Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Puzzle Pieces and A Big Mess!
I've been busy! To keep myself inspired, I'm posting the 'improvement' I've made in our disaster of a basement. The casual observer coming in, or a thief for that matter, would turn tail and run as soon as they walked through the basement door! The rec room looks worse than it did, but the basement storage looks better. Not beautiful but better. My nails are trashed, but the room looks good and that's what's important to me right now. I'll get a manicure later.

Here's what it started as:

I've taken almost every single item completely out of the room and made piles. That's what any organizer would tell you to do - make piles: "give away", "throw away", "sell", "put away", and "keep".

Here's what the rec room looks like now:

Not good but we have a goal in mind. The photo is cropped weird because I forgot and left Sarah's birthday gifts on the table at the front of the photo. If I were her, I'd be a bit scared to know my birthday gifts were anywhere in this room! The metal shelves here are going to the shed or garage or give away pile. The pool table is, horror of horrors, covered with boxes of photos or framed photos that are now outdated. The walls are lined with boxes of keepsakes for the three kids. Sarah wins with only two, Leslie has about six, and Dan amazed me - the boy has at least a dozen! Who knew the male would have more stuff? But here's the deal - the real saver - nothing goes back into the storage room til it's been combed through and sorted into the above-named categories. Even if it takes til spring. Hopefully a lot of it will go to the 'throw away' or 'give away' piles. Those lovely boards in the front of the photo are the bones of my new wall, which DH said he'd start on this weekend as long as the room is emptied out.

So, yes it is! He'll consider this 'cleared out'. Five metal shelves against the far wall.

I cut the shelves down from 9 to 5, determined that only what fits on those 5 will stay. I got rid of half of the paint cans and supplies, (our church's art department loves leftover house paint for their sets!), there's an entire shelf for storing decorating items for various seasons, all the camping supplies were cleaned out, culled out, and we're ready to go when the snow stops falling. I can find our boots, gloves, shoe shine, beach towels, it's just amazing how much better it is already. The two wedding gowns were gently folded and placed in plastic zippered bags that had comforters in them at one time. I've been told the chemical process dry cleaners do on them actually yellows them, and so I'll save the $. At the end of the shelves is a two drawer file cabinet that has older tax returns, loans, investment files, that sort of thing, that our CPA told us to hang onto. We've shredded massive amounts of paper and aren't done yet. The two boxes on top of it are work files for Don, and they will hopefully be burned when he retires.

I moved the fridge and freezer to the end wall, at Leslie's suggestion - great suggestion! There's one metal shelf that has our old yearbooks, textbooks, comic books, erector sets, train sets, that sort of thing. We're already set on having the kids show us how to sell on Ebay when they come home, and that money will go toward Don's boat someday. I was shocked to find out what his erector set is worth!

I left an entire metal rack for putting back the keepsakes the kids hang onto. Those will stay there til we move, when everyone gets to grab their stuff for their own storage rooms!

So progress - it looks awful still, but some places are looking better. I've been amazed at how much trash we've hauled out, how big the 'give away' pile is getting, and I've got to call the furniture consignment store to get rid of some bigger pieces. So I think Laura at Org. Junkie would be pleased. And maybe thankful she's a safe distance from me so she doesn't get sucked into helping muck out the mess.

Okay, a quick answer - because it's an easy one. Sherry from Georgia, at Sherry's Bits and Pieces asked me how I got connected with my quilting group. She told me she works through the week, and so she'd like a group to get together with once a month, maybe on a Saturday. She preferred some time out of the house. She also told me it didn't necessarily have to be a quilting group since she doesn't quilt.

Sherry - start one! If you attend church regularly you can likely ask your church to let you meet there free of charge. If not, or if you prefer to open it to people who either don't attend your church, or might be uncomfortable in a church setting, then you could likely meet at Panera's or Starbucks or something like that, and open your group to 'lap work'. Most public libraries will let you use a room for free also. Even in our quilting group you never know who will show up with what. We quilt, knit, crochet, embroider, sometimes we even just bring our ironing, or papers to go through, or coupons or magazines to clip. We've sat and addressed Christmas cards, just about anything goes because the point is not just the quilting, but rather the fellowship that grows from a group of women getting together on a regular basis. I'd find a few friends with similar life situations like yours, and invite them to meet you for coffee somewhere in February, and see what happens. You could even do a book discussion group and keep the reading light. Or maybe a movie group - meet for a movie once a month. My group was made up of women I attended church with, but the group has grown and includes women of different faiths who attend different churches than mine. We range in age from mid-40's to late 60's, and once in awhile a 17 year old even joins us!

I've already told my husband if there is no knitting group in the neighborhood we're moving to then I will definitely start one. It's such a wonderful way to make friends, all those women who went before us, who sat at a quilt together, or even on the front porch shelling peas, they knew a good thing!

Last, in case you scrutinize the photo and see that the basement fridge has a label on it, it does indeed. It says, "MEAN PEOPLE SUCK", my favorite bumper sticker ever but the entire family voted against putting it on the family car, so it's in the basement.

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  posted at 7:00 AM

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    Girl Raised in the South

    I have a deep, abiding love for full octane coffee, sewing, knitting, quilting, reading, cooking, gardening, God and my family - not in that order.

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