A Cleaner Basement







The five shop lights were sold.

The paint cans were sorted. So many of the paint cans that had belonged to the original owners of this house had paint in them that was rock hard. With glee, I threw that paint in the trash. Then, I made a huge pile of the old oil-based paints in colors I will never use, pea soup or aluminum anyone?, to drop off at an upcoming household hazardous Montgomery county collection. Finally, I organized all the remaining paints and painting supplies that I wanted to keep.

The best part is all the toxic paints are no longer in Elly’s reach. Thankfully, she has never been a child to try to drink unknown liquids but it still makes me sleep better at night.

Anything metal that was of no use to me went to my scrap metal gal. In exchange, Elly got 3 bottles of bubbles. It was a fair trade in her eyes.

The bakers rack was moved to the oil room where it now stores all my kitchen gadgets that I use only a few times a year or less. This little move not only cleared out my laundry area where the rack was but it also cleared out the closet under the basement stairs where all my kitchen gadgets had been housed. I am eyeing the empty closet shelves for my craft supplies.

Dan’s tools were for the very first time organized. I didn’t go overboard here because Dan prefers a certain amount of chaos, but I did group all of his tool boxes together and all of his accessories together.

This was a cheap transformation. The only supplies I purchased were a new metal organizer for Dan and a fistful of paint hardener packs to get rid of the old paints that had only dried out halfway.

It took me a full month to clean this space out working just a few minutes here and there.

Thank you to Laura and her 31 day organizational challenge for providing me the motivation and the encouragement to follow through.


Updated with questionnaire: 

1. What space did you decide to organize and why?

2. What steps did you take to ensure you completed the space within the 31 day timeline?
I tried to set aside time each week to tackle another section of the basement. I even dedicated my only child-free time to it. 

3. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and how did you overcome it?
The hardest part was figuring out what to do with all the hazardous materials that we had stashed in the basement, such as the dehumidifiers that had Freon in them, the oil-based paints and the materials used in staining furniture. 

4. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?
Anything metal was given to my local scrap metal lady. Anything hazardous was put in a pile to take to the next county clean-up day. All unwanted latex paint was thrown in the trash. Some items that Dan objected to my donating were sold on eBay. 

5. Tell me one of your proudest moments during this challenge?
Selling the shop lights that had sat in our basement for 8 years. It cleared up so much space. 

6. Explain any organizing “tools” you used to help you create additional space and to establish some limits and boundaries?
I just used the honesty tool. If I hadn’t used the paint or the tool in the past 5 years, I had to be honest with myself and admit that I was never going to use it. 

7. What is ONE piece of organizing advice you’ve learned on this journey that you could encourage someone else with?
Your motto. A lot of organizing can be accomplished in 15 minutes. There is no need to set aside hours to tackle one big project. Tackle the project little by little.