A good deal of progress has been made since the last post on “Yukuzasama”, the name of the folk house as called by the local elderly neighbors. I’ve been working nearly everyday on one project or another, moving forward one step at a time.
The first task, and one of the hardest to this point, was cleaning up the storage space that makes up the second floor. When the roof was replaced, the clay mud and bamboo that was packed under the old tiles was allowed to more or less fall freely to the floor of the second story space. Nobody ever bothered to clean it up after the job was finished. There was A LOT of mud and bamboo EVERYWHERE. The initial method of cleaning was to be broom and dustpan, but so much of the mud had become ultra fine particles that sweeping it turned the enclosed space into a swirling sandstorm of choking, vision-clouding dust.
After a couple days of slow progress, I was fortunate enough to be lent a shop-vac. This made a HUGE difference, as it sucked up all of the fine particles as I cleaned. The work became much more manageable, though even with the vacuum it took me somewhere near two weeks to finish the process of moving, sorting, and vacuuming everything upstairs.
The result of the upstairs cleaning and sorting, as well as some work beginning on the main level, was a massive pile of garbage in the “doma” entryway.
The pile grew and grew until it became nearly impossible to pass through the entry without doing a balancing act over the unstable pile of trash.
Thanks to the help of friends though, we were able to load it and carry it all to the waste center over several trips. The entryway was clear at last! (However the garbage pile eventually re-grew and another few trips were required before the main portion of the cleaning was said and done.)
With some space freed up, my attention turned to some repair and restoration work. My focus to this point has been the entryway and the kitchen, in the hopes of creating a useable space as a base for work on other areas of the house.
The explanation of what I have done to this point is getting really quite detailed and long, so I think at this time it’ll be simplest to just show some before and after pictures of the work. Perhaps sometime later on I’ll come back and detail more of the steps along the way.
Without further ado, here are some photos of progress to this point…
From time to time I look around and think that I’m not making much headway, but when I stop and think back, and look through photos like these, I realize that things have actually come quite far. Much to do still lies ahead, but I am happy with the achievements so far!