Thursday, 7 January 2016

Pre Christmas Clean Up Project

Welcome to 2016! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year celebration. Finally, things are quieter and I have a chance to blog. I have been away for a while and now that I am sitting at my keyboard, I must say, I have truly missed it. In today's post, I have decided to catch you up on a recent project that has absolutely nothing to do with food. It does, however, have a lot to do with making me feel better. I hate clutter and mess. It drags me down. On the flip side, I can be really good at creating clutter and mess, especially when I let our "stuff" get the better of us and accumulate. It had been at least 6 years since I've tackled a major purging of things we have outgrown or moved on from and the result has been a basement that was starting to look a little junky. It was time for a therapeutic sort, edit and purge AND to get our basement ready for Christmas.

In November I wanted to work on getting our rec room and TV rooms finished. We started this project 10 years ago and since I am between jobs right now, I decided it was high time to move this longstanding work in progress forward. Quality projects take time, but this was getting ridiculous! So, step 1 of my Christmas Clean Up was to find my long lost basement and rejuvenate it to be an inviting space again. I had a lofty goal of getting 90% of my project completed before Christmas. Sadly, the second week of December hit and I ran out of time for this project. Completion would have to be put off until the new year, but I would like to share what I've done so far!

There was much editing, organizing and super cleaning required first and foremost. Then, armed with my hole filler, sanding pad, paint and assortment of brushes and rollers, I set out to colour me beautiful, one wall at a time! The inspiration for my wall colour was from this beautiful cuddle quilt my mother-in-law made for me. 

Several years ago, my husband built a cabinet to house our electronics. He chose a gorgeous espresso coloured stain. Then he built a shelving unit above our TV and the cabinet. This shelving unit remained a natural wood colour for many years. Finally, this unit got painted! The espresso coloured paint closely matches the stain too. Our entertainment centre is finally looking polished. Now, I want two more cabinets to finish the project. For now, it's coming along now and I'm pleased with the results so far. 

Even though I have purged a whole lot of "stuff", I found that displaying a lot of unrelated things, no matter how neatly, still looked junky and felt cluttered. In order to make my shelves and cubbies look cleaner, I used a variety of bins, baskets and boxes in which to store my stuff. Then I grouped similar baskets, bins and baskets together to help give a more streamlined and uniform look. The only thing that would make this better would be to use only one kind of basket or bin, but I've been trying to do my basement cleanup on a tight budget and make use of what we already had.


This bookcase is another project my husband made. It is still a natural colour and I am thinking it will stay that way (it matches the natural wood kindling box he made too).  Again, I have tried to create some continuity with similar baskets and bins on the shelves to hide a variety of items including my beloved mason jars in a variety of sizes; office items like files, taxes, and paid bills; an assortment of Frisbees, sidewalk chalk and miscellaneous outside toys; a collection of housewares I'm keeping to hand down to our youngest when she leaves the nest; plus a whole lot more. Before I tackled this bookcase, the contents used to be arranged on the shelves, and even though I kept things neat, it looked so busy and cluttered. I am pleased with the results and I think it looks so much more "together" and orderly.

Since most of the things are neatly tucked away in bins, baskets, and boxes, I used my favourite organization tool... my Brother labeller!  This allows me to attach labels to the box , bin, or on the shelf. Now I have visual cues to help locate items, not to mention, now my husband and daughter can find their stuff! 
It's still a work in progress, just not as much work left. Only a little more painting and a little more carpentry required; things are feeling more ordered and I am feeling a little more at peace! 

Budget Tip: If you know that the contents of a bin or box is going to be temporary, use green painter's tape to label. The label tape is expensive, so I reserve it for permanent labelling.

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