All Wet

Halloween Basket I’ve found that there’s usually a good and bad to every situation, an upside and downside. The upside to living in The Little House is that there’s little room in the house for anything but daily essentials. The downside is that there’s little room for anything but daily essentials. That brings me to my next good/bad scenario. Remember those holiday decorations we were crawling and climbing all over the metal building looking for one hot day this summer?

Well, the good news is that I found them. The bad news is that I found them at the bottom of a pile of boxes in the basement of The Belle Writer’s Studio, which wouldn’t be bad at all except that the newly poured basement evidently has some water issues. We had the boxes off of the floor, but they were stacked against the wall, that of course, is leaking.

This means humidity and yes, mold all over my decorations.

First things first, I had to find out if I could get mold off of decorations made of fabric. My neighbor said, “No way,” but I found the remedy online. It seems if you mix one part rubbing alcohol with 1 part water (I used about one cup each), and dampen a cloth or paper towel, you can rub the mold off, wait for it to dry (preferably in the sun) and then take a vacuum cleaner to suck the remainder of the mold spores, it should be good. All of this should be done outside, rather than spreading the mold around inside, and you should try not to get the fabric too damp when cleaning.

Basement Shelving Luckily, the rain has finally stopped for the moment and we’ve had some really beautiful days. The alcohol/water mixture worked on everything but the stuffed decorations, as I couldn’t rub hard enough to remove the mold stains and unfortunately, they had to be tossed. The good news there is that those decorations weren’t of any sentimental value to me. I did save the Halloween basket my mom made some years ago (pictured at the top of this story).

The next order of business was researching and finding the best deal on a dehumidifier, so all of my articles notes and office supplies will be good stored in the basement. We don’t have many shopping options here: Home Depot, Lowe’s, Wal-Mart and a small Sears satellite store where most everything has to be ordered. I found an energy star rated GE at Wal-Mart that holds 50 pints a day for $188 and will be picking the remaining one up at the end of the week.

The good news is that my husband finally got most of the shelves assembled for the basement for storage and we realized we had a water problem before storing out of season clothes down there this year. The bad news is that now I have to finish cleaning everything that was down there, and organizing the shelves, and as you can see, there’s lots to organize.

Basement Mess

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9 Responses

  1. Dehumidifier says:

    Hi, awesome post. I just now found your site and I am already a fan.

  2. Oh, no! That’s one benefit of living in a dry climate. Not so many water-in-the-basement worries.

  3. kerri says:

    You know, Kathy, I get down sometimes, sure. But if a little mold – ok, a lot of mold – on some stuff are the biggest lemons I have to deal with right now, I’m good.
    I’m so lucky to have the people I have in my life – my soul mate, my friends, my 4 legged kids, Campbell Town and the beauty of it here.
    I’m feeling good today!

  4. Kerri, I forgot to mention paint a waterprove base on your walls before you store items away.

  5. Kerri, what problems I have had with mold and mildrew was removed with water and a little bleach. Mildrew on items that can fit in a microwave, dust with soda, then heat up to kill the spores.

  6. MarthaandMe says:

    Thank you for posting the mold solution. I’ve got some things I need to try it on. I’m glad it worked for you! We store all of our decorations in our basement too. We run a dehumidifier down there and we also have an air purifier we run when people are down there.

    • kerri says:

      I remember this happening to Mom’s decorations when I was a kid as she stored them in the basement, which was always a dark, dank, scary place to me. 🙂 Too bad I don’t remember her remedy, but this one works too!

  7. Kathy Winn says:

    Kerri- I’m so glad you were able to salvage and clean the most sentimental of your decorations. You seem to be very good at making lemonade out of life’s little lemons. We’ve had a couple of plumbing incidents in our basement that left us with mold and mess. It is the worst! I will keep the mold removal formula, but hope I never have to use it!