Wednesday, April 10, 2013

{Weekend Organizer} What's Hiding under the House Part 1

It's always hard to throw things away or even to give them away, but sometimes it;s necessary to let go in order to maintain your sanity.  My home has been creating a lot of stress and strain for me.  Mostly, due to my mom living with me and having to deal with not only my mess, but her's as well.  She also comes with a lot of baggage - clutter - junk - things she doesn't want to part with and trying to magically find a place to put these items.  This mess seems never ending between her room and the basement, as outside of that the house is pretty empty.  My room I'm sure could be less of some items, but for now it works and I keep it neat 90% of the time.  Mostly, my items are clothes that need to be put away or items from my closet that I'm going to post on poshmark or items for my etsy shop.

Surprisingly, we worked well together and there was very little to no arguing happening.  We took time to sweep once an area was cleared and took some items upstairs to be discarded in the garbage.  

Stuff that is unused, yet kept, requires space and management.
And time.
Lots of time.
Moving it around. Cleaning it. Working around it. Moving it around.
Do I even need to mention the money I've wasted on buying "organizers"
to store this unneeded stuff?

Goodbye House, Hello Home

On the 6th my mom and I headed to the basement to attack the overflowing mounds of clutter.  We didn't by any means get nearly finished with the job, as this will take I believe a few months to actually tame, but we did mean to clear out most of the main floor clutter and set up the new pantry area and made room for the freezer so it can be removed from my backyard deck

I took a few before photos and they're pretty shameful, but here they are:
Here is the view when you come down the stairs and look to the left.  Before we moved a few things around it contained my workbench - it's the large cardboard box on the left - lots of empty boxes to be used for goodwill runs and at some point storing items.

At the back far right - not visible - is our electrical panel so it would be nice to be able to access that as well.  Down the center is a black garage rack that stores our household cleaners, bug sprays and emergency supplies.

Then behind this shelf is my actual storage.  Things like empty DVD cases, electronic empty boxes, summer/winter clothing storage and ice/roller skates and some Christmas storage.  All items I use, but some are more seasonal items.

Behind the AC is a table with kids toys that my mom just had to have thinking she could resell them for a profit, however, several yard sales and Craigslist ads and they are still sitting in my basement.  These NEED to go.  Seriously I have no kids and I'm not planning on it so I'm not sure why she insists on keeping them.

This is the view of that same area above after we made some adjustments.  The upclose can be found at the TOP RIGHT.  We have a few of these black wire shelves that we purchased at Walmart for around $30 and thought they would work well for storing items in the basement, but some of the storage uses just weren't very functional for me.  We had been using one to store our extra food items aka our pantry, but the food didn't sit well on it and some items fell frequently.  So we found another cabinet that I had in my dining room and moved it down there for the food pantry.  So far I like how it looks - shown below - and we took the shelf we were using back to the back wall and are now using it for car cleaning supplies and maintenance items.  

The black wire shelving on the right now stores our household cleaners and emergency supplies.  

I do like so far where the shelves are and they wont be in the way of my workbench when I set that up, plus, I like not having the car oils near the food.  This is a far as we got with this area, and the right side didn't even get touched or under the stairs.  I still plan to find basket organizers to better separate the the cleaners and car supplies so that way the anti-freeze, oil, and engine fluids are separated in labeled bins so it not only looks neater, but will be far easier to find.  I will most likely use dollar store bins for this or see if any of the bins we've emptied will work.    

 This area is actually where we started in our clean out today.   Definitional an improvement and you can now see the window wall to the front of the house :)

This was the straight on view when you walked down the stairs - YIKES I know.  I dreaded coming down to the basement because everything that had been organized was behind new clutter that my mom had brought down from her room. 

On the back wall we had empty household boxes like for comcast and humidifiers that were in use, dog toys, treats, a bin for baby shower gifts, the glass screens for the kitchen window and the back door.  To the right is where we had our pantry storage, but it's not visible due to the brown cabinet that is hiding it.  We used the brown cabinet to store our breakfast items and my moms mixed drink packets.  We had to hide these items from the mice when they were creating a home in our basement.  However, we had the holes sealed up and killed about 10 of them including their babies and since then haven't had any so I think were safe with taking the food out.  I'd rather store appliances and dishware in covered storage so we don't have to wash them every time we want to use the.

Here is the new home for our pantry and the wooden cabinet I had in my dining room.  It works far better to keep the food on, and the solid shelves keeps them from falling down.  The filing cabinet keeps my moms flaxseed in one drawer - yes the whole drawer contains flaxseed + 3 hard containers that are on the pantry shelf that I couldn't fit in there.  The top drawer contains dried fruits and nuts.  The 3 drawer Rubbermaid is filled with teas and tea mixes.  I decided to use the coolers for storage so the yellow one contains extra ziplocs and plastic wrap and the big blue one contains my vitamin waters that are not sealed in a large pack.  Those are just stacked on the floor next to the teas. 

The electical outlets are over here since I had originally planned on putting my workbench where the pantry cabinet is, but it will still workout since the freezer will be moved down here.  The plan is to move it to the right of the pantry since it's hinged on the right and it really shouldn't be next to our HVAC system.  Currently, my dining chairs are to the right of the pantry, but they will be moving to my dining room in the next two weeks once I get the table set back up.  

it's taken me a week or two to clear out the dining room so I could make room for the table as it's pretty big and my dining room is pretty small.   I look forward to the dinner parties I will be having once the table is set up and the kitchen gets better organized on my window wall. 

Now that all that mess is clear out you can finally see the wall that faces the street.  I know it's pretty ugly, but this summer we hope to make some improvement to that by 1) having a professional come in and repoint the brick foundation on the side walls so we can then 2) use Behr paint's version of drylock to seal up all the holes and create a moisture barrier and hopefully keep the basement from being so dusty.  Then once that's all done we plan to 3) vacuum ceiling so that we can then add insulation between the beams, which we hope will help to regular the temperature.  However, before we can do this we have to clear out some of the items we don't need or use so the professional has room to move around.

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