“Clear the Crap!” aka How to organize your basement in 4 days.


Pardon my French there, but it’s way past time for some serious cleaning and organizing in my basement. After moving here 7 years ago and combining households, we did what every couple does who marries later in life. Yep, we brought most of our collective stuff along with us, reasoning: “we might need that” and “we can always get rid of it later.”

Well, later has come and here’s a very small section of my stuff and the photo doesn’t even begin to reveal my husband’s basement areas. I will tell you right now that I don’t enjoy rummaging and am determined to have organization!

DAY 1: First I claimed the sump pump room to be my own 12×12 personal piece of heaven and removed all the items that had taken up residence there and sweeping up debris including spiders. This can take a little or a lot of time, depending on how much you have and your level of disdain for it.

DAY 2: Then, I enlisted my favorite handyman, John Hoover, to build the shelving that I had roughly planned. (Disclaimer: he purchased the materials ahead of time.) Took him one day to install and required very little effort on my part, just cash. If you have a handy family member maybe you could do with less of the green.

DAY 3: After all that was done, it took another full day of “going through” everything and texting photos to my kids to see who wanted what and separating into boxes for them. This was arduous because it requires donating and throwing quite a bit away. It’s difficult at the beginning but gets MUCH easier with each passing hour!

DAY 4: Finally, at last I got to put in everything but the furniture, since the room wasn’t large enough to hold those pieces.

… and Voila! Here is my pride and joy. Perfect? No. But so much nicer to live with that it made the effort and cost totally worthwhile. Here and there I’ve labeled and added more things but it feels completely manageable now, and every time I pass by on my way to the laundry it feels so nice to look in there.

Hope it’s been inspirational for you and I wish you the best with your project!