We all have excuses for keeping too much stuff in our home. My excuses fall into the we're newly married and trying to combine households, I work a lot and (the best) out of sight, out of mind categories. When I first moved in, we unpacked what we needed and dumped everything else in the basement. We had enough going on trying to get our *functional* rooms organized. Our downstairs is simply an unfinished cave that houses our TV and washer/dryer. Since no one but us ever goes down there, it's not a priority. But, in reality, we aren't really newlyweds anymore (sad!) and as I mentioned on Monday I'm ready to let go of excuses and get back on track.
We started with the basement. It's the scariest. And don't you think it's empowering to get through the task you're dreading the most?
Here's what we started with. Looks innocent enough, right? The bookshelf/books in the bottom left corner actually live upstairs. They'll go back up this weekend when I (finally!) take down our Christmas tree. So that leaves us with what ... just folding the blanket and call it good? Right. Let's take a closer look.
The couch is actually hiding all the madness. I can't even believe I'm posting this on the internet. Such a mess! And, actually there's more.
This is the entire downstairs. The two far left pictures (top and bottom) showcase our *coat* closet. This houses seriously lacks closet space. You all notice the shoe collection and hundreds of boxes. For what? Who knows. The bottom right photo was the view when you walk downstairs. The big object in the picture that everything is stacked on is actually a shelves we bought this summer. That's how long we've been *meaning* to do this. All in all, clutter-ific!
So the day after Christmas (I wasn't wasting any time!), I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. First I emptied and went through every box. I was ruthless about what I didn't want/need, consolidated boxes and better organized what I wanted to keep. At the end of the day I had a huge Goodwill pile, a huge garbage pile and a nice manageable pile of what to keep. I put up the original shelving unit and it was quickly clear that one wouldn't cut it. The next day, Chris and I made a list and headed off to Target/Home Depot where we picked up more shelves and tupperwear containers. Then we came home, threw more away and made a huge trip to Goodwill.
And the end result. So amazing. We're in awe every time we walk downstairs. There's actually ... space.
The view walking downstairs. Better. So much better. All that's left is for an upcoming back entry project. So, for now it stays.
The miracle of a shoe organizer. All the bikes are hung and all the bigger gadgets placed in the space below.
And the main area (remember, the books are actually heading back up stairs!). Sure you can see it all now. But friends, we can find things! And everything has a place! And it's organized! Seriously, I can actually breath easier when I'm down here. I know longer feel my belongings closing in on me.
See all the trim on the right? We scored a bunch of free salvaged trim that is perfect for our upstairs. Here's to hoping we can trim out our rooms this year!
Check out all the floor space behind the couch.
Before we even met, Chris and I both had a habit of buying awesome, inexpensive frames when we found them at garage sales or thrift stores. This was before IKEA came to Portland and frames are so expensive! If you follow my twitter feed, you'd know that I counted our *collection*. After I cleaned (some went to Goodwill) we still had 45 frames. FORTY-FIVE. You guys, we have a gallery wall in our living room that we didn't purchase one single frame for, and we still have 45! Clearly, we have a sickness.
So that's all for the basement. I keep thinking it isn't *pretty* enough. But then I look at the basement itself. Not. Pretty. I have no vision for bringing beautiful storage into an unfinished space, and I actually think it wouldn't fit in. At some point we'll finish out the basement (which will add a bedroom and a bath to the house!), and when that happens, in line with using what we have, we plan to move the shelves to the garage and beautify our storage.
More cleaning will commence for me this weekend. Next up is the kitchen. How is all your cleaning going? What's been your most worth it cleaning/organizing effort?