Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Basement, Oh The Basement!

The Uncluttered course is now complete. I've a few posts left to write to wrap up my experience. In short, it was a wonderful experience and I am thankful I did it. The next round is Sept 5th. I'll have a discount code for you around the end of August! I plan to take it again, (hopefully, with my mom).

But first --my crowning achievement-- the basement!

As the weeks went by, the basement just got better and better. No matter what area upstairs we were focusing on in the course, I would come down here and work. Things which had survived many past purges got taken upstairs and taken away. I am absolutely thrilled.

I started my decluttering for the course down here. And that means pictures! Before and afters! My favourite.

The view from the bottom of the stairs looking at the back wall:

From left to right: The white shelf unit held home decor items and the last of the homeschooling books. I donated them to a lovely woman who had lost a lifetime of homeschooling books and supplies in a devastating house fire last year.

With some space freed up, I put a few dishes down here from the kitchen clear out to see if we can live without them.

Those blankets are protecting our new windows for the bedrooms upstairs. We will save some money by staining, varnishing and installing them ourselves.

The pine dresser and the black shelving unit hold various scrapbooking supplies.

There's my exercise ball and underneath it, my 12"/1" miniature townhouse. I am not sure whether I will ever finish it.

To the right, out of frame is my husband's workshop. I don't touch it--or photograph it. That's totally his domain! But I am happy to say it is in relatively good shape.

To the left is the Wall o' Shelves.

Some cubbies I decluttered, others I left alone. I went through the bins of fabric and home decor. I didn't touch the memorabilia. I also left the photos alone: but I have a project in mind that once I'm done will see more than half --and dare I hope? 75%-- of those photo boxes gone.

I would like to pare down our luggage, too, but I doubt my husband would agree.

(No, the table is not longer. I turned it lengthwise to make more room for our bags of recycling (blue) and bottles and cans (clear).)

Turn left again and you're in the "game room." I did ask the boy whether we could get rid of this TV (and some of the Lego pieces) but he said, "no," even though the Xbox is now upstairs (and very infrequently played. Still, he and his father still enjoy a game from time to time.)

I made room for this piano. It's well-traveled! It belongs to my Mom. We borrowed it for years and it had pride of place in the living room while the kids took lessons. When the lessons were finished, we returned it to my Mom. A few months ago, we took it back when Emma said she wanted it in her room. No sooner did we haul it over and all the way upstairs when she declared it "too big" (it was) and she wanted it out. I doubt anyone will ever play it again but Mom is not ready to let it go (and be useful to someone else) so I'll store it here for a while.

Isn't that cozy? The picture over the piano used to be in the living room. It is one of the first things Chris and I ever bought together. I'm glad it is on disply again. That's the flooring leftover from the bathroom. We had to buy an an ginormous piece of it. 

Going through some art I had stored on top of the wall o' shelves, I came across a few pieces Ben had done when he was around four or five. I'd gone to the trouble to frame them way back when, so I decided to hang them in here with a few other pieces I found. After all, if we were going to keep it, we may as well enjoy it!

I am still struggling to put into words the uniqueness--or the difference, if you will--between this decluttering program and others I've participated in. As I went through my buckets and bins and shelves the interior monologue was something like this: "Am I using this stuff? No? Why hang on to it then? Could someone else get value from it?" And I think the difference I am seeking is right there in that last sentence. There was a whole lot of awareness for me of other people and how they may be blessed with my things. Decluttering became this huge act of giving. And so it was easy --and fun!

And then there's the laundry room:

and look at that: stuff in the donation station! I'll take that out Tuesday. I wonder if I can scrounge some more to go with it? I bet I can!

Aaaaaand, last but not least, the area beside the stairs: the painting supplies.

aaah, that's so much better!

Of course, I am under no delusion that this is it, that for once and for all, the basement is done! No. Things change. And when they do, stuff comes down here to die. So, it will get cluttered up again, I suspect. But you bet I will enjoy all this space as long as I can!


t said...

Yes, it is so much easier to give when you know someone can use what you are giving! How wonderful you found someone to give your homeschooling supplies.

I plan to work on my basement when I am off from work soon. My basement is like yours - nothing fancy, but utilitarian - shelves, tools, pantry area, laundry area. I see those tiny laundry 'closets' or gorgeous rooms, and I prefer an area where I don't feel like it has to be clean at all times - I can leave something to soak, drip, or get to it when I have time.

Keep up the good work and I am anxious to hear if your bathroom project is finished up.

Alana in Canada said...

I am just reading "Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD" by Susan Pinsky and she recommends that you don't finish the entire basement--that you need some "rough" storage areas where you don't have to make everything pretty. I have actually been grateful at times that we can't really finish the basement (ceiling is too low for code and the entire floor would need to be jack hammered out and replaced).

I am still working on the mirror for the bathroom. We keep running into little glitches which need time to think through them.

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