My post on Friday marked 400 posts! I’m still so grateful every day that I decided to start this blog and business, and it just gets more fun all the time! Thanks to all of you for making it possible.
This particular post won’t be one of those fabulous-idea-cute-tags-and-labels-and-great-photography sort of posts. Today I’m simply sharing progress on my attempt to simplify, declutter and save time in the long run by cleaning out the basement. I think you’ll get one of two things from this post: First, you might think, “WOW. She’s an “organized” person but she’s as much of a mess as I am.” And you would be correct. I am a mess. 😉 Being organized doesn’t equate to having a perfectly clean and organized house all the time (at least not for me). Rather, I think it means having the ideas and motivation to create solutions for the problem areas. Second, hopefully this post will motivate you to look at a particularly messy space in your house and lead you to purge, declutter and organize, too!
Soooooo…I continued on the “purging and decluttering of 2014” this weekend. I’ve made a LOT of progress and gotten rid of a LOT of stuff, but there are still at least a few hours of work to be done. (I’m probably waaaaayyyy underestimating that, but I’ve been amazed how much I can accomplish when I know I just have a few hours and am really motivated to use them to their fullest.)
I have a couple piles upstairs now (migrated from the basement), but they are items that are either a) marked sold and just awaiting pick-up or b) are for sale and will be taken to Goodwill in a few days if they don’t. Those things are NOT going back downstairs! Based on the items that have sold or that are spoken for, I have made $150 so far! Though I was unhappy about a cold and rainy (and eventually snowy) day yesterday, it worked to my advantage on the Facebook garage sale page! I assumed people didn’t have much to do but sit around and shop on Facebook (oh to have that problem!) because items were selling as fast as I could list them! I’ve got more to sell and am sure I’ll come across more as I get to the rest of the basement. What doesn’t sell (or isn’t worth listing) is going to Goodwill (or the trash), and I’ve already taken four boxes to donate and have two more in the car to go today!
Here are some before pictures of part of the basement from my iPhone…
This is the toy storage area (and incidentally our tornado shelter spot…now tell me how that was going to work!). Off to the right is a closet with shelves for the toy bins, but when I swap toys I have a bad habit of just dropping the ones that need put away (usually because I have daycare kids upstairs and can’t really spend oodles of time putting things away). Usually it’s not this bad (well, maybe it is), but this is generally the issue in the entire basement. I clean up and organize, and within weeks or a couple months it becomes a drop-zone again. (Enter “purging and decluttering of 2014”.)
This is the toy storage closet I was referring to, which also houses rarely used party supplies, serving items and larger kitchen appliances.
Embarrassing. What. A. Mess.
This is at the bottom of the stairs as you round the corner to the laundry area. (Most of the basement is unfinished and as you can see…and as I’ve said before…becomes a drop-zone.) We had to move this red chair/chaise downstairs to make room for baby stuff (Mya’s coming to daycare soon!) And that’s why there is also an exersaucer sitting at the bottom of the stairs. I recently purchased it, and until the basement was cleaned up, there was no where else to put it! This area was also the gathering place for items to sell and donate.
Further back that direction (the laundry is behind you in this pic), more garage sale stuff. Way in the back are my holiday and other storage bins, and another chair that I can’t use right now but can’t part with. 😉
I didn’t get a true “before” of this storage shelf. I keep extra Tupperware and other storage/organizational items here (baskets, drawer dividers, etc.). That empty shelf was covered in baskets which I sold! They were ones that hadn’t been used in years so I decided it was time. The rest are sticking around for now because I do use them often for all sorts of things.
Now for the progress…
The shelf still needs worked on (and not sure where those two smaller boxes came from #husbanddidit), but the floor is clear! I put the toys away, and was able to get all the toy bins in the storage closet (usually there’s one out). To the left of this area, under our stairs, I cleared out some things as well. The bottled water that was sitting here was able to be moved to the shelves in the laundry room in my “Costco stockpile” since I had cleared some things from those shelves. The blue bin that’s still there is our tornado kit. And now we can sit down here for a tornado again! 😉
The bins were already labeled, though I need to go and add a couple labels to bins that didn’t have any. Everything is neatly stacked again, and it just looks a little nicer overall.
My bestie wanted some of my serving trays that I was going to get rid of, so that cleared up quite a bit of space. Anything that I thought I wouldn’t use or didn’t need went away, and I put the rest back a little more nicely than it was before.
I repurposed these Sterilite containers that were in the “maybe sell” pile to corral decorative items (glass stones and LED tealights) and parts to Brad’s deer jerky making supplies. The middle one holds cookie cutters. These will get labels soon.
The big roaster and Easy Bake Oven are still here…not much change on that side of the shelf. The shelf below now has a bin with the infant supplies I’m hanging onto. (It sits to the left of my entertaining supplies.)
Now for the other part of the basement…
This is at the bottom of the stairs. Floor clear!!! The chair might eventually get moved around the corner but I haven’t gotten that far.
I moved the green and white chair away from my holiday bins so that I can access them, and slid the matching ottoman right next to it. Next to that are those under-bed boxes that have old tax documents, old planners, some photos, and some of Brad’s things. I need to go through these yet and see if there’s a better system.
That box towards the front of the photo is Brad’s to go through, and the dog food will be dumped into the plastic dog food container upstairs very soon. 😉
I had a couple holiday bins to return to their appropriate location, and there were some winter clothes that needed put in the “off-season clothes” bins. I put the exersaucer on the chair for now (wanted the floor clear).
I emptied another bin (can’t see it in the photo) and this floor is clear as well except for the larger daycare toys (strollers and shopping cart, etc.). That pile to the left is all Brad’s. (Still working on getting him to toss but we’re coming along slowly.)
The next big space to tackle (probably tonight’s project) is in the “craft room”…
I think I have my work cut out for me!