Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My biggest purge yet!

Hello there! Hope you’re having a GREAT week!

I mentioned earlier this week that I’m DONE with the decluttering of the basement…this is huge for me peeps. HUGE. Every year for the past few years, I spend what seems like half the year decrapifying this space.

This time, it only took me a whole year. :)

For reals. Seriously. A YEAR.

One thing I have learned on my decrapification journey is that ridding your home of STUFF is not something you can do just once every twelve months. At least in our house – it’s a constant process.

Now our home is a bit different than most. I mean, I tend to gather stuff faster than the average person. It’s the nature of my “job” – being a home decor blogger. Add to that a thrifty home decor blogger, and it just spells T.R.O.U.B.L.E.

It physically pains a thrifty blogger to leave that perfect such-and-such or so-and-so at their local Goodwill because if I see it, leave it and walk out without it, OHDEARLORDIMIGHTNEEDIT!!!

Like, tomorrow! Or next week. Or next year?

Or something like that. :)

Sheesh. It is intense people.

But over the past year, I was increasingly over the STUFF. I wanted our house back. I wanted empty shelves back. And I was tired of seeing wasted money sitting around.

I got really intense with it late last summer when my father-in-law passed away. As we went through his house (for weeks), I found my tolerance for our unused, unappreciated stuff was less and less.

I decided then that I only wanted items in our house that 1.) we found useful (and currently USED) 2.) were meaningful to us or 3.) we loved (things that were passed down, or that we truly enjoyed). 

If it didn’t meet one of these three, it was gone. Our biggest problem area has always been our basement. It’s just a prime landing spot for junk, obviously.

I’m happy to announce I have gone through and organized every. little. bitty. thing in the space now. It’s done.

I started with my craft area back in January:

This spot holds extra pantry and entertaining items, tools, craft supplies, electronics and my stash of decor stuff. Those plastic shelves are awesome! I think they run about $20 each and really hold up great.

The area to the left of my craft room will be our future movie viewing spot:

unfinished basement

Hubs envisions a very large flat screen on that long wall. I see some gorgeous built ins.  ;)

We used to have a massive weight system in that space:

And it had turned into a perch for STUFF. We never, ever used it. EVER. For months and years, we kept it, thinking we’d use it again.

We didn’t. :)

(In our defense, there were a few problems that needed to be fixed. We kept saying we’d fix them. We didn’t.)

And then I decided it didn’t meet our criteria – so it was GONE. I called a company to see how much they’d charge to take it down, and it was $250. PuSHAW. I figured I could totally do that myself – so I did.

I spent a few days with a socket wrench and took that baby down. It felt SO GOOD.

We didn’t use it, didn’t love it, so why keep it? Yes, I know it was an investment at one time. But I’d rather it go to someone who would use it, rather than sitting in our basement, acting as a coat rack.

Over the last few months, I’ve moved the majority of the Bub’s toys down to this space:

His DIY train tables are a perfect play surface and there’s plenty of floor space (covered with a carpet remnant). It’s so nice to have a spot dedicated to the toys!

The plastic shelves make an appearance in this area too:

plastic shelving

We keep the kitty litter in the spot behind these (under the stairs), so to keep that area as separate as possible, I stapled some cheap muslin up on the studs behind the shelves.

I also hot glued a fun polka-dot fabric to the backs of the shelves:

It helps to keep the toys put and it’s just a dash of cute. :)

We already have some great lighting in the basement, but there’s a few spots that need a little extra. I’ve found these plug-in lights at most hardware stores:


They ROCK. Ours hold up to a 150 watt bulb. It’s fantastic for extra light! (They run about $7 each.)

One of my favorite changes in our basement is hubby’s office. It used to look like this:

Actually, it usually looked like a pit of despair. The floor was always covered with fake snow, ornaments, fall leaves and Easter basket filler. :)

Both walls were filled with storage bins, and eventually I realized it was a waste of great space. After MUCH purging, I moved them to the end of the basement instead:

I’m hoping to get some fantabulous shelving to organize these even more. It is ridiculous that shelving makes me so giddy. :)

Now that former bin-filled space is hubby’s office:

It’s actually a really cozy space! As cozy as cement walls and floors can be anyway. I like to think of it as loft-like. ;) Hubs writes music, so he LOVES this spot. It’s far enough away so that he doesn’t bother us with the music and we don’t bother him.

When I said I went through every little thing in this space, I’m not kidding. I can’t even believe how many paint cans we had:


Even though I had purged the holiday stuff last Christmas, I still had a pile of STUFF that I hadn’t organized:


My tower of junk had fallen, so it gives a little extra drama to the madness. ;)

And I even went through each and every CD and floppy disk from up to ten years ago:

I spent hours at the computer going through files. I was determined to get it ALL done.

I took the last of the purge upstairs over the weekend and I was SO HAPPY when I saw the amount of storage stuff I didn’t need anymore:

Over the past year, I kept count of the large storage bins I’ve sold or given away. It was right at 17. Seventeen big bins – and I didn’t keep ONE. That doesn’t even count all of the baskets, small bins, shelves…whatever. All of them are gone!

I didn’t want the temptation.

From now on, if I can’t fit an item the storage we have, then something has to go. My hope is to never buy another storage bin again…forever and ever AMEN.


I snapped that picture above and texted my girlfriends to come and get free storage stuff…and even after one showed up and took a bunch of them, I still ended up finding more to add to the pile:

And then more:

I was on a roll. :) I gave a bunch to friends, and the rest was donated or taken to consignment.

Obviously, we still have lots of things. I like things. Pretty things, shiny things, thrifty things. I’m just not going to let them take over our home anymore.

So now, our foyer looks like this again:

It’s the first time in months I haven’t had a Goodwill pile by the front door. It feels good. :)

And our problem area, the spot where STUFF went to die…is now organized and ready for the (hopefully this year, crossing my fingers, pretty pretty please!) finished basement: basement play area

Whew. Just…WHEW. It nearly beat me people. But I overcame the clutter. :) Now…if I can just keep it in check!

So that’s the tale of my biggest decrapification yet. It didn’t happen over a weekend. Or a month…or even a few months. But it happened. And that’s all that mattered.

WHOO!! :)

Now…onto more decorating and DIY! (Double whoo!)


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