decluttering: the basement


{If you missed yesterday's decluttering: the house post start here.}

The basement.  

Our basement has served many important roles in our family's life in this house.  Originally it was part art room, playroom, and kid's restaurant.  And most recently it served as a sewing space for me and, well, where all of upstairs "stuff" ended up.


With my oldest children not so young any more and a new toddler loving adventure in new spaces, I decided in the midst of tidying and decluttering down here, that we need change and we needed it now.  We need to reinvent this space to fit our family's needs now.

Behold the new family room.  

With so much to entice Rowan to pull out a toy and play, the twins to pull out a puzzle and play, and reviving a CD player for the older girls' "ballet classes" and dance parties, our family room has turned into an updated "play room" by day (especially since my sewing counter is in the same room).  And by night it turns into a "family room" with our most favorite board games, loaned television (Thanks mom and dad!) and good 'ol couch for watching [amazon_link id="B000MR9D5E" target="_blank" ]Planet Earth[/amazon_link] for the 500th time or for family movie night.



There are fun new additions to the space like Caroline's fairy net where the girls like to hide out in.  And the new pieces of art that each girl made for the space.


And the basement usuals are still in the room as well: the dress up bin, the little wooden kitchen, felt food, and table and chairs.  (That corner needs a little creative renewing but is enjoyed still.)

So far we've spent many hours in the family room.  We just have to remember slightly in advance for someone to turn on the space heater and we are good to go.


Beyond the family room is another room in the basement (which used to be our art room).  We now call it the food storage room.


With the existing shelving, I've turned one wall into my space for all of my concoction/essential oil supplies.  I also have a shelf just of party supplies/wrapping supplies so I know where everything is in one space.

We've added our metal shelves to this room with all of our food storage.  The room is simplified: shelves, stocked with food and supplies, and our water supply.  We can send kids downstairs while we cook to grab more of this and that on the shelves.  (More on our food storage in another post.)


Between those two rooms is a little hallway.  For the past 6 months a long card table has been in that space overflowing with "stuff" for me to put away.  (This is what I tackled first in my early morning tale I told yesterday.)  My dream has been, since my oldest two have begun to love sewing, is to turn that table into their own sewing table, fully stocked with their supplies, fabric, and even a inspiration board they can add to on the wall.

I knew I had reached my decluttering goal when this table (which once made my stomach turn at the sight of it) had become something functional and inspiring.  And so it has, as Caroline comes and sits for moments at a time, to sew this or that.


And lastly, the storage room.

It is brimming full with tupperware of kids' clothes, Christmas ornaments, and every other important (and random) thing you can think of to store.  There is still work to be done here, but hey, the floor is cleared off and everything is packed (and I mean packed) on the big shelves.  That works for me and the long task of going through many tupperware containers of clothes will be spring's task.

Without planning to, that's a tour of our basement!  I've always felt very blessed to have gone from no basement to a finished basement with options for creating spaces of order and play.  But, like anything, it takes planning to make a basement not a place that just holds junk.


Decluttering a basement (whether finished or unfinished):

  • Decide what you'd love to use the additional space for
  • Begin with getting rid of all of the high school letters you've kept, college texts, unused furniture, and things that really aren't adding to your life
  • Then when you've gotten rid of a ton, get rid of more: more old toys, stored clothes, etc.
  • With careful planing and creativity, take one day to rearrange and turn your basement into exactly what you'd love to have it be
  • Teach the family to work together to maintain the basement, even if it is simply a storage place, so things will always go back in their respected place and stay functional for years to come


I'd love to hear about your basement.  What do you use it for?  For storing?  Play? What would you love it to become as an extension of your living space??


Read more on decluttering:

decluttering: the house

the sleepy time gal