My demolition project paused for a weekend of other homemaking activities (ironing, cooking, weeding the front yard, etc.). But today, the cavalry (also known as my mother) came to town, and we got one whole wall dismantled!
We continued our work on the wall dividing the space in two, and continued our efforts onto the wall under the stairs. At times we resorted to knocking holes in the drywall with a hammer (see my hammer holes in a row below), then pulling it apart.
The real hard part was disassembling the wood framing, which we did by any means available (hammers, mallets, pry bars, hard headedness).
But by the end of the day, what had once been two spaces were united as one. (It may be a little hard to see in these pictures, but the bright rectangle in the middle is the open back door (!), the plastic area to the left of the door is the laundry, and the large gray patch is a second wall (?) blocking off the area under the stairs. The silver tube hanging down is the HVAC duct.)
Tomorrow we'll get started on the wall blocking up the front windows. Our trash bag count is 18+.