Before and After Pics of My (not quite done) Decluttered Basement

msmariehFebruary 7, 2011

Hi All!

My February project is to work on decluttering and organizing my basement. It's unfinished, so neither the before nor the after pictures are especially pretty, but I've made so much progress I thought I would share with you all.

I was able to start early because I finished my home office January project early. So since Jan. 21, I have spent about 18 hours down there (I tried to get in at least an hour a day).

I've still got a little more to do, but it's way better than it was. :)

Once I get it all done I'm planning to take some more pictures, especially after I add a few decorating touches to make it a little more homey.

Here is a link that might be useful: Before and After Pics of My Decluttered Basement

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You certainly have accomplished a lot. I love the shelving units you have. good work!!!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 11:00AM
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Looks nice! I bet it feels good to have made that progress.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 11:19AM
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Boy, does it!!! This is definitely one of those projects I have been planning to get to for YEARS!!! :) I'm so glad to have it done and now hubby and I can start using the basement a LOT more. :)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 12:56PM
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Congratulations! You hard work is showing, and will be my inspiration as my basement is too scary to venture into. I only hope mine looks as good as yours once I decide to tackle it. Thanks for sharing this. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of your pictures.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 1:06PM
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That's really impressive!
(did you toss a buncho f stuff, or mostly just move it around?)

And your success is proof positive of one of my important theories: INFRASTRUCTURE!!

We need infrastructure in order to organize.
It's not an accident that the first words of that old saw "A place for everything, and everything in its place" are:


    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 10:46PM
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Casey 3170, aka Carrie (in another - resurrected - post) posting above.

(The link is helpful though for anyone who does need and want a storage unit to estimate the size needed)


    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 2:10AM
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I'm sorry Carrie, I got mixed up - and the rack you posted in the other thread is beautiful! Hope someone builds it for you.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 2:14AM
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It is kind of annoying how ivillage adds the hyperlinks to our text with advertising... Easy to think someone is a spammer when they might not be.

Here's some updated final pictures showing the full basement with a "walkaround" of each corner:

I still need to do some work on my craft area, but basically otherwise, the basement decluttering and organizing is DONE!!! Waaaa hoooo!!!!

One of my future projects will be making it look a little more homey, by adding an area rug to my craft area and adding a LARGE exercise mat under that area. I'll be watching thrift shops and flea markets and craigslist and whatnot for cheap stuff.

For this project, no, I really didn't purge a ton. In looking through my before pictures when I started, I had estimated I might get rid of no more than 20% of my stuff.

I did take about 4 boxes of stuff to goodwill and 1 box of stuff is designated for the habitat for humanity restore store that is opening in our area in a few weeks. We're also taking an old tv to the electronics recycling event in our town this Saturday (nobody on freecycle wanted it). I put our nordictrack ski machine up for sale on craigslist. If it doesn't sell, I'll donate it somewhere. I had three large garbage bags worth of trash and a number of boxes/etc. for recycling. Mostly though, the stuff that was down there just needed to be better organized and put away somewhere.

I bought a few more shelving units (I so agree with you on the infrastructure, talley_sue - if you don't have "a place" where you can put things, it all ends up piled on the floor so your choices are purge and/or make storage options!). I lucked out in that my neighbor redid his garage this summer and threw out three 5 shelf shelving units (one matched our basement shelves, one matched our garage shelves, one didn't match at all - I shared that one with a friend who I have been helping with decluttering her basement) and one 2 shelf shelving unit and two 3 shelf shelving units. So that definitely helped me a lot.

Those 5 shelf shelving units (24" deep) that I LOVE LOVE LOVE are from Home Depot. They are plastic and just snap together easy peasy. Cost is about $41 each right now, so they definitely aren't cheap. I really strongly prefer them over the metal shelves. They are so much stronger, easier to assemble and move, and nicer looking, in my opinion, unless you can afford the stainless steel restaurant quality shelving.

The one caution I would give anyone starting out in buying organizing supplies is to put totes on the shelves at the store before buying. A lot of totes didn't fit well (just barely too wide to put two side by side or just barely too tall to go on shelf).

I did also invest in some new totes (on sale at Home Depot for $1-$5), including a bunch of sweater boxes and shoe boxes. I had a mish mash of assorted totes I had picked up over the years. I'm happy to say I was able to use up a large number of those in this project. I am trying to transition as much cardboard into plastic as possible, just in case it ever floods down there.

Finally, I put labels on everything, since in my world, out of sight is out of mind and with totes I can't see through, I might never find things again if I hid them all away. :)

Eventually we want to finish the basement, but that's a long way off and even when we start, it will likely be done in stages for financial reasons. For now though, at least our basement is a whole heck of a lot more useable than it was.

Here is a link that might be useful: Final Pics of Basement Decluttering

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 12:06PM
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