Saturday, February 15, 2014

Basement Organization, Part 1

Here in New England, we are expecting a big ol' snowstorm for the this long President's Day weekend. Snow is supposed to roll in late this afternoon, and dump 6-10 inches on our area. Since I'm going to be snowed in with my family, I plan to spend some time working on my ongoing Basement Organization Project. As of this writing, I currently have about 2/3 of the basement looking about as clean and organized as it's going to get. Our basement is not at all a "pretty" basement. Our house was built in 1895, with a stone foundation, and a dirt-floor basement. At some point someone dumped some cement onto the floor, but it's patchy and unlevel and looks perpetually filthy. the "walls" are a hodge-podge of stone, plywood and random pieces of scrap paneling that have been pieced together by the various inhabitants of our home over the last 100+ years. The ceilings are low, and it's dark and damp. I guess the reason I am saying this is to let you know not to expect to see the kind of beautiful basements you'll see on Martha Stewart and Pinterest. Our basement is just an old New England basement, nothin' fancy, but it's what we have, so we work with it.

So... with that in mind, here is the left half of my basement, all organized and tidy. I really wish I had thought to take some "before" photos, but because I started this process at least a year ago, I just didn't think there would ever been and "after" worth photographing. The basement was such a mess, it seemed it would never be really tidy. But... I did a few massive purges, and got rid of several trash bags of stuff, along with several boxes that we donated. I then went on to organize what was left into neat plastic bins. I do LOVE me some nice storage bins.

This is my favorite little organized spot: The holiday decorations. I found these bins on Clearance around February a couple of years ago, and bought them right up. I had been paring down our decorations each year for a while now, but when I got these bins, I was determined that I would keep only what fit in these, and the rest would go. Funny thing is, since we've been decorating our tree with all handmade nature ornaments for the last couple of years, we don't even use any of our old ornaments anymore. Those may be purged eventually, too.

Next to the winter holiday stuff, I have some other bins filled with spring and fall decorations, party supplies and mailing supplies. 

Across from the storage bins, we have our tool bench area. This was QUITE a project to get organized, as previously all our tools were tossed willy-nilly into various tool boxes. We could never find anything. It was maddening. Since the pegboards were already there, I decided to sort all the tools by type and hang them up. We now know exactly what we have, and where to find it. All the screws, nails, hooks, etc are sorted into small jars. Larger tools, like drills and such, are in labeled plastic bins, along with electrical supplies and plumbing supplies, stored under the bench.. In the extra space under there, we store our window air conditioners and fans when it's not summer. 

Down at the end is where all of my old paints, easels and art supplies are currently living. When we opened the daycare five years ago, I no longer had space upstairs to paint, so everything ended up in the basement. I am currently making some life changes (more on that in another post!) which will hopefully allow me to find some time to make Art again soon.

In the interest of keeping this post from getting way too long, I will wrap things up here! Sometime next week I will do a post on the Laundry, Food pantry areas of the basement (and maybe a few other areas, as well) But first... tomorrow I will do a quick "Pizza Post"

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