Tackling The Basement: Chapter Four

Well, thanks to the generous and wonderful folks at True Value, we now have a totally dry and completely functional basement to use for storage galore (read about how we prepped and waterproofed the former bug graveyard here and here). And thanks to a little road trip to Ikea this weekend, we came home armed with pretty much every item that we planned to snag in this basic mood board of sorts that we shared last week:

  1. Expedit shelf (included in the total Expedit Workstation) -$120
  2. Torsby table (already owned, so it’s free!)
  3. A woven basket or two – $17 each
  4. Two Aneboda wardrobes – $100 a pop
  5. A few white storage boxes – $12 for two
  6. And a few green storage boxes to keep things interesting – $12 for two
  7. Expedit desk (included in the Expedit Workstation) accounted for above

And the room is really coming together. Especially thanks to the floor plan we brainstormed ahead of time to see which items would work where (and which ones would provide the most function without breaking the bank):

Of course we still have a lot more projects to take on (creating a new light fixture, rewrapping the water heater, building a screen to hide the ugly rewrapped water heater, dealing with the windows, DIYing a dehumidifier, etc). But here’s what the basement looks like now thanks to the addition of two Ikea Aneboda Wardrobes along with an Expedit Workstation and a few inexpensive accessories (like some faux plants for a bit of greenery and these storage boxes for even more concealed stashing space). Not to mention the Torsby table and a few extra wooden chairs that we already owned. We also brought down our bikes as planned, but have even more in store when it comes to sprucing up that back wall so stay tuned…

Oh and we still have to paint the built-in cabinet below, so don’t mind the dingy look of it now…

Not bad, eh? Just to refresh your memory, the room looked like this about a month ago:

But thanks to around $350 worth of Ikea furniture (the Expedit Workstation even happened to be on sale!) and around $400 worth of prepping supplies (thanks again True Value!) we were able to take the basement from scary cinder block dungeon to a waterproofed room that’s furniture ready.

Oh and we would show you the insides of those wardrobes but we still have a lot of organizing to do (am I a total nerd for feeling a little bit giddy when I say that?). So next on the agenda is going back to True Value to snag lots of awesome sealed plastic storage bins to stack tons of seasonal decor, sporting equipment and other stuff that we’d rather hide behind closed doors. Then it’s on to lighting, art and hiding that wart of a water heater. Fun, fun, fun.

And speaking of house warts, do you guys have any ugly eyesores (fuse boxes? propane tanks? carpet stains? damaged hardwoods? odd trap doors? ugly outlets?) that you’ve successfully camouflaged? Tell us all about it.

Psst- Here’s how we hid our fuse box in the den, our exterior propane tank, and some pretty gross plugs and outlets above our washer and dryer. Fingers crossed we can make that water heater disappear too…



And Now A Letter To Ikea

Dearest Ikea,

We love you. We really do. But yesterday you exploited that relationship and I just can’t bite my tongue this time. Just because “some assembly required” is one of the terms of our relationship, it does not mean that we want to put together every single thing that we buy from you. This means you Kassett storage box.

Sure, putting together your furniture is often part of the Ikea fun. Not only do we gain an affordable and stylish item for our home, but it comes with a guaranteed sense of accomplishment. But there’s no pride in having to assemble my own cardboard box. None at all. Need I remind you that an item like this comes free (and fully assembled!) with the purchase of simple things like shoes and cereal? So why must each of yours require multi-page instructions, a dozen screws and 15 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back?

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a break from all that allen wrench action. But having to punch out 24 holes by hand was a bit ridiculous. You even went as far as to perforate the holes, but stopped short of removing them completely. Really? Or was that a bonus gift. I get a storage box AND complimentary confetti? No thanks.

In summary, it took me nearly an hour (and 48 screws!) to put together the four Kassett boxes that we bought this weekend. That’s more time than it took me to assemble the Expedit bookcase that houses them. They do look pretty darn good in the end. And I can’t complain about the $6/box price tag. But please, charge me the extra buck or two that it takes you to ship a pre-assembled box (I know shipping things flat saves me money, but a flat bookcase or bed is a lot more of a space saver than a 11.5″ box). I’m begging you. Help me help you help me. And I’m sure that loving feeling will come a-floodin’ right back.

Sincerely, John Petersik

PS:  Thank goodness the top of the box came pre-assembled. That, my friend, could’ve really been a deal breaker.