It's not totally done, but it's done enough to share.
The walls are painted.
The carpet tiles are down.
The furniture has been moved into the for-now places.
And we even took a trip? adventure? to Ikea on Friday to pick up a storage unit for the toys. Bought and built in an afternoon. Amazing.
Here are some pictures. I will add some more as more work/decorating is done.
As a reminder, here is a before picture of my basement. Pure wasted space.
Bear in mind that we still have some lighting issues down there and so the quality of pictures leave something to be desired, but here's an after:
Ignore, if you will, the laundry drying on the stairs gate. This is a picture of half the basement, I couldn't get it all into one shot.
My checkerboard carpet. Kind of like a checkerboard cake.
My new couch pillow. It makes me happy.
My Ikea storage unit. And a small Ikea toybox next to it.
All the little hands that helped build the new toy storage unit.
And because I know there are some people keeping count, my total expenditure so far for the basement has been $431.
Primer/paint and brushes and stuff: $61
Carpet tiles: $294 (99cents a square foot. You can't really beat that.)
Toy storage: $76 (The unit with the bins above and a toy box.)
Pillow: $0 (my dad bought it for me, but it was really on sale in Bed Bath and Beyond for only $10!)
My time spent: about 14 hours so far, spread out over about 2 weeks, maybe a little less.
If we had hired someone to do the painting and carpet tiles, this would have already run us a minimum of $1000 before materials. All I can say right now is go me!
The past couple of days were biggies in a world where basements morph into
Tuesday morning I cleaned the floor, scrubbed like I've never done before.
If nothing else, it was a calorie burner.
And yesterday morning was the whole point of everything I've done so far; I
The baby and I went to Home Depot on Tuesday afternoon to buy some no VOC
and odorless paint. Home Depot didn't have any, they just don't carry any paint
that is not-bad for the environment. No really, that's what the guy in the paint
department told me.
Me: Do you have no-VOC paint?
Paint Guy: Nope, we don't carry that good-for-you-stuff.
Me: Okay then.
At least he had the decency to not point out that I had a granola
bar stuck to my skirt as I paraded around the store.
So then off to Lowe's we went. And Lowe's carries a huge assortment of
those good-for-you paints. After much deliberation (me) and ripping of those
little and thankfully free paint cards (baby), we chose a color. It looked like
a light green to me, the kitchen area in the basement has some green in it so in
theory it should all blend together.
Wednesday was painting day and a totally spontaneous one at that. I had
been planning to paint at night after the kids were in bed, but some days you
just have it all together, you know? So when the baby went down for her nap, I
ran down to the basement and painted for an hour straight. And when I looked up
after those 60 minutes (I knew it was an hour because I had thrown a load into
the dryer and set the timer. I am nothing if not a multi-tasker), I was done.
All the walls were now green. When wet they kind of looked like a pukey green
and I was kind of nauseous myself. But now that's it's dry, it looks much
better, more like a seafoam green or pistachio. I am not sure I would pick this
color again for anything, ever, but it's fine for this project.
And the baby cooperated too. She woke up as soon as I finished washing the
And then last night Josh was kind enough to move all the furniture that had
been sitting in the center of the room so we'd (I'd) be ready to go when the
carpet tiles came. I really had no idea where he was going to put everything,
especially the couch. This is what he did:
I have no clue how he got it up there or how he will get it down. But that's his
project. I have enough projects of my own right now.
Today my helper and I went down to clean up a little more.
Is my Happiness Project working? I think so. I am definitely happy that I
am done painting. Let's see how happy I am when the carpet comes.
Continuing on our merry way with my totally unprofessional rebranding of
our basement into a playroom, I present, phase two - the taping off of the walls
and ceilings with the blue painter's tape.
Blue Painter's Tape. Just rolls off your tongue. At least now it does. About an hour ago, it
wasn't coming that easily. If fact, I think the taping of the room was more
difficult than the priming of the room. I don't remember the last time I had to
hold my arms over my head for such a long period of time. I really must start
Anywho, here are some fascinating pictures of the blue painter's tape
sitting, for the most part, right where the wall meets the ceiling.
And, and for your viewing pleasure, here is a picture of the paint tray and
brush that I used last night, now all dried out. I knew I forgot to go back
downstairs for something. Oh well.
Next Up - tomorrow night: the amazingness that is the cleaning of the basement
floors. I know, I know, you're waiting with baited breath. But don't. You might
pass out before I get down there. Especially because my Swiffer broke the other
day. I'm pretty sure this is going to be me, my knees, some paper towels and a
bottle of Fantastik.
Oh, Happiness Project
, are we happy yet?
Wow, it's been a bunch of days since I've been here. The girls and I have
had extra bad colds, the kind where no one goes to school, no one does any
laundry and everyone is too kvetchy to even take a nap.
Thankfully, the tissue avalanche has come to an (almost) end, the three
year old is back in her beloved nursery classroom and the baby is, if not off my
lap for an entire minute, at least not hanging from my neck and crying "stand
up, stand up" because she's only happy when one of stands and holds her.
So what would you do after finally seeing there might be a light at the end
of the Bad Cold Tunnel? Take a shower? Sit and look at a wall? Maybe make a cup
of hot chocolate and not share it? All good ideas. Not me. I mean, I did have a
hot chocolate, but that's neither here nor there. No, what did I do? Last night,
I painted the basement. Well, really, I primed it, with my new love, Odorless
Kilz White Primer.
After spending the entire week with two of the kids on the couch,
surrounded by tissues and toys that have been Lysoled, I realized that even
though I really don't want to throw any money into making a basement playroom,
especially in a basement that is somewhat prone to flooding when it rains, I
realized that I have no choice. So I am going to do this as efficiently, as
quickly and as inexpensively (read: on the cheapo scale) as possible. And I know
myself, if I think too much, nothing gets done so I'm just going to jump in and do it.
And this is how I came to be standing in the basement at 9:30pm on a Sunday
wearing and an old and ripped t-shirt and Josh's old sweatpants that have lost
all the elastic - have you ever tried to paint while holding your pants up? -
looking at the newly primed walls of my basement. It looks better already.
I wanted to show you what the basement looked like before, but I forgot to take a picture.
Sadly, this is what the basement looks like after it's been cleaned up and after we threw
out bags and bags of stuff and moved everything to the middle of the room.
I'd show you a picture of the primed walls, but they're still white, so
that would be silly.
But I will update you as the project continues.
And how does this relate to my Happiness Project
had decided to start thinking about? The first chapter of that book talks about
creating energy in your life, and doing that by releasing things that are
bogging you down and making you drag your feet everyday. And clutter is at the
top of my list. And if the consequence of cleaning out the basement is having to
paint it, so be it. It's worth it. So far. I haven't had to fight with that roll
of blue painter's tape yet.