The basement clutter was looming, I couldn’t get it out of my head. I put it up here to make sure I followed through and it haunted me.
I had cleaned up a few things here and there, but not much. Every day I went down to grab something for lunches or dinner, every time I switched the laundry around. It was staring back at me, taunting. I finally thought I was at my breaking point in trying to get to it.
I never get time in the house to myself where I can spend an hour or two to work through all of it. I couldn’t work during the kids naps because it would make too much noise. I made up my mind on Friday that I was going to skip the festival over the weekend that we go to every year. I plastered my “I am saying No” all over the internet and to everyone so that I would just get this done.
I hated making this decision just to clean up, but it had to happen. I talked it over with my husband and I was going to stay home while he took the boys to the festival so I could have the house to myself. How could I feel so excited, and disappointed at the same time. I felt like a failure for having to resort to skipping out of family time so that I could clean.
It was pretty bad, this was months and months of build up. Every time we were done with some of the baby stuff, toys or anything that just needed to be given a home it went to this room in the basement. I have cleaned it up a few times over the last year, but only one part at a time and I always kept too much. I needed to be ruthless and just do it all in one day.
Saturday morning came, I went and did the grocery shopping in the early morning like I always do, came home and was trying to get a mental list of what I was going to do. I couldn’t get my head away from what I was going to be missing later in the afternoon when everyone else was going to head out to the festival.
I made a bargain with my self to try to get everything. I went downstairs right after breakfast and got right to work. If I was able to get enough done then I would reconsider going to the festival.
I just stared at the disaster in front of me and could not figure out where to start. There was just STUFF EVERYWHERE, my brain shut down. In retrospect this is probably why I never really accomplished cleaning this are before. Since it was a combination of so many different things there were so many decisions that needed to be made.
I took a deep breath and realized I had already pulled out all of the old containers I had saved for a someday project. I had set them to the side to recycle so I grabbed those bins and took them to the recycling. Once in the garage I cleaned up a small bit of things so I could take pictures of the items I wanted to post online to sell. I reorganized a little and felt a ping of energy to get this done!
Back in the basement I just started to move, making quick decisions on things I knew. I packed up the baby stuff we were storing away and got those into the storage part of the basement. Then I moved some items to get to what I call the Gift box, a box full of the little items, I pick up here and there that I use a gifts. I cleaned that up, and put in a better plan to not be buried. Then tacked the book shelves, removing the coffee cups we kept as overflow that are no longer needed (off to be sold) and just like that I was flying through some of these decisions.
I had a pile of things that truly belonged upstairs or needed to be reviewed my more than just me, a pile of things to put in the next garage sale, more recyclable and trash.
Honestly in less than an hour I had made a huge dent. There was still more to be done but I felt accomplished. I needed to take a break because with all the noise being made (I kept sneezing from the dust) the boys knew I was down there and kept calling for me. I took up the load of laundry that was dry (yup I was even getting the laundry done at the same time) and spent a bit of time with everyone. My husband was astonished by how different the room looked with the small amount of time I had actually spent on it.
It was a good time to take a break so the little one could take a nap. While we worked on getting him down for a bit I played with my 3-year-old. We read some of the books I brought upstairs and enjoyed a bit of quiet time as well. unfortunately the little one did not take too much of a nap but we had fun playing around for a bit. Just before lunch time we decided to get ready to go.
After a quick shower I was getting ready but still feeling the urge to clean more. My bedroom is another sanctuary for the miscellaneous items in need of a home (my dresser especially). This is another room I wanted to work on in my time alone, but now feeling the need to go to the festival and not miss out on the memories with my family I had to let it go. Instead as I got dressed I took a hard look at some of my clothes in the closet.
I had just gone through the clothing recently and cleaned out quite a bit, but I still felt like there was more to do. I started to just pull things off the hanger and stared at it. If I didn’t see myself actually able to wear it in the next 6 months on the bed it was thrown. I was surprising myself with the quick decisions I was making. Some of the clothes that were once my favorites I was finally able to let them go.
I was able to get all of my shirts back in order and found so much more room!
After all of that I was able to go and enjoy the family time at the festival. I know there is a lot more to get through in the basement and in my bedroom but being able to get it done without kicking everyone else out was a huge accomplishment for me.