Sunday, July 27, 2014

Basement Purge: Pt V in a Series of Getting Organized

As my mother used to say after I would complain of hard work, "no rest for the wicked".  Today is Sunday, and I have spent eight hours in my basement, beginning the major purge and reorganization of STUFF.  I keep telling myself it has to get worse before it gets better.

I started my purge in spring with my closet, and wrote about that here. With several blogger friends out there making major moves into new homes, whether temporary or permanent, I was motivated after taking a break, mostly preoccupied with landscape gardening.  It's getting too hot to do much more than deadhead and water plants, so to the basement I went.

The last view of my basement looked like this:
Pre-project appearance, main wall
This is a mix of my personal belongings - china sets, things moved into my present marriage in 2003 (including my two girls' things), and things for resale in our antique mall booth space. The photo below is mostly stuff for resale.
Pre-project appearance, middle of floor
What a mess!

To get this party started, I bought one commercial shelving unit from Sam's in early June. I put it together, thinking I would use it for all of my china, flatware and utensils. That is why the top shelves are smaller, and the lower three are for storing the tubs (three per shelf).
Commercial shelving unit
After hauling everything away from the wall and re-stacking things on the shelves, I quickly found that the items I stored on the unit were not uniform in appearance, and that bugged me.  Also, all the tubs and boxes I hauled into the middle of the floor bugged me, too.  I quickly surmised I needed the tubs for a uniform appearance, and most of the tubs were holding the oldest stuff, from 2003. Project scope creep. So I went on vacation.

Back from vacation, I bought two more shelving units, and put those together yesterday. I have pulled most of the tubs and boxes away from the wall, and I have begun going through EVERYTHING.
Shelving units, purging, reorganization in progress (see how that far left unit is not uniform??)
Today, I emptied nine tubs, which I will ultimately use for uniformity in reorganizing my stuff.  The two shelving units I put together yesterday are better fitting for the tubs, so I may (or may not) reconstruct the first shelving unit to match.  Uniformity.
Nine Tubs Emptied Day 1
I am using the shelving units to lay out all my stuff and help me put like things together.  I also reorganized several tubs and boxes that my girls need to make decisions on (keep or donate), and I have bagged and boxed many donations already.
Donations Day 1
Boy, oh boy, do I have a mess.  Did I say that already? Not only is the wall still a mess, but so is the middle of the floor.
Middle of the floor - the pile keeps getting bigger
And, to make matters worse, there's stuff under the stairs. It is 80% stuff for resale, so it needs to be gone through and reorganized too.
Under the stairs, and then some more.
If you look at that photo above with the three wall units in place, there's also a stack of boxes on the far right that has a my kids' newborn through school days (college included) stuff that needs to be purged.  I think it's time to throw away the macaroni tambourine my daughter made when she was in preschool, don't ya think? 

And the trash I hauled out today was two Hefty lawn size bags of, get this - mostly career-related seminar booklets, graduate school papers and notes, and business attire hosiery (yes, almost half a garbage bag full! Please don't tell me I could use them to store wrapping paper or some other crazy Pinterest idea. They're trash, probably dry-rotted after being retired for nearly eleven years).  It never felt so good to get rid of Teambuilding and Facilitation Workshops, Project Management and Myers-Briggs crap.  I know who I am, and I'm doing fine with managing my projects and facilitating my life and living.

Now, if I can just get Mr. P. to get rid of his four boxes of reference books, then I'll start to believe he's really retiring.  He's also got his dissertation that he did in 1972 (all hand-typed).  I'm hoping to pay Kinko's or some other place to scan and put it on (cd) disk for him.  Speaking of disks, I threw away lots of those 3.5" things - we don't even have a computer with a slot for those anymore. Turbotax 1996 and Lotus, lol. Oh, I almost forgot!  I found $35 - a lot less than minimum wage for the number hours I worked today, but it made me happy.

What a mess!  The project at hand bears repeating my sentiment.  I just hope I can muster the motivation to get this finished by September.  I didn't say beginning or end, and I didn't say what year.  

If you missed my related posts in this organizational series, you can find them quickly at these links:
Getting Organized - Part I of a Series (Paper)
Getting Organized - Part II of a Series (Bath)
Getting Organized - Pt III of a Series (Great Pantry Design)