Tuesday, January 13, 2009


As I’ve mentioned before, I store most of my sewing and knitting supplies in the basement, on a couple of sets of rough shelves also occupied by extraneous arts/crafts materials, camping equipment, holiday ornaments, books and random bits of god-knows-what. This area has been in need of attention for some time and got considerably worse as I dug things out and flung them back haphazardly as I worked on my myriad craft projects last month. As much as I’d like to have a room of my own where I can sew, write, do yoga, nap, whatever, with three kids and a two-bedroom house that’s kind of out of the question, so I need to make the space I have work. I determined to get it all organized this weekend, so on Sunday, with fluffy now falling peacefully outside, I faced this:

It took me pretty much all day, and because my method of organizing is like Extreme Free Cell, it got considerably worse before it got better. It didn’t help that after I removed everything off of the shelves and onto the floor and on the bottom few stairs, everyone felt they needed to join in on the action—asking for food, for me to play a game, knocking over stacks of this and that, stomping on patterns as I sorted. C even joined in distractedly wandering among the piles while on the phone, inspecting the skis stored in the rafters overhead—can I tell you how long it’s been since he donned a pair of skis? No, I cannot, because it’s been so long I don’t remember. One of my more interesting (or disturbing/depressing finds): a box of herbs, bot home grown and purchased, from the days when C and I fancied ourselves amateur herbalists, at least ten years old. Did you know that after several years in storage the rubber bulbs on medicine droppers melt into shapeless lumps of black tar? Lovely.

I took a break in the afternoon to shovel the deck and sled with the boys for awhile, but snuck back inside to clear a path before starting dinner. After a few more hours Monday morning, I finally swept up and called it done:

I was worried that my “after” picture would look as bad as my “before” picture, but after scrolling back on the camera I saw that me efforts were not wasted. It doesn’t look like this or this or this or this or this or this, but it is much better. I have a lot to get rid of--bins of cloth diapers and bags of tattered shoes. There is still a big section of shelf that needs to be dealt with—a box of old 3 ½ -inch floppy disks (anyone know how to recycle those?), my entire old tape cassette collection (anyone else have a hard time letting go of those?), and several tubes of posters from my high school and college days, including, if I’m not mistaken, an autographed poster of Greg Louganis and one—not autographed unfortunately—of Johnny Depp from his 21 Jump Street days. If I ever do get my own room, those are so totally going on the walls.


  1. A basement - that would be so cool. You are so good to take on such projects.

    I still listen to my old cassettes in my car - which has a cassette player because it's from 1999 and was cheap then.

  2. I would listen to cassettes in my car--which is from 1990--if the radio worked...instead I listen to various engine/exhaust/snow tire rumblings and/or kids fighting...

    I think a basement just causes you to accumulate more crap you don't need.


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