (that's still in the works). Either way, allow me to give you an overview (very loose diagram below- there is a lot of missing "stuff" outside of the main items I included)...






I'm pretty sure we're the guinea pig apartment, because we have a lot of weird quirky differences that the other apartments in our building don't have. This definitely includes the laundry room set-up.


If you've ever seen our rec room here, you know that we have the dreaded "fake door" and then we have a "doorway" cut farther along the wall. Judging by everyone else's basements, the "fake door" was the original entrance to the laundry room, and the sad doorway was originally an opening to a small closet. Behind both, there are still sliding rails for hanging doors... only one of the doors is left, and has been nailed into the studs and painted shut (thus creating the "fake door"), and the other is missing entirely (nothing that a few cheap curtain panels didn't cover up).






Anywho, because the original entrance to the laundry room is now entirely useless, we do not have a basement closet. Instead, the sad doorway leads you into the laundry room on the opposite end (bottom of diagram below), behind our furnace and water heater.
It's kind of a rectangular u-shaped room, because this makes the furnace and water heater the center of the floor space (see diagram below; cabinets represent furnace & water heater in center, wire shelving along right-hand wall). In the bottom right hand corner is the water meter for the entire building (not shown). We also have a hideous concrete & metal utility sink, the "scary toilet corner," and an inconveniently placed floor drain.






Two walls are concrete foundation; the wall behind the laundry area is plaster (and is connected to apartment #2); the wall with the "fake door" is empty studs, on which you can see the back of the cheap paneling for the other side. It's a fully underground basement with terrible bare-bulb lighting & one window well in each room, and that doesn't really inspire any kind of motivation (especially not to stay down there and fold laundry or use the elliptical haha).
The laundry room also serves as our storage room (read "dumping ground") and is usually just your basic disaster cloaked in an extra layer of dungeon vibes.


So you can imagine the chaos it became when our water heater died on Nov 6, 2017 and peed everywhere... On everything that was touching the floor, including an area rug & countless boxes, and piles of laundry.
You can also probably imagine the frustration when the new water heater had a badly soldered joint that burst on Dec 6, 2017, causing it to rain overtop everything that hadn't been touched by the Laundry Room Lake one month prior.
I'll bet you can really imagine the completely livid, unbridled rage that was released when a pipe burst in the vacant apartment next door on Jan 4, 2018. Not only did the laundry room get more water damage, but the adjoining rec room took the brunt of the flood, which had previously been unscathed and was housing things I was trying to protect from the clearly cursed laundry room.


Basically it's been a disaster even more than usual for the past three months.
Every time I'd start to make headway, I'd have to shuffle everything again to clean up from the latest wtf moment and start all over again.






I've had ideas for this space for as long as I can remember. They've changed countless times, but I've always wanted more for this messed up part of our house. I want to like the room the laundry is in, and I don't want it to always be the "scary corner toilet." I want it to be a fully useable area that isn't such a depressing dungeon, and I want it to feel like an extension of our house instead of just a hot mess. I've been pinning ideas for too long without executing any of them (you're guilty of it too, don't lie... we all have a board of recipes we know we'll never make).


This last flood actually damaged parts of the apartment, instead of just boxes of Salvation Army décor and things I had intention to get rid of at some point anyhow. Our landlord/lady has to fix the wall that the burst pipe drenched, and has to replace (at minimum) the bottom two feet of the wall that runs along our staircase, behind our laundry area, and in the scary toilet corner (don't even ask, I don't know what's happening here either lol).






This last flood also finally kicked me into high gear on just getting the space organized and cleaned up. I've been planning styling the space to better suit my vision, purging a ton of damaged junk & things I just don't need, and rediscovering items I've had packed away for a couple of years.
I finally have a true idea of what I want this space to be, and I'm making the time to finally get it done.


While the landlord fixes the damage in apartment #2, I've been making some serious headway, and I think that documenting the process in my Insta Story Highlights has helped. I'm keeping myself accountable, but so are all of my followers. They're interacting with the process, and giving me ideas & showing their support. Having people who are invested in this almost as much as I am really helps to motivate me to get it done so that the final product can be a reality.


It's great- I'm actually getting something done! Countless folks have thanked me for "keeping it real" and showing that not everyone does these big projects over the weekend, or that it always needs to cost money (I've spent less than $2.00 so far on this entire project). Items I haven't seen in a couple of years are getting another chance to be used as I "shop my stash" instead of going thrifting or to Target and buying more things.






There are some improvements I'd like to make at a later time that will cost money (there will be a whole post on that some day, I'm sure), but that all can wait; there's no immediate need for any of those things yet, so why bother when I have so much else to do? Eventually we'll get there, and the space will be elevated "that much" more, but right now, I'm keeping it to basics. Manageable time, cheap as possible, and functional.


As I go through this Laundry Room Saga (because we know this isn't going to be over quickly!), I'll try to add links at the end of this post, or find a way to connect all of the related posts onto one page. This is an undertaking, and I'm glad to have people out there to help me trudge my way through this project.


If you want to keep an eye on the day to day progress, head over to my Instagram page & check out the Basement Saga highlight! I update it as I'm going through and doing work down there :) Otherwise, I'll have a room reveal soon & can move on to the next room... ;)


 

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