Thursday, June 27, 2024

Lessons Learned in the Basement

My aunt Iris and her husband moved more times that I can remember and it seemed like every time they packed and moved, fewer things went along to the next place. Yes, they might be replaced -- or maybe not. I was thinking about Iris as I put my basement back together after the mold removal. I was an only child raised with parents who "collected," and I think doing so must be in my gene pool. 

With my aunt Iris, several years before she died.

As I was putting things back together, I began to wonder if that was a good gene to have!

There are a few more things I need to sort, recycle and purge but the lion's share of the work is done and the rest is refinements. Here are a few things I learned (and some of them would work for downsizing in general).

 Allow WAY More Time Than You Think You Need

If I have one word of advice (and I have a few) it's to allow WAY more time than you think you need! If you are planning to downsize for move, start far ahead of the game. Dealing with quantity is tough at best, and if you start getting into personal items, it will take more time. If you are dealing with post-construction, renovation or a massive project like dealing with a flood or mold, you will also have to add cleaning time to your plans.

Take it one day at a time. You may or may not have a long time to downsize or to tackle a major projects, but if you have the privilege of time, consider breaking up your tasks. 

This is what I saw on one side of the basement, from one end to the other -- the whole length of the house, floor to ceiling!

I had to put a whole basement back together after the mold removal when everything that was down there was stacked floor to ceiling on one side of the room. Any sense of organization that was there  before the workers arrived was long gone. Think of it as unloading a moving van with no labels on the boxes (and plenty of "loose" things.) I knew I couldn't work on it eight hours a day. Or six. Or even four. So I had to make choices on what to do and how. Having the privilege of time allowed that. 

Make a Plan

Make a plan. How do you want to handle this? What do you want it to look like when you are finished? What will you do with the "stuff?"

First thing I did was move everything to the center of the room, and then into zones.

I knew there was much to donate -- things that hadn't been used in years but still had a shelf life for someone. I also knew there was a considerable amount of stuff to be thrown because it was damaged, possibly moldy, or too ugly to give to the poor and certainly not saleable.

I also knew there were things that would require additional thought. These might be things that could be sold (yard sale, ebay, Marketplace) or that someone in the family might want. They at least needed to be asked.

Then there was the stuff to store. These things needed to go into zones so I could easily access them when needed. As you might expect, for me the two largest areas of "stuff" for me were "holiday" and "dishes." But there were also the other things -- home decor items, medical equipment not needed now but that I couldn't part with yet, family memorabilia, and odds and ends. 

One side of the finished "dish" zone

So, I "divided" the basement into those zones with shelving and bins.

Get Ready!

Get supplies. I bought disposable gloves, contractors bags, disinfecting wipes, Lysol mold spray, and also had regular trash bags, paper bags and paper towel. You might  also need a bucket and sponge to wash things down. Most of these things can be used at a later time so don't worry about leftovers.


I also bought china protectors (more on that later). I had some; I didn't buy enough. Maybe later.

Sort with Intention

Start the sort. I made a huge pile of "donate to charity" and used contractor bags for most of it.  I didn't wash all of it but I did wipe it down with the disinfecting wipes. There were ongoing bags to fill with trash and another with recycling. 

Much of this went to charity; I'll try to sell my folk harp.

As soon as I could unearth and empty shelving units, I took them outside and washed and sanitized them. Once they were back in the basement I could use them as temporary storage as I was sorting (and later move them to their final spot). I also had three large tables and the top of the washer/dryer. So I could start to "subdivide." If I came across a bin (like Christmas) I would move it to the area where it would later live. 

Things to donate were divided by categories -- books for the library in one pile; donation items for the theatre in another; pictures and paintings (most to keep, some to donate) in another. I could sort through these things later but this got them into a manageable spot which seemed less overwhelming.

Start Moving Things to Their Zones 


As areas became clear, more "zone things" were moved into those spaces. The area was beginning to clear out. Rick hauled out oversized things that had to go like wooden pallets and pieces damaged by mold. Many items went on the curb (and surprisingly, were picked up by scavenging neighbors!)

Start Getting Rid of the Donations

Make deliveries as you go -- if you are donating things, don't wait until you have so much  you can't handle it easily packed into your car. If you are close to the donation site, drop things off periodically. Getting the stuff out of your vision helps in two ways -- you get space which makes you feel you are accomplishing and it keeps you from digging in the bag to retrieve a treasure. (Some places will pick up, too.)

The Tricky Items

Stack up anything you don't know what to do with -- yet -- to deal with near the end of your project. If you have folding tables, this is the time to use them.

That type of thing might include family memorabilia, like photos; saved archival newspapers or magazines for a final look; personal journals or datebooks; trinkets that should be shared with friends or family; cords whose appliances may be buried in another pile. You can pitch these things later but for now they are all in one place.

Putting It Back Together

Once things are well sorted, it's time to start putting it back together. You may have started this when you divided to move your things into zones. Now, it's just putting them back where you want them. 

This shelf has "keepers" that don't really fit in another zone. Puppets, camera gear, Larry Bird memorabilia, etc.

As I mentioned, I ordered protective china coverings for the dishes. They're more expensive than I wish (about $30 for a set that includes large, salad and dessert plates, cups and saucers) but they keep them clean and zipped up.

Things that didn't fit these protectors or were odd sizes went into ziplock bags of various sizes. This is useful because you can actually see what they are and it keeps them free of dust and mouse tracks. (Yes, I know-- I have a cat. She is not a hunter.)

Christmas trees and florals went in one area and were dust-covered to the best I could. Put things like wreaths in clear recycle bags before stacking (if you can't hang them, and loose bagging so they can "breathe"). 

And don't forget to label. Almost every storage tub looks alike! If you don't want to pull out Easter thinking it's Christmas, a label maker (or tape and scrap paper) is a good choice!

You Think You're Done But You're Not!

You may have your space together but if you are like me you have all those things that you saved out to handle later. These tend to be more personal items, things you might want to review and either discard or  keep. Among them, photos, journals and datebooks. 

This table still needs to be sorted.

I was surprised by the datebooks -- it clarified times I'd forgotten (what year DID I have that surgery?). A quick glance might do. Give them a look, tear out or copy info from any significant pages and toss the rest. (And looking through every calendar for years does slow a person down!)

Journals often require a lot of reading and what one does after is very personal. The question is, should you get hit by a bus, do you care who else takes a look? If so, do the same -- give it a read, save the pages or entries that might be meaningful to you or someone else and give the rest a toss. 

Photos are a challenge, especially if you, your parents AND your grandparents were prolific photographers, as mine were. Some are obviously bad, like those of my grandparents 1938 visit to Mount Rushmore or their hunting trips. Quality is bad -- blurry or faded. If something is particularly important in telling your story, scan and/or save it. The rest (along with all those unidentified people you have no way of finding) can be tossed. (If you scan, remember, technology might need to be upgraded and be sure to save important things on an external drive or the cloud.)

Note to self and to all-- label every single photo and/or photo file in your computer with who is in the picture. It will help someone down the line who has to deal with what you save now! 


Once you have the lion's share of the work done and organized, it is time to revisit the bins you may have stored. (Holiday decorations come to mind!) You may well have things you haven't used in ages and could donate, give away or possibly sell. You might even be able to eliminate a few bins by consolidating. This is an "as you go" activity -- perhaps best done when you are hauling out things to decorate for different seasons. 

Finally, Talk with Your Friends and Family

Many of us have come to realize that our kids don't want our stuff. There may be special memory things that resonate but chances are they may not want most. Now is the time to ask if there are any particular things that they might like. Would they like the Christmas or Thanksgiving dishes? Specific holiday decorations or  ornaments? Certain serving pieces? Don't forget asking extended family or friends, too. After they have all made a request or said no, it's time to make a plan for what happens. And, if items to are be distributed after your passing, it would help to mark them to make it easier for those settling your estate.

If you are downsizing to move, choose what you would be likely to take with you. If you are planning on having an estate handle things, this is especially important.

I'm not to that point yet, but I will be. We all will be! So, next up -- the rest of the house!

Shall we start with the office/art room? 

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kathyinozarks said...

these type of projects are just so overwhelming. we downsized quite a bit when we moved to the lake house. well actually my husband had to downsize too much of his tools-I feel bad about that but he took what he could fit into this garage.
Me I was not ready to downsize my art/craft room so I brought everything-I never know what my creative muse will lead me too haha I may be read soon though to start downsizing some of it.
good for you sticking with this huge project your art room should be "a piece of cake" now smiles

Divers and Sundry said...

Great advice, both in general and in particular. Thx!

Valerie-Jael said...

Well done on downsizing your basement. I have already downsized a lot, and soon I must do it again, and get rid of everything that I don't need or use on a reguar basis. It has to be done!! HaVE a great weekend, hugs!

Susan Kane said...

You are truly amazing. Oh my!

Anonymous said...

You go, girl!!! Knowing what a massive job the basement was going to be, breaking it into zones and placing items / totes, etc in each zone and then working you way through the zone was / is the way to go! I have semi started to downsize, and this year for fall & Xmas plan to really weed out the decor, which my guy will sell at yard sales for me. I know I have WAY too much so I am keeping my 'retro decor' and mostly items that are wall hung with cutting back on the knick-knacks! My guy having issue with his left foot and going up / down stairs becoming an issue (though we are still..let's say "youngish" - I am 66 1/2, he just turned 66. He doesn't want to move from our rented townhouse, and both of us love it, but it will only get harder on those stairs. But finding a long term rental, at price we will be able to afford on SS is an issue, as it is for so many of us!!! Well, anyways, I am starting the mini-clean outs. But of course, before I do that, I am changing out my bedroom decor, curtains, etc. I have had my prior set / decor over 8 years and I want something fresh / retro / a bit boho !!! So I am buying off clearance racks, sales, and digging through stuff I have and might wish to use! I got a few new things for living room too (out with some of the old items I have hung up in LR for over 15 years). Have a good rest of your week.
Dawn P.

acorn hollow said...

you had quite a job there. But down sizing while it is gut wrenching at the time after it is gone you don't even miss it. I have been doin that for a year and still have lots to go but I have hauled over 20 boxes and bags out of here. and truly I don't miss them and when I open a closet and it is neat and things are put away it feels so good.
Great tips

Boud said...

That's an enormous job. I don't think I've ever owned that much stuff, including furniture. You did a terrific job of sorting and considering, very strenuous work.

Joyful said...

You did a great job of dealing with and sorting through the basement! You're amazingly quick too though I guess in the case of the basement, the nature of the damage made it slightly easier to figure out what to do with stuff. I'm so glad I don't have a big house to downsize. It's still taking me forever to downsize and declutter in an apartment. I'll be so glad when I've done the major part of it and I'm sure you will too.

Rita said...

Have you ever read The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning? It's a purging or downsizing done so the kids or relatives don't have to deal with all your stuff later on and can pick things they want now, etc. Sounds like what you have begun...and I did all last year. You also have had to deal with mold. Maybe the silver lining to the mold is that it started you on this journey--lol! ;)

It is a huge project and can be totally overwhelming. You gave very good advice. I was lucky I had the time and could push myself to do like one drawer at a time, etc. Categories helps, yes. It feels fantastic when you finish even a section...and you basically finished the entire basement! Whoohoo! Yup--take your time and enjoy the process. I found it got easier as I went along. :)

Bill said...

We've downsized years ago and are so happy we did. When you lived in a two bedroom apartment, there isn't much room and I am glad. I like the feeling of living light and very thankful for it. You've done an amazing job organizing and hopefully you can finalize what you want and don't want. Good luck and have a nice upcoming weekend.

Sandra Cox said...

Looks great! I'd still be working on it this time next year:)

Anvilcloud said...

You are impressively diligent, organized, efficient and industrious.

Ana Dunk said...

I have the same newspaper about JFK AND the Time magazine AND our local paper AND any other printed matter regarding same (including a black rimmed thank you note from Jaqueline Kennedy's secretary thanking me on her behalf for a condolence letter I wrote. Then I saved the first space flight, the man on the moon and the list goes on and on. I am 83 so I have a lot more years on you for doing all the squirreling away.

Tom said...

...stuff can consume you!

Linda Sue said...

Well done! Thank you for the step by step organizing- That will be so helpful when I decide to chuck it all! We have been slowly getting rid of stuff- the kid's stuff is another matter- No room for it yet where they live and when I go through it , it all be comes so precious all of a sudden. You have inspired me, thank you for this excellent , helpful post! You sure did have loads !

roentare said...

You are a saint. Also so good hearted. That will give me a severe headache cleaning up. You are really to be commended

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I have no intention of decluttering or downsizing. Let my daughter deal with it!

gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

Such an interesting and valuable post. It is amazing how much we accumulate over the years. Your suggestions for organizing and sorting are very helpful. I keep thinking that I need to get started getting rid of things that we don't use or need. A few years ago, I was tired of trying to keep the linen closet neat and the sheets folded nicely. I decided to only keep one set per bed! No more folding for me. I wash and put it right back on the bed. Haven't missed them.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Jeanie,
That was a big job and you did great organizing everything.
Hubby and I downsized 6-7 years ago when we thought we were going to sell the house and move. My hubby tends to keep things that are really trash. I am not a collector, so I do not have much left here. Take care, have a happy day and a great weekend!

Marie Rayner said...

This is so well written Jeanie and there is a lot of great information here. My sister and I are busy clearing out our father's place now that he has moved into my sister's. My father has been hoarding junk for years. Its overwhelming. I am talking boxes of used q-tips, aerosol spray nozzles, dead batteries, etc. Every piece of paper and cardboard that ever entered his home, mixed together with things that are valuable. Its been an important lesson to each of us. I am much luckier in that I had to leave everything behind when I moved back to Canada in 2020, so I haven't had as much time to collect stuff again. But I still have collected and can still do some de-cluttering! Thank you for this! xoxo

Pamela said...

Very nice! This is a huge challenging project. I’m really impressed. You have given all of us some good advice.

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

That is a monumental task, but you have great tips and ideas for making it manageable. I, too, am getting rid of much of my dishware and decor stuff. It just seems like very few actually entertain in homes anymore beyond holiday meals with family. Since we have no family here, and we have stopped doing dinner parties for friends (mainly because we never seem to get return invitations), it seems like there is just too much stuff around.

crackercrumblife said...

This is a very informative and practical post! I need to go through our basement, which is crazy filled with stuff. I need to purge big time! I will try it how you suggested, in small chunks and with zones. And those china protectors are awesome! I just packed up all of my grandmother's china a year ago and I was having a panic attack it would break. My grandma carried the teapot home from Scotland on her lap in the plane. I am sure she would come back to haunt me if I broke it. (Ok not really but it made me smile to think that) Your basement looks fantastic!!

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, the more people move the more they can edit. We built our home 45 years ago when we were young. My husband is very sentimental and has trouble letting go of stuff. He cleaned out his workshop last summer and I was so proud of him. You had a monumental task, but you had a plan. It is overwhelming, but you had time. Great job! Now I should get busy and start cleaning out closets. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

My name is Erika. said...

It is so true that our kids don't want our stuff. And I'll be honest, there were a lot of things of my parents I didn't want either. The tough part (for me) was knowing what I may have wanted in the future. You know, something you didn't pay much attention to and then someone brings up a similar item, and you think, oh Mom had one of those. Well, there's not much you can do, is there. I am a bit of a collector myself, and I'm glad I have the items from my family that I have. Thanks for this informative post Jeanie.It was an interesting read. Enjoy your weekend. hugs-Erika

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Great job Jeanie. That’s a lot of stuff. Have your ever hear George Carlin’s video about stuff? It’s is so true. Good luck with the office and art rom. You have your work cut out for you, now that you are in the organizing mood.

R's Rue said...

Such great advice

gigi-hawaii said...

Lucky you have a basement. You have made great progress, Jeanie. I am truly impressed with the results.

Steve Reed said...

I'm sure living with a big empty storage space, like a basement, pretty much demands that you accumulate stuff! So this was a worthwhile read for information about how to deal with it all.

On the photo front, I find that it doesn't necessarily matter who's in the pictures. If they're interesting images (and not blurry or badly damaged or whatever) it may be worth saving them anyway. We have tons of family photos and I don't know who everyone is.

Mary Rose's said...

O M Gggggg, Jeanie! You've mentioned this project before but seeing it now, and reading your explanations, makes me realize how colossal this was! You were really time-traveling and making sense of an entire household of things in your cellar.

Congratulations on what you've achieved. It's as inspiring as it is daunting. I may tuck into my workspace next, trying to (re)create order and pare down the "shtuff" that has accumulated.

Happy weekend! XOXOXO said...

Wow Jeanie, I am very impressed with what you've done so far, it looks great. Thanks for the tips and suggestions. I have 2 houses full of "stuff" I keep telling my kids to hire someone after I'm gone to have an estate sale!

This N That said...

omg... So much stuff. My advice would be number one.... Don't let it get like that in the first place! What a job! Well done Jeannie...

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

What a massive undertaking! But the end product looks so wonderful! Those china protectors are really cool - I have never seen anything like that.

Since we have a finished basement, we have very limited storage space so we have not accumulated much. I am mostly careful about what I say yes to/bring into the house. We have really been getting rid of things as the youngest outgrows them. We are moving Taco into a big boy bed tonight (will start w/ the mattress on the floor and then figure out what frame we will get him when we have time to look at options, etc - that is what we did for Paul's big boy bed transition as well). I am very excited to get rid of the crib, just as i was excited to get rid of the jumper and other baby stuff that took up so much room in our storage area! But things can really accumulate quickly. We have a furnace room w/ shelving and that is our "I don't know what to do with this so I'll put it here" kind of room. We went through it last spring (on our anniversary, of all days - how romantic huh?) but we should go through it again. It is still a pretty small room so you can't accumulate much luckily.

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

What a huge project! You did great with your organization and downsizing and I love that you documented the process. The next time you have to do it---if you ever need to---it will be so much easier.

Sally Wessely said...

Oh My Goodness! You have been so busy. Bravo to you for taking on this task. I know it had to be done because of the mold, but still I think getting this done is a HUGE accomplishment. Also, it is something I simply must do. You have given us all a great framework to apply to our own tasks. Thanks. I just might print this out so I can refer to it!

When we moved twelve years ago, I had to do a similar task, but I still brought way too much with me to our new place. It was stashed in the crawl space which means it is inaccessible by me. I hate that crawl space! It is wasted space, but also needed for something I regularly need such as Christmas trees and wreaths.

I don’t have any “staging” space to work with to begin the sort. That is the biggest hangup I have, but somehow, I must set up tables in the living area of the basement and begin the sort anyway. Thanks for the inspiration and the push that came with a great plan on how to do it.

Barwitzki said...

The photo with your Aunt Iris is so beautiful.
And it's great that you once played the harp...
And. Don't you want to try?
When you have a lot of space it's easy to pile up a lot of useless things... but then when it needs to go!!! You've done a lot of work. Well done.
I send you a happy greeting.

Jenn Jilks said...

That is epic, and a lot of good advice. I was finding it difficult to find the motivation to wash kitchen floors. sigh. there is always tomorrow!

DUTA said...

I don't have a basement.Perhaps it's better that way - the clutter is more visible and more manageable; still, decluttering has to be done and I learn each time to be more efficient.
We live in a war zone and have to consider sometimes, things like evacuation. Even if one leaves things behind, it's better to leave them organized, compact, covered.

Prims By The Water said...

OMG when I moved here I started having garage sales the minute I put my house up for sale. I gave stuff to my kids and my neighbors. I had so much STUFF! So glad I did that cause it would have never fit in the smaller home I ended p purchasing with no basement. The one thing I miss, but with the river so close by no basements around here at all. Janice

Veronica Lee said...

What a massive job!
Your approach to breaking it into zones and tackling it step-by-step is inspiring.
Those china protectors are a great idea too.
Congratulations on what you've achieved.

Thanks for sharing such practical advice, Jeanie!

shoreacres said...

I just can't help it -- when I see the amount of 'stuff' you have, I begin feeling claustrophobic. On the other hand, your advice rings true. It's the sort of thing that's applicable for those of us who live in the hurricane belt, too. Every year, when I begin planning for evacuation, there's another round of sorting, cleaning, and throwing, since it's entirely possible that everything could get wiped out, except for whatever I take with me. Even my most valuable art china has to stay, but the memory-laden things go -- along with the CD collection and my favorite books. Now that I no longer evacuate with my mother and Dixie Rose in tow, there's a little more room for those things!

Amy Johnson said...

Wow! You did an incredible job organizing everything. You had a lot of stuff. I'm more of declutter type of person, though my craft room holds everything you can imagine. My hubby on the other hand, holds on to everything.

La Table De Nana said...

Congratulations!!! A job well done.. We ve been married 50 yrs last move 23 yrs ago and purged.. then things started coming back lol..Im a tidy person.. so things are pretty organized but I could get rid of a lot.J has a lot of Mr Fixit things..cause you never know:)

carol@The Red Painted Cottage said...

I applaud you, Jeanie. Job well done! I’m at the tail end of what I’ve been working on. Then, onto other areas of our lower level. We moved to our condo 11 years ago, and believe it or not, there’s still a box in our spare bedroom closet that’s never been opened since the movers brought it here. Go figure 😜

Velva- Evening with a Sandwich said...

Wow, wow, and wow again.

We downsized three years ago, and it was an undertaking. What I kept in my mind as I went through decades of stuff, furniture, etc... Does this bring me joy? Do I use it? Would my children want it? If the answer was no to all three question it departed my house. I moved with probably only with 25% of what I started with- stressful and overwhelming but incredibly liberating.

Cheers to you!


Karen said...

I'm getting there but it's a slog.

Karen said...

My grandson is supposed to come collect the grandfather clock and Great grandma's hope chest for his mother, been since last summer.

Lowcarb team member said...

I send congratulations on what you've achieved.
I think many will find your tips helpful too.

All the best Jan

Rita C at Panoply said...

Oh yes, I've read this book, many times! I'm currently helping a friend do the same. Can you imagine being in the business of doing this sort of thing? I know I've got the capacity, but certainly don't have the desire to do it.

You did a great job of reorganizing Jeanie. Pat yourself on the back!

Sandi Magle said...

Ugh, Jeanne, but you have share some very great advice. We were fortunate to get most everything out of the basement before remidiation, but I still have 50+ totes on the back porch. When the gardening is all done, maybe 1-2 more days, I can start on that, and I know I will have to be drastic in dealing with it all. The photos---will wait until winter, and we are going to make it a family project. HUGS, you have done an amazing job and should be so proud you aren't leaving that mess to your kids, lol. Sandi

Lynda said...

Wow Jeanie! What great information. I am getting ready to do this so all you have shared is very helpful. Thank you and good luck with the rest of the house. The basement looks great!

Sami said...

Wow, what a job! But you've done well Jeanie.
I also seem to have inherited the collection gene from my Mother!
I had never seen China protector bags, but they are great. I still have 2 dinner sets in a box in the garage, since we moved to Australia 17 years ago!!

Hena Tayeb said...

wow.. that sounds overwhelming but then again I did something similar just a few months ago when our basement flooded. I am what they call an anti collector. My mom is the same. I have nothing from my childhood. No doll, drawings, stuffed animal.. nothing. I do save a thing or two of my kids but mostly I am in a constant state of decluttering.

Marilyn Miller said...

You are good!!! I am almost finished with my basement except for things Jim and Tim need to sort. I have one closet I can't get too until they do their part. I figure most of that will go since I haven't been in it for quite a few years. Then I have the estate sale section, the section to keep, and a table for my kids to look at and decide. Pictures all go in one trunk and if the trunk is full then something has to go. It's funny, but even after sorting I find when I go back I wonder why am I keeping that. So glad I am giving myself time. Tomorrow I will sort two bins of tea festival things, then after the tea festival this year they will go to someone else's basement/storage. Thursday my 2 adult kids will walk through the house and designate things they want. And on it goes!!! My husband wants a say on kitchen things, so that comes in September.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

We've done the attic, and now we are working on the garage. My husband also has a workshop filled with rocks, minerals, and fossils, so there is also that.

You are right. We should prepare, and we should make sure that everyone gets what they really want. Or not.

Red Rose Alley said...

Jeanie, I was going to comment on this post, and I saw the kids' post too, but I got distracted, so I came back. What fun you had with the boys on your visit. I am so impressed with all that you got organized in your basement! You worked so hard in there, going through things, putting them in piles, donating some, cleaning, and organizing. I love when you mentioned labeling. I am a "label" person too. I think I picked it up from my mom. She used to label everything with her little black sharpie on the bottom of each item. And the newspapers you came across! I like how you sorted all the holiday stuff. I was looking at the Christmas stuff, so delightful. Well, I'm glad the basement is behind you, and you did a fantastic job on getting it back in order, Jeanie. : )


Debbie said...

that basement almost made me forget about sweet iris!! that basement, wow, what a are doing very well!!

Susan said...

Super advice, Jeanie. I won't have to get any other advice to start my clean-up journey. Thank you!

Carola Bartz said...

Thankfully we don't have a basement. Yours is scary as hell - at least before you organized it.
When we moved to the US we had just three months before the move - it was a very crazy time. Then, when we bought our home in 2012 we decluttered a lot, saying we would never ever accumulate so much stuff. Well... I still go through my things on a regular basis and sort things out that I either donate or put in a "free" box on the sidewalk and books end in one of the many little libraries in our neighborhood (one is right across from our home). My husband though is a different story, and there is also a lot of stuff that belongs to my daughter.
We have two grab and go boxes in case of sudden evacuation and a list of important things that don't fit in the boxes. Those pretty much contain the most important and precious items we own. Everything else is not that important. No more big decisions necessary.

Lisbeth said...

I have moved so many times, and I always take the chance to sort things out and give away what is not needed anymore. I don't have such a big space as you and therefore I have no chance to save as much as you. I understand it must have been hard work. Hopefully, your advice will come in handy for many people. Once it is ready it is really satisfying. Good luck.

Jenny Woolf said...

I hope I never have to do this but if I ever decide to tackle the loft I will take some tips. I've mostly boxed what is in the loft and listed the contents of each numbered box on a document, but thre's still a lot of stuff. By the way this is anohter post that I did not see when I was looking on my phone. I had better re-check my phone to see if I have been scrolling past without noticing, although I still don't know what to do about being Anonymous! I sign in, but it makes no difference.

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