Transformation Tuesday #61: A Basement Work-In-Progress

I posted the other week on my Instagram to show how small steps contribute to the bigger transformation. Most of the projects I work on are over the course of several sessions because there's a lot to sort, review, purge, and reorganize back into a space. 

I've been working with Ariane this summer on different spaces within her home, saving the basement for last. After a few household moves, she decided it was time to get this area in better shape. A lot of items were going to stay down here, but she needed to know what was where.

Organizing is definitely a collaborative process and depending on the project, there are times when I can work on my own. I spent the first two hours getting things grouped together by the categories that appeared - Outdoor Equipment, Kitchen, Games, Books, Pictures, Art, Art Supplies, and Toys. There was a lot of recycling like old, broken down boxes and even empty boxes. This made a huge difference in clearing these out.

 
spruce-with-rachel-basement-phase-1_.jpg
 

The next session, we reviewed the labeled piles to determine what was donate and trash. I was able to get all the "keep" items onto the shelves then start working away on the trickier items - pictures and papers. A lot of these were in half full boxes so I consolidated items and identified the new categories for these: Loose Pictures, Framed Pictures, Mail/Personal Documents, Paper Memorabilia (letters, cards, notes).

 
spruce-with-rachel-basement-phase-2_.jpg
 

With our final session, we went through the piles yet again to pare down further so she only had a pile of mail to sort through. Everything else was left boxed up and labeled. 

Basements (and garages) can be especially hard to work through because there's often times a mix of bulkier items (gardening tools, outdoor gear/toys/equipment, and cleaning supplies) mixed in with forgotten items like old boxes of paperwork. It can be harder to visualize what the space will look like when totally different items are like that are grouped together.

 
 

Once a space has been overhauled, it's best to revisit on a quarterly basis as the seasons change - swap out household decor, move things inside for the winter, etc. It makes it so much easier to find what you're looking for!

Transformation Tuesday #49: Basement + Laundry storage

This is a particularly fun transformation post because I did this with my mom, the person who taught me to be organized, respect my things, and keep small spaces tidy!

She and my stepdad moved to LA two years ago for his job and she wanted to go through some of the bins that she had hurriedly packed away during the move. She's no stranger to tackling these projects on her own but I offered to help because I knew that with our powers combined, we would be pretty speedy. Plus I was helping haul away all the donation items.

First, we started with the laundry area. We started with the way back and went bin by bin. Our goal was to clear out trash and donations, then repack items for storing. This was mostly fancy dishware, my stepdad's jam-making paraphernalia, and a few odds and ends. In two hours, we filled up the recycling and trash bins, and had tower of four or five empty storage bins. We got rid of about half the stuff that was stored down there!

 
 

Mom would have kept going but I forced her to take a coffee break. We needed to re-energize with some lattes and shortbread.

When we got back to it, we worked on the storage underneath the stairwell. This contained clothes, outdoor gear, and my mom's house decor (Christmas and other seasonal stuff). We pared down quite a bit here as well - maybe about a third of the stuff went away. Although my mom is still hanging on to my First Communion dress and veil (which is 25 years old, btw). Since she purged so much other stuff, I told her I would not judge her for hanging onto this!

 
 

After all was said and done, Mom said she felt good about having me there to speed up the process, help make decisions, and of course, clear stuff away so that it wasn't sitting around the house.

These projects are so much easier with a buddy! What kind of home projects do you like having a friend or family member help out with?