Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Cleaning out the basement

We spent most of the weekend - about 4 hours on Saturday and 6 hours on Sunday - working on the storage/laundry part of our basement. I'm a packrat; I still have textbooks, papers, notebooks from college and grad school as well as tons of little "stuff" that I've picked up along the way, used once or twice (if even that), and then stuck in a box and forgot about it. H. and I both have also collected a lot of stuff that we don't use but don't want to get rid of "in case we ever need it" - this includes all kinds of random stuff like an extra window shade, three box fans, vases, decorative items from our college and grad school apartments (i.e., cheap stuff we picked up at random stores), and hundreds of framed pictures. Most of the pictures were mine - it was funny looking back at what I thought was worth framing, especially since I would now not have any of those pictures hanging in my house! I had a whole collage that was centered around pictures of myself and friends drinking in college. I remember it took me hours to put together, and I loved it, but it's definitely not something that fits in with our house now!

The hardest things for me to get rid of though were all my graduate school books, papers, and thesis materials. I think I've mentioned before (I know it's in my "100 things about me list"), but I quit my graduate program about 4 years into it. It just wasn't the right thing for me anymore (and it didn't help that my advisor moved 1200 miles away), and I don't regret the decision to leave, but sometimes, I like having all this stuff to remind me about what I accomplished while there. And it was so much work, and so much effort, and such a huge part of me for those years that it seems like I shouldn't just be able to throw it all in the trash! And the textbooks - when I think about how much money I spent on all these books (money that we're still paying off; got to love student loans), it's hard to not want to recoup some of that. H. has kept all his law school books, so I argued for keeping mine, but given that he's still in the legal field, and I have changed fields, it is unlikely that I will use many of these books again. So they had to go.

My incentive for getting rid of as much as possible was that if I could make room, I'm getting a deep freezer! I almost have enough space for one, and we also have more room for laundry, ironing, etc. I no longer have to climb over piles of stuff to get to the ironing board or the shelves. We still have some work to do, but the hard part is done.

I didn't take any "before" pictures, but here's a picture of all the donations and trash waiting to go out to the driveway:

and here's the other corner:

and this is our almost clean laundry/storage area:



  • Good job! I heard somewhere that you shouldn't hold on to anything for sentimental reasons (unless it's REALLY special) or "just in case," which is pretty much the reason I kept everything. With that in mind I've gotten rid of SO MUCH in the past 6 months and it feels so good. Although, I still need to get rid of more...or get a bigger house.

    By Blogger Morgan, at March 21, 2007 at 1:18 PM  

  • We will be tackling the garage this weekend. We have been finishing our bonus room over the winter and now we have to get some sort of organization to the stuff we have just thrown into the garage. It is a tough job!!!

    By Blogger April, at March 27, 2007 at 7:20 PM  

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