Operation Declutter: Basement/Garage Edition

Basement Nightmare

Warning: This post is not gonna be pretty.

I have an embarrassing confession to make: my basement has become a dark, dank hoarder’s paradise. I have finally decided that it’s time to dig out from underneath all of this clutter.

I should give a little background. My house is over 150 years old, and the basement has NEVER been finished. The mortar in the stone walls is crumbling, creating a dusty mess on top of all the stuff that exists in this basement limbo. You see, the basement is one huge catch-all. Out of sight/out of mind, as the saying goes. Problem with that is, I find myself categorizing the items in my basement like this-

1. Things that can’t find a home in any other room in the house…

2. Things that aren’t exactly trash because I swear I can use them for future projects…

3.Things that are only used seasonally like shovels and rock salt and holiday decorations…

All of these things are laid to rest in the boneyard that is the basement. The mayhem starts right behind the door to the basement stairs. This landing is the site of the fourth category: All the things that I don’t want to carry all the way down into the basement for fear I’ll never find them again. As you can see, retrieving these items is like a grotesque, and often times dangerous game of Jenga.

Basement Nightmare 3


Operation Declutter is all about organizing a mess into effective categories and then finding a storage method that suits your needs. Basements typically house all your home improvement supplies, so the categories may look like this-

1. Electrical supplies (light bulbs, switch plates, wires, etc.)

2. Plumbing supplies (pipe fittings, caulk, extra tiles, etc.)

3. Small tools (screwdrivers, wrenches, hammers, etc.)

4. Power tools (sanders, drills, etc.)

5. Small Parts (nails, screws, etc.)

Basement Shelving

A fresh coat of paint does wonders for any space, so I slapped on some leftover paint (taken from my I can use this for a future project heap). I used some cinder blocks and some old metal shelves (taken from my not exactly trash heap) to create a neat little “built in” at the top of the stairs. The shoe boxes were from a dollar store, and they really hide a lot of the eyesores that existed before. Added bonus is that the whole thing cost about $20 (cinder blocks and shoe boxes) and I can easily reach all the items I need without a concussion causing avalanche of crap. It’s certainly not showroom ready, but hey, I warned you that this post wasn’t gonna be pretty 🙂