So I got fed up. I got tired of worrying about how dad would react. Tired of feeling overwhelmed by the enormous task. Tired of feeling drowned out by "stuff" everywhere. It was time to take matters in to my own hands.
One section at a time, I decided to tackle just rearrangement of furniture.
THIS is the section I decided to tackle Friday December 23rd. If you recall:
So two objectives:
1) I need a place to cook. I prefer cooking my own food from scratch. Not only for health reasons but because I;m a food snob. Since we've been in DC, I've gained weight. Why? Because my dad's kitchen is a major PAIN IN THE ASS to cook in. So I've been eating out and eating junky stuff when I'm not eating out. That has to stop. I have to lose the weight I've gained since I've been here and that means I need my own cooking space. I brought my iron skillets and saucepans from home on the last trip to Florida. So now, all I needed was a place to set up as a "kitchen". We have a full fridge down here in the basement plus TWO (yes, TWO) freezers.
2) Decrease clutter, mold, dust, and surfaces that cannot be cleaned regularly and/or easily. You'll remember my house in Florida. Very minimalist design. I could literally clean the entire place in 45 minutes. Not a lot of places for dust to collect. Easily flow of energy around the place.
So. Here's what happened when we moved the stuff out of that corner. TONS of mold. TONS. I quickly grabbed a respirator and doused the entire area in bleach. So much bleach, in fact, that we needed to use the wet/dry vac to get it up.
No wonder I couldn't breathe!
Anyway, we next put the hideous Orange Rug over the area to "set off" the area as the "kitchen" and to cover up the ugliness of the missing tiles.
And, oh. In case you were wondering why I didn't move the bookcases. No, I am not decorating-challenged. Dad has BOLTED them to the wall. They cannot be moved without way way more work than I want to think about right now.
Finally, we moved the fridge from one corner of the basement to the other. We moved the service hutch (and threw away tons of old bottles of "sparkling cider". We moved the short freezer over to the opposite side of the basement to keep the tall freezer company. Those freezers are mostly my dad's stuff. We don't keep anything in them. Now he can access them easily.
AFTER (sort of)
The short and tall freezers in a new corner awaiting some further decoration. The back door ACCESSIBLE! We always wondered how we'd get out of the house quickly in case of a fire. No, seriously. There was a BIG ASSED fridge in front of it. I understand why dad had it there. An elderly man in the house should create barriers to entry. BUt dad has an alarm system, anyway. And now, we're here. I do fearlessly carry a handgun (or two) and so does my husband. So. There's that.
And lastly, my "new kitchen".
As you can see we placed the fridge catty-corner. I really dislike every piece of furniture being flush against the wall. It's just...bad. I'll be adding a potted plant atop it and some tea candles in a holder I brought from home in the next few days. I am using the cleared out white tall slim bookshelf for my spices and dry goods. The coffee maker is on the wine rack and I'll be adding a small microwave to it in a week. The side table there is where I'll place a couple of portable butane cooking burners
I've added two lamps from home to the top of the big brown bookshelf. Once I clean the glasses, the light shining on them will look beautiful. You may also notice my bottle of Petron between the lamps. :D
This is my new kitchen. Already the space down here feels better. Different.
Dad came home from shopping and wandered downstairs. I suppose it was a bit of a shock. I assured him that I didn't throw anything away (which is MOSTLY true. All the books are in bags upstairs now. He can decide what he wants to do with them). But as he sat down and looked at it, I think he felt like it was an improvement. He definitely liked having the two freezers easily accessible, since the short freezer was behind a wall of junk. He started talking about "what hasn't been used in five years needs to go" and "going under the stair space to see what's in there". So this is progress. But it was pretty tense for a few seconds. I basically told him that since his doctor denied his request for a second knee surgery and that it would be May or June or possibly July before he'd allow it, that I was tired of living out of my suitcase and having my clothes all piled up everywhere. I said that it was too hard to keep the basement clean and dust free, and that it was necessary to make some changes because of my asthma. I told him that we MOSTLY weren't throwing things away, just rearranging furniture to make the space more livable and open for the long haul. Seems like that did it. he even started talking about throwing away the OTHER freezer in the workshop - the one that doesn't work and is being used to store extension cords. (!) But honestly, I was at a point where I didn't care a whole lot if he liked it or not. The place needed work and I decided it needed to be done. The best thing is, once we get this basement done, there'll be room for everyone. And for entertaining. For socializing. It'll be great. Hubby and I are already settled on what we plan to do with the TV viewing area. So stay tuned. THAT will be an incredible transformation.