Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Tidier Workroom

One of the round-to-its this winter has been the cleaning of the workroom in the basement.  I have had good intentions to get this done for quite some time.  This past Saturday, there was really little else I could force to the forefront as a stalling tactic.  So I headed to the basement, I'm afraid just a little bit less than enthusiastically.  I took a few 'Before' pictures, just so you could see the difference, if I ever mustered the ambition to actually do something.

The 'Befores'

The past two weeks have seen two events in our basement, that certainly brought cleanup to the forefront of chores that needed doing.

The first was the repair of the water softener system.  We had a little flow solenoid that had ceased to function.  The repair man was able to fix this fairly quickly, reset the flows and be on his way.  However, his boots were obviously wet and he managed to get into the kitty litter that our cats spread from one end of the basement to the other (well perhaps I exaggerate slightly).  This, mixed with the moisture from his boots left a nice pasty residue all around the softener.  If we had been looking for evidence, his footprints were everywhere.

The second event happened last week.  The missus had just finished up a sink full of dishes and pulled the plug.  Nothing drained away, and then as the dishwasher started to empty, the effluent from it, backed up into the sink as well -- obviously a plug somewhere in the system.  We plunged futilely, poured Liquid Plumber down, and allowed it to sit overnight.......still nothing!  The next afternoon, the missus had the local plumber here.  He spent three hours, snaking the system and finally discovered the pluggage about 20 feet away from the sink, just a few feet short of the large septic line.  Of course to reach this, he had to cut the pipe, use his power snake, hose it out, and then reconnect and glue the whole mess back together.  In the process there was quite a bit of black sludge that escaped onto the basement floor, to say nothing of the noxious fumes from the septic line that infiltrated the entire house.

Anyway, the time had come, and there was a need to tidy up, that plus the fact we had a large crew coming for supper on Sunday night.

The first order was to get that offending garbage can that leaked on me last week out of there, and out to air in the garage until spring.  Then there were all the gardening supplies, that just needed to be put back in their place.  The greenhouse would probably have been the proper receptacle, other than the fact it would have meant trudging through two feet of snow with every load.

I then straightened up and set up several fluorescent light fixtures that I bought at a garage sale.  Once I get down to starting seeds, I'll do even more of that activity.

And then there was the workbench, which had basically become a catch-all for the last two years.  My initial procrastinating inclinations told me to put that one off until I had bought another organizer, but perseverance won the day -- still haven't got the organizer, but all the little screw boxes are lined up and awaiting the day I bring home an organizer for them.

So with pretty much everything off of the floor the broom was the next tool of choice.  Kitty litter seemed to be the main residue, although my plants have certainly dropped their share of leaves.  Once the floor was swept, then it was a good thorough mopping.  Now recall my tail of the offensive smell last week, well it was obviously on the floor, because as soon as the water hit the floor, the smell of rotten socks once again permeated the entire house.  A rinse with vinegar reduced it somewhat, but it was a good strong dose of PineSol that finally masked the ghastly fragrance.

I took a few 'After' pictures.    Once spring arrives I may relegate the two wooden skids to the greenhouse too. I know the room still needs a fair bit of organization, and the floor for all its many moppings looks dirty, but at least I can walk through now and find most of my tools somewhat easily.

The 'Afters' to be met with choruses of oohs and aahs!

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.


  1. What in the world was that "smell" that would have such a potent rejuvenation with water? Weird.

  2. If I knew, I would patent it. It definitely would have wartime applications I do believe.


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