There are saw blades hanging from the ceiling, old rusty nails piled in a corner, and odd metal instruments that are apparently called vises but look like torture devices. And there are definitely spiders hanging out in the cracks and corners.
The set of a horror movie? Nope. Welcome to my basement.
If I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m living in a house I’m renting from my parents. It belonged to my grandparents previously, and all in all has been in my family for over fifty years. We’ve accumulated a lot of stuff, and in the basement, the stuff has accumulated a lot of dust. My grandfather was a bricklayer and a very handy guy, and he was also thrifty. Over time, he accumulated the equivalent of a hardware store.
As my grandfather’s health deteriorated, the basement moved into disarray. My dad (rightfully so) was reluctant to toss out any of the old tools, nails, and other hardware. I thought he was silly, but after almost two years of living in the space and dealing with home repairs, I’m grateful we have so many supplies. Still, they need better organization.
When I started sorting through the accumulation, I kept finding things I had no idea we had. Two rolls of twine?! Damn, why did I buy any for the garden? Chicken wire, a hand saw, lightbulbs, screws, nails, washers, light plates, a drill, several different sets of wrenches… It’s overwhelming. I may finally be able to distinguish between a phillips and a flathead screwdriver, and I can navigate Home Depot, but the combination of old, out-of-style hardware, useful items, and rusted junk makes my head spin.
As I’m going through and sorting things for future use, I’ve created a couple of piles.
1. To sort and store aka “I know what this is! And I can/will use it!”
2. Obvious junk. (An old VCR that won’t turn on, a used florescent light tube, and two giant bags of bills and receipts from the ’80s). Remember to practice responsible recycling, y’all.
3. Will never use aka “Give to Dad.”
4. WTF? aka “Ask Dad.”
My poor father. Hey, at least I’m finally learning what a washer (the metal kind, not the clothes washing kind) is for.
Pile #4 is smaller thanks to this helpful resource. The pictures on the site were created for teaching people English, but they work just as well for teaching people like me what the funny metal things do.
As time consuming and frustrating as sorting and decluttering can be, I like learning new things. I’ll probably never get into carpentry, but at least I can do basic home repairs. Oh, and I might even end up with enough space for a work bench / grow light setup for starting seeds. Wouldn’t that be great?!