Monday, July 20, 2009

The Great Cellar Refurb, Part 1

The cellar is small in width, depth, and height (even I at 5' 1" can bang my head on duct work). Strictly speaking it is a tall crawl space. But we have our laundry, freezer, water heater, furnace and storage down there.

In the spring we put in a hanging grow light over a fold-up camping table. Later I built a much shorter table so that we could use a gravity-fed waterer for the plants on it. I got longer chains for the grow light. When we're not growing things on it, it will be a platform for winter storage of vegetables that I built stackable bins for. Now we just needed a unit to put the water on.

Just a week or so ago, a neighbor put out a disassembled shelving unit on the boulevard. It was actually sawed off a hutch unit, but it was all wood. I reassembled it with an additional shelf, all spaced to hold canning jars. I painted the whole thing blue with acrylic enamel we had on hand. My husband found another shelf unit while sorting through our main floor storage room. I put two more shelves in it with everything spaced to hold canning jars. I painted that blue too.

Then we had to rearrange what storage we did have for home preserves to fit the units in. The metal shelf unit by the stairs came out. In its place went the unit from the neighbor. I commenced to moved all of the older preserves into it and put the two kettles I use for water bath processing on the top shelf; they're very handy to get at from the stairs. That freed up space on the bigger shelves along another wall for things that had been on the metal shelf unit, though an old enamel processor went to Freecyle.

We moved the top shelf of the metal unit down and put the unit between the stairs and the grow light table. The gravity fed waterer went on the moved top shelf. Other planting things will go on the other shelves.

The main unit I had built two years ago for home preserves had a decided lean to it. I took everything off, placing it either on top of the washer and dryer or in our wheeled laundry bin. I determined that the lean was due to the lay of the floor (it is rough cement). Rather than having it against the wall, I turned it 90 degrees and found a spot where it was horizontally level. If I put in a board brace to move its top away from the wall (which was not vertically level), then it would be vertically level as well as more stable. My husband found a piece of old paneling in our storage room that just fit the back of the unit. Jars won't fall out and that stabilizes the unit more too. The second new unit went across the end of the older unit to form a T. Everything is accessible.

I sorted the remaining preserves into older and this season's . The older preserves and empty jars went into the second new unit. This season's preserves went into the older unit. Now I don't have to search for the older stuff and I have plenty of empty space for new preserves.

Part 2 will be the wall shelves and the double bank of shelves on the other side of the stairs!

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