Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Basement Organization Part 1 - So Embarrased

Do you have a room where you "hide" all the things you don't have time to put away before guests arrive?  You know - a spare room or closet where you can toss a few things and close the door.  No one is the wiser.  We have a room like that.  It's called the basement.  Don't have a place for something?  Send it to the basement.  Goodwill items?  Send them to the basement.  Guests coming over in 10 minutes?  Send everything in plain sight to the basement!

Well, after almost seven years of sending things to the basement we decided maybe we should tidy up a bit.  Umm, that's an understatement.  When I almost slipped on hangers lying on the basement floor last week, I decided it was time.  Not time to "organize."  We've done that before.  Not time for a yard sale.  Done that, too.  No, it was time to clean it out!  Really.  EVERYTHING was coming out.

It looked like an episode from hoarders.  We are so embarrassed as we look back at the before pictures.

Looking in from the door.
Looking out.  Oh my!!
How did it get this way?  My husband and I talked about that.  A lot.  It really comes down to an ineffective organization system.  The things we use the most were on shelves in the back of the basement.  When we were done using things like suitcases or yard tools, we just dropped them inside the door.  We didn't have the time or energy to walk them to the back of the basement to put them away.

So we came up with a plan of attack.

1.  We would take EVERYTHING out of the basement and put it on the back lawn.
2.  We would clean the basement (vacuum and dust).  It's an unfinished space so there wasn't a whole lot we could do in this department.
3.  We would put our heads together and draw a floor plan of how we would like things to be organized.
4.  We would start putting things away (this was going to be the biggest job!). We wanted to go through things and thin them out.  Keep what we wanted.  Send the rest to Goodwill or the trash.
5.  Once everything was put away, we wanted to go through everything one more time to see if we could thin it even more.  Why this step?  We knew that we would run out of time and that we would not be able to clean things out as thoroughly as we wanted.

A few other goals:  Nothing would be stored on the floor (all would be on a shelf) and we would store as much as possible in labeled storage bins.

Well, last weekend we tackled this HUGE project. Here is a picture of our lawn.  Oh my!  You should have seen the neighbors faces.  So embarrasing.

We made it through steps 1-3 (and partially 4).  We went to Goodwill twice and the dump once.  Over the next few weeks we plan on finishing step 4 (we still have four boxes to go) and we plan on tackling step 5.  I'll talk more steps 4 and 5 in my next basement post.  Plus, I plan to show after pictures and discuss our new organization system!  Stay tuned.  We will redeem ourselves!


  1. What a woman! It takes some real will power to tackle this kind of load, but you DID IT! You should only be embarrassed if you were still in the before and not moving on! Right? Can't wait to see that painted head board

    1. Thanks Melissa! It was quite overwhelming! Once we got to work we were both so motivated. Our kids were troopers, too!


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