Thursday, August 2, 2012

Basement Overhaul, Part ??

So I haven't done an organization post in a long time, and I know you all have been sitting around going, "Huh, what's up with Andrea not organizing anything lately? Could it be that she reached her pipe dream goal of getting her house so clean it just stays that way?"

Well, oh-ho-ho, no, my house is not that clean (yet! I haven't given up hope). And while I have been chipping away at the basement in small bursts (or perhaps spurts), such as the "root cellar" room and the Lego corner (I'm not even going to link to the dozen posts in which I talk about reorganizing the basement), a lot remains to be done, due in part to the fact that the process of the Complete Overhaul of the rest of the house resulted in a lot of crap being deposited at the foot of the basement stairs, like this:

I've cleaned and reorganized this corner of the basement at least once before (in blog history), but then I stole the shelving for use in the root cellar room and it got all messy again.

So anyway, this mess has been weighing on my psyche a lot lately, and I wanted to get it all cleaned up before a) our next camping trip (so that we can access the camping supplies) and b) before school starts (so that I can find the stash of school supplies and don't end up buying everything new again). But summer is no time to spend in a dismal basement, is it? So, as a compromise, I promised myself that on the very next rainy weekend, I would clean up the mess. And this past Sunday happened to be rainy, so I had no choice but forge on.

I spent all morning moving and sorting things into piles (kids clothes, craft supplies, kids craft supplies, gift wrap, etc., etc.). Once I had the area all cleared out, I painted the walls a lovely shade of aqua using clay paint, which magically transforms ugly, dirty, damp concrete walls into bright, clean dry walls (and has absolutely no painty smell, just a kind, well clay-like earthy, barely-noticeable-and-gone-once-it's-dry smell). While the paint dried, I drove to Scarborough and bought a cabinet for storing all of my craft supplies and stayed up way too late getting everything in order.

I was tempted to buy two cabinets--one for my stuff, and one for the kids, but I wouldn't have been able to fit two in my car (I barely fit one!).

I did manage to get all of my own supplies inside (or on top) and devoted the bottom shelf to the school supply stash. Overflow of kids' stuff went into the crate next to it and some migrated back upstairs to their cabinet. I still might go back and get a second cabinet, for things like felt and felting supplies, seasonal decorations, gift wrap, etc. 

I was especially happy that all of my yarn fit (I don't have much yarn stash--which is probably a good thing). C was very skeptical that such a small cabinet would make any dent at all in the basement mess, and truth be told, if you could see behind the camera, you would see a lot of crap. But I did take one moderate-sized bag to Goodwill and recycled a ton of paper. I have a couple big bags of clothes waiting to go to little friends. Next up, I'll go through all of the toys and try to get rid of half or more of those, and then dig through boxes of fabric. In the long-run, I'd like to migrate those ugly plywood shelves (on the left-hand side of the top photo--if you dare look again) out to the barage, along with all the camping equipment (everything but sleeping bags should be OK in a garage, right?) and replace it with a nice big hutch. But all of that will have to wait for a rainy weekend.


  1. Strangely torn between admiration for you and despair for me. Posting pictures of my mess(es) might give me a stroke. You are one of the bravest people I know.

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  3. Way to go! I must remember to hinge my next unpleasant task on the weather.


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