Wednesday, January 12, 2011

But first, we declutter

Hey all! WHEW – I have been working my tail off on our basement over the past week. It’s been exhausting, liberating and a little disturbing all in one. :)

Every single year in January, I start a massive decrapification of our house. I go room by room, putting all the STUFF I’m not sure about in the basement. And then after I’m done with every. single. room…I start on the basement.

That’s usually around August, just in time for the fall decor bins to start creeping out. And then the holiday mess in the basement begins…mixed in with the rest of the stuff from the house.

It’s a recipe for an absolute disaster. I feel like I’m working on cleaning out the basement constantly, all year long…because I am. Gah. What’s that definition of insanity again?

I finally realized a solution this year – first of all, I need to start with the basement. Then I’ll have a spot for the STUFF from the rest of the house. And if I don’t have a spot, I’ll know it’s gotta go. Which brings me to my next revelation – we have way, way, way too much stuff.

I know, I say that a lot, and I get rid of a lot every month…every year. But as I get older, my tolerance for stuff is getting less and less. I just don’t want anything that’s not meaningful, pretty, or useful in our home. If it’s not one of those things to us, it’s OUTTA HERE.

Buh bye. Don’t let the door hit you in the patoot.

So, with all of that in mind, I started with the basement last week. The befores are not pretty. Prepare yourself.

My craft “room” started like this last week (excuse the poor iPhone pics):

It’s like this half of the year, and did I mention I’m SO OVER IT?

I ask you, who can craft in this?:


Holy cats, it’s giving me hives just looking at the pictures. Did I mention I was over. it? This is the very last time I will have to do this – mark my words.

It helps to have thousands of people mark your words. ;)

I’ll give you a little tour of the space first, because I’m just so darn proud of it! First, the wrapping shelves, which were filled before:

I keep a TON of gift bags – so I went through all of them and tossed (or donated) any that weren’t in great shape, or that I just didn’t like. If I wouldn’t have picked it out myself, it was gone.

Why? Because otherwise I knew it would continue to sit there for YEARS (like some of them had). And I was over. it.

I also had so many little random gift boxes – boxes I’ve kept for probably 10 years now. Seriously…OH EM GEE. Will it kill me to get a box from the dollar store if I need one?

Ridiculous. You can’t see in that picture above, but the bottom two shelves are now pretty much empty. It is a glorious thing.


Next up is my crafty stuff. This area was more reorganizing than purging:

I separated everything into categories -- wood crafts, random crafty stuff, paint, ribbon, contact paper/wallpaper and a big bin at the bottom that holds all holiday crafts.

By the way, do you see that empty spot on the shelf? Gleeeee!

My decorative stuff is next:

This was a HUGE purge – and it wasn’t easy. I had to pry a few things out of my own hands. I held each piece in my hand and asked myself – have I used it lately? Do I love it? How much would it cost to replace? Do I love it?

Do I really, really, I’m-not-even-kidding, this-is-insane, REALLY love it? If not, gone.

(I still think I kept too many candles, but you should have seen what I had before.)

On a quick side note – I’ve used these plastic shelves for years and luuurve em! They hold a ton of weight, it takes about five minutes to put them together, and they’re cheap! I’ve gotten them from both Target and Lowe’s.

I like to install the shelves backwards for decorative stuff, so there’s a little lip at the front edge:

It keeps things from sliding off. :)

I was determined to only use what I had to organize everything, so a lot of the stuff is in random baskets:

Looks like a farmer’s market, eh? ;)

It’s hard for me to part with lamps. They’re not cheap and they’re so easy to redo -- but they take up so much space. I moved them up to the top so they are out of the way:

Next up – the tools (happy sigh):

I’ll tell you right now – I don’t purge tools. :) Tools (usually) aren’t cheap, and if I buy something – I know I’ll use it. It stays.

Back away from the tools peeps!

I keep the major power tools in the garage, but the smaller ones I keep in small bins down here:

  tool storage

I’ve had them organized like this for years and it works great (for me!). I can’t do a big toolbox – the organizer in me needs separation and labels. ;)

The last set of shelves is one I’m pretty excited about. First of all, because it’s half empty:

Secondly, because I decided I want a mini-pantry of sorts down there. Not for food, but for entertaining pieces, party supplies, surplus paper products – all that stuff that I don’t have room for upstairs.

LOVE!! :)

(YES, you can see adult diapers sticking out of one bin, and NO they are not for us. :) We use them as piddle pads for pee cat. Long, long, story.)

Many of you have seen my craft table:

The table is really a large, (nasty), metal folding table. I covered the top in fabric and then hot glued a “skirt” around it (with cheap muslin). Talk about a transformation! It’s so dang cute, I can’t even stand it!!

My life is complete with colorful supplies, a picture of my baby Bub, a coaster for my hot chocolate and my silicon hot pad that I rest the hot glue gun on:


I found a spice organizer at Goodwill forever ago and knew it would be perfect for the glitter:

I hung it up on the pole next to my table and it’s just perfect!

My craft room -- purged, organized and with EMPTY space:

I feel about 150 pounds lighter. :)

I like decluttering and it was still a monster. But I’m SO glad I got this done, and in January? I’m ready to tackle the rest of the house!

Maybe next week. ;)

Let’s take a look at the before and after again, shall we? Cause it’s pretty fantastic!!:

disaster areaorganized craft room

It took four days of working down there every free minute. But it was so worth it – I’m just not doing it ever. again. Did I mention that? ;)

Sooo…what are YOU working on? Spill it! It can’t be as bad as my before. Really.

P.S. Anything I don’t want the Bub to get to it placed up on the higher shelves. He doesn’t get into any of my stuff anyway. Yes, he’s that good. :)

P.P.S. I’m taking some of stuff to Goodwill, some to the consignment shop. That’s my standard after-purge protocol.


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