40 Bags in 40 Days: Day 19

Now we’re getting to it.

Yesterday I tackled the front of the basement, which is both the best and worst room in our house. When we moved in eight years ago, the basement was a blank canvas, unfinished and unremarkable, save for a wood burning fireplace on one wall. During the month before we officially moved in, John, my dad, and my uncle built the basement from the studs out. Now it’s our media room, de facto office, and, sometimes, swimming pool.

The basement has “flooded” three (four?) times since 2008. We are not alone. Many people’s basements have flooded during that time period, because now 100 Year Floods happen every year, sometimes twice a year. We considered doing all the things you’re supposed to do to make the basement flood proof; but we’ve heard so many stories about sump pump failures and water backups after paying $15,000 to fix the issue, we just decided to roll the dice and mitigate the damage as much as possible.

We’ve got it down to a science now. We ripped up the carpet for the second (and final) time and had an epoxy floor laid down. We bought a small area rug that can be easily rolled up in case Tom Skilling predicts Big Rain. We replaced our electric leather recliners with an inexpensive, lightweight sectional, whose parts can be thrown up on 2X4s in the event of a potential flood. We (well, my dad) ripped out the insulation from the floor to the middle of the wall, so we don’t have to worry so much about mold and mildew forming behind the drywall.

So far, this has worked well for us. The water has never gotten high enough to damage anything important (knocking on all the wood). If that were to happen, I think we’d just empty out the basement and turn it into a roller derby rink at this point.

Anyway, today I cleaned out the front portion, the finished portion of the basement. I got rid of my big old teddy bear, who kept dropping his innards all over the house and just took up too much precious real estate. I also sorted through this old dresser we have down there that we use to house some random kids’ toys. I purged many, many things from those drawers.

Cleaning up the basement this week is in preparation for when I clean out the kids’ playroom next week. I have a grandiose plan to move some of the toys into the back part of the basement (once ComEd comes to retrieve our old refrigerator). Once we have some space to breathe up in the playroom, it will be time to start organizing the — dun-dun-dun — Legos.


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