Clean Up: old basement. The things we find!

There were so many things I found while clearing the corner of the basement that, though I didn’t even get pictures of all of them, I had to give them their own post!

I really, really wonder about some of the stuff I uncovered!

Let’s get started!

My first find, under a box of what appears to be clean laundry, including some of my late father’s clothing (I will save going through it for another day), was something that might actually be useful.

There is a huge plant pot that might be big enough to transplant my umbrella tree into. The only problem is, the tray from the bottom is missing. Still, if it’s bigger than the pot the umbrella tree is in now, it’ll be worth figuring something out.

The 5 gallon buckets are… paint? At least one of them is actually labelled as paint, but I didn’t try to open either of them.

There are quite a lot of plant pots of various sizes that I’m sure will be useful. I would rather store them somewhere else, though.

One of the shelves had a lot of glass jars in it. Mostly mason type jars.

Then there was a jar of mystery liquid.

Thankfully, the lid was labeled.

That reads “poison for tree” (the word poison is a sort of phonetically Polish spelling).

I… really don’t know what to do with this!! Why is there tree poison in a jar in the basement?? Is it poison to kill a tree, or poison to kill what’s damaging a tree? How does one dispose of something like this?

This is a hand plane. I’m hoping to be able to restore it. The blade must be completely dull, and I don’t know if blades for an old planer like this can even be bought anymore! Modern planers are much less cumbersome, and I remember seeing my dad using a newer one. I never saw this one in use. In fact, as far as I can remember, the first time I’ve ever seen this was after we moved back here.

So… this is an odd mix of stuff. A laundry scoop with old nails in it. Car wax. Bug spray. Urine bottle. Several bottles of sun screen, including for babies. A bottle of detergent for swim suits, and some sort of cleaner with the Filter Queen brand name on it. Among other things.

All of which will get disposed of appropriately.

One of the things I was curious to get to was an old, mostly buried, wooden barrel.

Oh, dear.

There was a whole lot of old, old clothing in there. Which got thrown out.

Then I found a frying pan and plastic on the bottom.

The plastic, at least, was salvageable.

The barrel, unfortunately, has a lot of water damage to it. As I moved it around to look at it, two of the bands fell right off! I was able to hammer them back on again, but it doesn’t look like this barrel can be salvaged at all. What a shame!

Finally, I could start emptying the shelves themselves completely.

There were some very odd things in there.

These two stacks of old Polish papers perplex me. They seem to be all from 2001, and there are multiples of the same paper. Why were these kept? Why so many of them? Why are there so many multiples?

No surprise; old cans of paint under there, too!

These are just a few of the things I found carefully wrapped in plastic. Strips of fabric, all rolled up and held in place with elastic bands. Carefully rolled up bale twine (that’s in addition to the balls of twine that were sitting on other shelves). A giant roll of plastic food wrap.

In one carefully tied off bag, I found…

A piece of sponge. Folded in half.

In another, I found a plastic tray with used floral foam in it.

Also, lots of old Sears catalogs and phone books. There were a couple of Eaton’s catalogs, too, one of which was in good enough condition I kept it. I believe there are collectors for such things. Some trays and bins, I didn’t even try to go through. I just moved them out and will go through them when it’s time to put things back again.

In a couple of old buckets, I found glass canning lids. One of them had rubber seals, too – stiff and brittle with age. These were set aside and I will go through them another time. I’ll get rid of any chipped ones. I’ve found more of these in the old kitchen, and at some point, I’ll put them all together, along with all the jars all over the place, and see what can be salvaged or repurposed in some way.

Among the papers, I also found the warranty papers for the old hot water tank! A 20 year warranty, and the original installation information was there. It seems my dad bought it second hand from some nuns. 😀

The installation date was on there, too.


I even found a receipt from 1979 – and my brother remembers the purchase, and the story behind it!

One of the shelves had a whole bunch of empty boxes for various things. I understand why they were kept; if something needed to be returned, of it it broke down while under warranty, they’d be handy. Most of the items they were for aren’t even around anymore! One box, however, wasn’t empty!

How’s that for a collector’s item! 😀

I found this, hidden under stacks of plates and saucers at the top of one shelf.

I think that’s a cross bow bolt! The tip is definitely a hunting tip.

I don’t know anyone in the family who has had a cross bow. Compound bows, yes, but this is too short to be for a compound bow.

Then there was this, in among the old catalogs and phone books.

This is 4 way Bargello, made into a coaster. I made a set of 3 in three different designs, and gave them to my mother. My oldest daughter helped stitch them. She was just a toddler at the time, but had enough motor control to put the needle into the right space in the canvas, so she worked the needle from the top, while I worked it from the bottom.

This was also found among the catalogs and phone books.

I have no idea where my parents got a cigarette case from, nor why. But it looks neat, so I’m keeping it. 😀

Oh, look! Mystery liquid!

For best flavor, refrigerate after opening!

I really don’t want to know what this is.

Now, this was a surprising find.

My mother had a habit of taping labels on things and writing her name on them. The surprise is that it’s labeled with the name of one of my nephews, meaning that it was intended for him. It also has a year written on it.

The year that nephew was born.

Why would my mother label a rusty old pick as something for a grandson that had just been born?

On the shelves near where I found this, there were also a number of laundry sprays and detergent bottles and jugs. I even found laundry powders in a jar. So when I saw another square bucket on a bottom shelf, my thought was that it was a house-brand Costco bucket of laundry soap.

Nope. It was used to carefully store…

… a scrap of old shag carpet.

Carpet we’ve never had in this house. Nor anywhere else that I can think of.

Why??? 😀

The very last thing I had to clear away before I could finally move the shelves was…

… a stack of very old floor tiles.

It had been sitting there for so long, they are sticking to each other, and the plastic bag they were in was almost disintegrating when I tried to clean it away.

As you can see, there was quite a mix of things in there! Some worth keeping, some to be disposed of, and some I really don’t know what to do with!

And this is just one small section of the basements!

We’re going to be finding surprises like this for as long as we’ve got areas to clean up in! 😀

It certainly makes things more interesting!

One last thing I found, and it was after I was all done.

That would be the state of my mask.

It was horribly uncomfortable and hard to breath in, but gosh am I glad to have been wearing it!

Oh, and those orange gloves? I found those in one of the shelves while my brother was working on the drain. He ended up using them after the latex-type gloves he’d brought along kept tearing. These orange gloves were in a metal bin along with a new replacement handle for a hammer, a drum stick (just the one!), a steak knife, and a variety of tools, pliers and rusty old nails.

What a strange mix of things we’re finding, lying about!

The Re-Farmer

3 thoughts on “Clean Up: old basement. The things we find!

  1. Pingback: Clean Up: old part basement. Mopping and scrubbing | The Re-Farmer

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