My basement was a chaotic mess. There really is no other way to describe the disaster that was lurking below. Thankfully, my mother likes a challenge. We decided to tackle the basement when she visited last month.
Before & After Photos: Amazing Basement Cleanup
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you my before and after photos. I expect all the appropriate “ooooh’s” and “ahhhh’s” to come flooding into the comments as you enjoy the glorious transformation.
This basement cleanup was accomplished through 3 tasks.
1. Remove all the trash.
Do you see all the cardboard boxes above? It is amazing how many empty boxes were tossed down into the basement, but never actually put in the trash or recycling!
Other things that we threw away or recycled: random electrical cords (if they haven’t been missed yet, they won’t be!), the leaf blower that stopped working, empty baby food jars, a 2 year old evergreen wreath, pine cones, old seeds, and much more.
2. Remove all the items that don’t belong in the basement.
Nate often receives donations for work. Most of the time those donations make it to work just fine, but sometimes he needs to unload his car before he can get to work. So where do those donations end up? Our basement.
Nate and I had been saving a mattress and boxspring set for Grace. My mom helped me move that from the basement into Grace’s room. Grace was thrilled with the upgrade, and I was thrilled with the extra space in the basement.
There were also many things that needed to go to our local thrift store. Plus I had a few things that belonged to a friend that needed to be returned. We used a Facebook yard sale group to get rid of an unwanted air conditioner and TV.
Items that didn’t belong: 3 big boxes of baby wipes, stuffed animals, books, clothes, patio cushions, a soccer goal, and much more.
3. Reorganize what is left.
There was hardly a drop of organization happening in our basement. Organizing everything that was left in the basement was crucial to the cleanup.
We started by utilizing the shelves more. One was moved to hold all of the paint cans. The other one holds tools and gardening equipment.
There were a lot of half-empty boxes holding a couple of canning jars. I sorted through the canning jars, and consolidated the boxes.
There were also some wedding gifts still in boxes. Yes. I did say wedding gifts.
Yes, Nate and I have been married for 10 years.
Yes, I know that this makes me completely insane and perhaps a horrible person.
I had completely forgotten that I owned this beautiful dish! Other wedding gifts weren’t my style, and now that 10 years have passed I no longer felt guilty letting them go. If you want to hear more about the wedding gifts that were hiding in my basement, listen to Sorta Awesome episode 37.
I am extremely thankful that I had my mom’s help with this basement cleanup. She knew how to be “stern” with me when needed, yet she also understood my point of view. She knows how hard it is for me to get rid of things.
It was great to have her voice of reason telling me . . .
- This is trash.
- This should go to the thrift store.
- This probably can be recycled.
- You really should keep this.
Now that the basement is so empty, Grace and Noah have been riding scooters down there! It has been amazing.
Looking for motivation & help with your own crazy cleanup projects?
*These are affiliate links.*
I highly recommend The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up to hear from an expert on decluttering. I also highly recommend Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff for those who want to hear from someone who struggles with organization.
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Of course sometimes you just need a kick in the pants to get off the couch and clean something. All subscribers to Simply Rebekah receive a free copy of my Just Clean Something workbook.
What do you think of my basement cleanup? Does your basement currently look like my before photos or my after photos?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Simply Rebekah. You can read my full disclosure here.