Our Basement…the Middle of the Mess

My husband, J, and I have been working on improving our basement for awhile, but we never seemed to get anywhere because we didn’t sit down to talk about what we wanted to do with the space.  Not taking the time to think about a goal often leads to frustration when organizing.

However, the little guy will be taking over the current guest room when he arrives in June, so we were forced to think about a plan for the basement.  Now we are in the process of achieving our goal of turning the basement into a welcoming hang-out space that also serves as our home office and guest room.

Here are the steps we’ve taken so far to reach our goal:

New carpet

While not necessarily an organizing step, changing from the industrial, brown-red carpet with no carpet pad to a soft, light brown carpet with a carpet pad brought tears to my eyes…that may have been due to the pregnancy!

Purging items

Because we always had lots of room in the basement, items tended to get put there without much thought.  This is common in the evolution of clutter in one’s home.  Now we are taking the time to think about what we have and need.  The purging was made easier when I found good homes for items.  Extra blankets will be donated to our local homeless shelter (Carpenter’s Shelter in Alexandria), and a laptop from who knows when (it has Windows 1995 and an external 3.5″ disk drive) will be destroyed and recycled at Shred Ace’s drop-off location in Arlington.

Additional shelving

We’ve removed flimsy shelves from the previous owner and installed two walls of elfa shelving from The Container Store.  Now we can avoid just throwing items on top of each other.  This is a great example of how you can improve your organizational situation by making changes so your storage options match your life, not the previous owner’s.

We are in the middle of the process, so the basement is still a mess, but now we have a clear goal and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The next step is to figure out where we will store the remaining items.  Stay tuned!

The middle of the mess

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