Wednesday, November 08, 2006

It's Worse than I Thought


Yes, I'm taking part in Laura's 30 Day Organizational Challenge. With fifteen minutes a day, this area could look like new by the end of the month.



As I was commenting on her original post detailing the idea, I was wondering which area I would tackle, since I have recently conquered a couple of problem spots in my home. But then a sense of forboding came over me: Yes, it would have the be the basement. This is not a wonderfully functional large space in which to store all of the things you don't know what to do with. No, it only runs half the length of our house (the garage is the other half), and it is finished living space. It's a great place for the kids and their friends to play or watch TV, and is even divided into two areas. It's the area behind the TV part that is such a disaster. It seems to be getting progressively worse, in spite of the fact that I frequently go through and clean out and try to establish some sort of semblance of order. One problem is that this becomes a catchall for other things. If you look in the pictures, you will see many bags and boxes, full of either things that need to be donated, old clothes that need to be passed down, or clothes that have been passed on to Kyle that are still too big.



So, a trip to Goodwill, taking the hand-me-down clothes to my sister-in-law at Thanksgiving, and putting the other box in the attic where it really belongs will take care of many of those piles.



But there are areas that just don't get better, regardless of how many times I tidy up: the computer table collects stuff, the craft shelves are a mess. Look at that pile on the floor! It's not usually that bad, but I took it as it was today. I think that even though I've gone through these before, I just need to get rid of a lot of it. And then there's the closet. It's a horrible closet--no storage here either. It's just a small shallow closet with a couple of shelves. At the moment it stores some games (which I could maybe, and probably will move upstairs), boxes with some books in them, I think, old magazines (which I might purge), etc etc. The other doors that you see in the pictures are not a closet. It's the furnace. The other closet (behind the table) is the oil tank, so again, no storage there.


So, I have some vague ideas, but I still need help! Yes, I would love to install some great system along that wall where the table is, but I don't have the money to do that right now, so I have to just make do. I would love some ideas for using the shallow closet.

18 comments:

Heather said...

Hey, that looks like my middle bedroom, which is completely unusable. Except we don't have any floor room. Literally.

Susanne said...

I'm getting around to posting my pics too. I'm dreading it but I figure this is just a great way to be accountable and really get it done.

Jennifer said...

My guest room is currently in good shape, Heather, but that's the beauty of not having children, and having some extra space. Instead of having a junk drawer, you can have a junk room. Been there, done that. . . .

Katrina said...

I have to say that one benefit to not having any "extra rooms" is that I don't have an extra room to make piles in - which I would SO do if I had one, I'm sure. Our basement is unfinished, but Camden plays down there, so it gets messy and needs major clean-ups periodically. NO suggestions here, because I am organizationally challenged. But I look forward to the "after" - I know you'll do a great job.

Anonymous said...

This looks like my kids bedrooms at any given moment. Toy chaos I call it.

I'm still trying to decide what I'm going to do for the challenge.

Barb said...

I can see where this might be a little overwhelming. I had a basement like this when my children were still at home. I found that just taking one little area at a time and cleaning it out worked. I can so see you getting this done before the end of Organized Junkie's challenge. It's a very nice basement and you're going to love it when it's all cleared out and organized.

I'm looking forward to you posting photos of your results.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a mess!!!

org junkie said...

Hey Jennifer, oh did I get excited when I saw your pictures...what a great space with so much potential! I just wished I lived closer so I could come over and help you. Okay so just so I have it right, the room is divided into two sides...one side for TV viewing with the couches and the other side you would like to function more as a playroom, is that right? The closet is great space, I know you said it is shallow but any closet to me is great space if used effectively. Do you have things you need to store that need to be out of the reach of the kids because that would be my first suggestion for the closet. Narrow shelves are good for craft supplies as well but then the kids might not be able to reach. I see three bookcases which is great storage space as well. Did you see my post on Org Challenge - Week One? I did it yesterday evening but I don't think many people saw it cause WFMW went up after it. I listed some details about the PROCESS steps that might be useful. I'm sure it will look wonderful when it is done. Thanks again for participating! Laura
PS: sorry I just realized my post got a little long :)

Andrea said...

great challenge room. i look forward to the after.

Jennifer said...

I wanted to answer some of Laura, the master organizer's questions.

Yes, I could move the craft stuff into the closet, if I decided that I could use the other bookshelf for other stuff. That's one idea. Amanda could still get to it, and it might be better to be out of Kyle's line of site.

The things I want to/need to store are books and cookbooks (currently in two bookshelves now and planning to keep them there), craft stuff, and some extra kitchen stuff, which I may actually remove. There are currently games in there, which I may move upstairs with some of our other games.

I also have picture stuff--old pictures, scrapbooking supplies (which I honestly don't use). . . .

Thinking about where I could move stuff is really helping out.

amanda said...

Dear mom,
I hope you clean up this soon!You are a great mom, but clean up!123 clean,clean,clean!

Maggie said...

um...don't USE scrapbooking stuff. Oh my...I just don't know if we can continue this friendship! :-)

I've been "in the mood"...unfortunately, I didn't take BEFORE pics. (I never want to remember it!)

Jaime said...

Good luck with the challenge! I'm organizationally challenged too or else I'd offer some suggestion. So I'll just offer one of those supportive "I'm-in-this-with-you" statements.

I can attest to working on it in small chunks. My kitchen has improved in just 3 days :)

L.L. Barkat said...

Sigh. I think we all just have too much stuff.

Gina said...

You're braver than I am taking the challenge!

This summer I cleaned my craft closet and my school room. They're still in okay shape, except for those pesky piles that seem to multiply on every desk corner!

And I DON't have any extra space. I use every inch of my house which unfortunately doesn't have a basement!

angeleyes Blue said...

So how did you get into my house to take picures? #$!#$% I had a neater house when the kids were younger. They would at least take naps.

Teenagers should be able to clean up after themselves and God help the person (mom) who starts to straighten things up.

I finally got it into my teens heads that if they didn't use it, need it or want it anymore to put it in a box. We keep said boxes in the garage. The rule is If you haven't missed the item for 6 months I could as mom put it in the car and donate it to the Salvation Army.

This is starting to work however, My 14 year old son still has 5 guitars, a HUGE Stereo system and drums in his room. I am surprised he can fit a bed in there.

He trips over his clothes and complains but at least he is at home and sleeping in his room.

My independent daughter is now taking her clothes from the tv room where I fold them and putting them in her dresser.

There was a time (independent 2-3 yr old) Mom why should I take my perfectly folded clothes out of the TV room and into my bedroom? Mom's response...So the famiy doesn't have to constantly move your clothes out of the way in the TV room. Daughters response? If you have a problem with that it's YOUR PROBLEM!


Have a great day all!

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see the after pics!

Proverbs31 said...

Kinda looks how my project looks. (Makes me feel better about posting the pictures I posted.) =P Good luck on it! I'll be watching for the result pictures. :)