Monday, January 17, 2011

Basement Overhaul

My parents brought out a U-Haul of our things back in July, and we are just now really getting to most of it.  We're hoping to really hit it hard this week and clear out the basement, with boxes of items for donation, selling, and keeping.  It's actually been fun.  We went through about 10 totes last night and it went pretty quick, stopping at times to read moody teenage poetry.  Some was written back when I was 15 and my bulimia was as bad as it gets, so some of it was hard to read and remember.  But some of it was just horrific teenage love and whatnot and we giggled a ton.  Oh, and Maman, we found the paper I wrote for my psych class where it was "very insightful"....the one that G calls the perfect example of B.S.....I read the first chapter and then just wrote it like I'd read the whole thing.  Apparently it's an excellent representation of my genius because rereading it I would never have guessed I hadn't read the whole book! 

Some things will be hard to part with, because I hold sentimental value.  But I'm trying something mentioned by Adrienne and taking photos of some things and then donating or discarding it.  For instance, my high school grad cap.  Don't really need to keep it around.  Other things we're limiting how much we keep.  G and I have a lot of memories from our friendship and relationship and have decided to keep a box that we edit occasionally of items that mean something for us.  In goes either the champagne flute or the beer mug from our senior prom, but not both.....and eventually they'll probably both be recycled. 

In the end the basement is going to be lined with the wooden shelving units from IKEA for storage of food and items we're keeping but have no idea where to put right now.  And our old kitchen table and chairs will be in the center of the room as a workstation.  Finally I'm hoping to find a great sturdy solid wood dresser for G to paint and make into his tool station.  It'll be a work in progress, but nice to eventually have done.  We've talked about storing a lot of things like potatoes and squash down there, along with canned goods when we buy them in bulk (or if I can them myself).  This won't be done before G leaves, but by this time next year it should be all finished up (including painting the stairs and floor).  
G said it perfectly tonight when he noticed I was blogging about this: "Streamlined is chic."  And he's right.  It makes me happy, makes his life simpler, and keeps what we truly love around while discarding things we don't need/want.  And a home full of things you love is as chic as it gets decorating wise.


  1. Streamlined is most definitely chic. I'm an anti-clutter freak because I grew up with parents who cannot throw out anything. They currently have a two garages, two garden sheds, and a well house full of stuff. Early on I decided to never cross the line from sentimental to clutterer.

    I think it's important, though, to make a box of things that are open for future culling, but for right now is one of the items you will grab in case you need to evacuate your home. It underscores what items from the past you want to retain. There's nothing wrong with remembering who you were (I have several of those fake term papers myself!) so you can narrow in on who you want to be.

  2. There is nothing I love more than have a steamlined home - or at least a streamline-in-progress home! I try and say 'one thing in, one thing out' with things like clothes and knick-knacks etc, but of course, I'm not vigilant all the time, so often I will look around and see something (yes hatstand - I'm looking at you and the OBSCENE number of winter scarves on you at the moment! Especially as it is summer here!) and wonder how on earth they all got there and make immediate efforts to streamline.

    I also agree with Rebekah above - storing things I THINK i don't want in a box or bag somewhere, and 'checking back' on them in a month or a season is such a good idea. I feel much more comfortable in throwing out those things if I have gone so long without even thinking of them. Of course - I always discover a few that I can't live without!!