Sunday, February 27, 2011

Gear closet. Done.


Apparently I run a tight ship here at Our Little Family. I may have been accused of imposing impossible deadlines thus far in my basement remodel. In reality, I have no actual deadlines for this project but I couldn't move on with the main part of the project until the gear closet (aka: utility room, litter box room, freezer room, or man cave) was done since the "gear" had taken over the main part of the basement. The project required a bit of Scott's help in the form of six inches of extra height and a few foot-pounds of extra bicep power. Screwing hundreds of 2.5" screws into 2x4s got to be a bit more than I could handle alone but I'm now stronger because of it.

And now it's done! And Scott has a lovely new home for his gear. Ridiculous deadlines or not, I think he's a happy guy now that it's over. And I'm happy because now I can move on to the good stuff.


You already saw the new door on the gear closet. The room has also been outfitted with two new shelving units on 3" casters, pegs for hanging skis, a new electrical outlet (for the freezer which was moved from one side of the room to the other), a new light (because I couldn't see into the freezer once we turned it away from the original light), two new return air vents, and a timer on the crawlspace fan.

A timer on the crawlspace fan? What? Some of you already know that I have superhuman hearing. It's really a great asset when someone is talking behind my back or when my kids are upstairs NOT brushing their teeth. It's not so handy when the sound of the crawlspace fan drives me batty, running 24x7. It's even worse when I'm working in the basement and the fan seems so loud that I can't think straight! So, my handy electrician husband (I don't do electrical work) changed out the fan switch for a timer. Now the fan runs just from midnight to six in the morning. I'm sure the sound of it will be incorporated into my dreams at some point but at least it doesn't drive me nuts all day.

The real showpiece in the new gear closet is not the timer (hard to believe, I know). It's the super-sturdy, super-organized, super-clever shelving system that I designed and built (out of mostly re-used 2x4s) to hold Scott's (er...our) camping, kayaking, backpacking, skiing, and sports gear. Not everyone needs to store five tents of various sizes and purposes, five sleeping bags (Nick, we've got your bag, in case you were wondering where it went), four pairs of skis and boots and snow gear, an inflatable kayak, and coolers out the wazoo. Oh, and about twelve different backpacks. Each with its own specific use. And a crate full of Camelbacks. Yes, my friends. Apparently we are Coloradans through and through.


We needed the shelving unit to hold all this...uh...stuff. But the unit needed to be designed in a way that would allow us access to the Christmas decor (which is stuffed under the stairs behind the shelves). And, some day we'll probably have to get the freezer out of there and replace it. So, I made the shelving units short and shallow enough to fit through the pocket door and I put them on casters to make them easy to move. I added sides and a back to one shelf to keep Scott's basketballs and footballs in place and did the same with the tent/sleeping bag shelf.

I love casters. And rust colored carpet. Okay, maybe not the carpet.

For ski storage, I threw together some shaker-inspired pegs and now our skis hang by their tips between the pegs. Yep, probably bad for the skis but, eh, oh well. We don't invest in expensive ski gear.


A few things that used to be in the gear closet did not make it back in. Like, for instance, my wedding dress. I'm confident we'll find it a new home where it can live on in trunk-show infamy awaiting a second chance at life. A few other things got left out too. A book I wrote in fifth grade now has a home in Brynn's room where she has enjoyed laughing at the "about the author" page. I'm glad she can find humor in the fact that I believed I was headed for a career as a dolphin trainer. Especially since she has been raised to frown on dolphin shows and nearly all other instances of wild animals living in captivity. Oh, the irony. It's not lost on her.

So, without setting any arbitrary deadlines, here's what my next few weeks will look like: clean up garage, remove remaining stuff from main basement area, rip out carpet, rip out padding, find a new home for carpet and padding (not the landfill, thanks to Craigslist), scrape and smooth popcorn ceilings. Yeah, baby.

3 comments:

Fulton said...

that's impressive stuff!! well done.

the next few tasks look like a lot of fun, that is except for cleaning the garage. I can't wait until the day when we're ripping out carpet.

Annalea said...

I agree: VERY well done! I need to do something similar, as you and I seem to be married to kindred gear heads. Right now my husband's backpack & sleeping bag collection are in the top of his office closet. (http://flic.kr/p/9oGHa2) The four tents are in a shelving unit below the frame in that photo. I really like your creation. Do we get to see the whole thing, or is the room too small?

Hillary said...

I wish I could show you the whole thing, but for privacy reasons...just kidding. The room's too small and my widest angle lens can't get it all at once! Bummer. It's pretty cool how it follows the angle of the stairs above it, too.