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I've spent a lot of time in my basement at various points over recent years. I've organized our food storage area, and organized our homeschool supplies. The project I'm sharing today has been, oh, just a little bigger. Take a look.
Yeah. Not fun. With five guys and little ol' me in the house, things tend to just "get put" instead of getting put away. A place for everything... is my desire, but it tends to slip away when there are so many other things to do.
In the above photo, the cabinets along the left side of the above image are our homeschool supplies (foreground left) and our food storage area (background left). However, as you can see, our food storage has expanded. That table-looking thing toward the back is just that--a train table, to be more precise. It has sat for several years, half-finished with an HO-scale model train track layout. The gray wall comprises temporary cubicle walls you would find in an office building. Fernando "rescued" the walls from his employer's dumpster, and they hide our furnace and "guts" of the house. Fernando also has cabinets on the right of the image just beyond what you can see. I have canning jars, bags and bags of bulk grains/etc., clothing, some toys... Enough said. The rest of the basement is more easily navigable, so this little 11x12 space is the focus of this major summer project.
I started with two large boxes of plastic food storage containers: time to sort through those, with a pile to be sold, a pile to keep, and a pile for Goodwill/giveaway. I cleaned off the small metal shelves (with the two canning pots on top--one went because I had three!!), and I organized the plastic food storage "keepers" on the bottom shelf. Then I placed my empty canning jars in Starkist tuna boxes (love those boxes from Costco!) on the next two shelves. One canning pot and our school microscope found locations on the top shelf, completing the space.
Buckets of bulk foods were moved in front of the de-cluttered/cleaned/organized shelves to make room to tackle the rest of the room, below (my "kind-of after" photo):
The photo above looks better than the "in-progress" photos you will see below--once everything gets pulled out, it is an even bigger mess. Below is the progression of cleaning that we tackled. We had to deal with clothing, trains, toys, metal two-shelf units, plastic storage boxes, and miscellaneous STUFF.
The guys tipped the train table on its side and wedged it between ceiling joists. This is a temporary solution, as we hope to find a home for it, in someone else's home, of course! Anyone love model trains?
The "sort-of-final" after photo for this portion of the work:
The guys also spent part of the previous weekend cleaning out the garage, and the result of these two major projects was a lot of stuff at the curb. I'm happy to report that several items--a door and a window included--were picked up by scrap metal collectors. The blue bins were overflowing with recycling, and there were 6-7 bags of garbage. We did't feel too bad about the amount of garbage, since our family of six normally has just one small kitchen bag of garbage at the curb each week.
I am also working on cataloging every item pertaining to model trains, since we have a potential buyer and he wants to see EACH PIECE. That's a "camera and staging" project I'm not looking forward to, but it has to be done. Also, I have four large boxes of stuff to document with a typewritten chart and photos before taking them all over to Goodwill (across the street, fortunately!). Then, some time soon, we'll be tackling the rest of the basement.
De-cluttering -- cleaning -- organizing -- simplifying. I'm daunted by the work, but I feel the mental load of STUFF being slowly lifted.
Back to life,
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