This is a Journal of my struggle to control all the STUFF that finds it's way into my home. I don't want to be the "keep this for me" person anymore!
A termite inspection is scheduled to be done on my house a few days from now. Yikes! That means someone is coming into my home. The person will be going into the basement to inspect the house from underneath as well as above. Umm…. yes I did say I don’t have a basement.
Let me explain. I do have a basement but the only access to it is a hole in the floor of a closet. Anyone going into the basement must first lower a step-ladder through the opening, open the step-ladder so it stands safely, then carefully lower themself to the top of the step-ladder. A regular ladder won’t work to enter my basement. It must be a step-ladder. There’s not enough room for a ladder and a person at the same time in the opening. The basement is ten foot deep. My basement might as well not be there for all the good it does me to have it. I can’t afford a carpenter to install a regular stairway. Something I’ve wished for, for over 30 years, and never got.
Ok now that’s cleared up about the basement; I did start cleaning the room of STUFF. Cleaning and sorting is the first step to clearing up hoarded stuff. It’s hard to know what to get rid of if you don’t know how many you have.
Here’s the before: This is standing at the door looking in. Lots of grocery bags of food never put away. The kitchen chairs. A cardboard cabinet I’ve started and never finished. It’s upside down. There’s a love seat size daybed setting on its end. There is a bunch of books that need putting away.
This is to the right in the room. More STUFF. More groceries. And my small attempt at organizing the canned goods stash once before.
This is even farther to the right in the room. A view almost to the closet. The basement access door is under the cooler. I use the cooler when I shop for groceries. It’s an all day event and the cooler keeps the refrigerator stuff cool until I get home.
This photo is after I moved everything to another room. Except for the daybed. The room needed mopping to clean up the dust. It hasn’t been mopped in several months.
Where did I move everything? Well across the hall into another room of course. I can’t think of a better reason to finish this in one day than having a place to sleep. All the food is now on the bed ready to sort. The sheets are in the wash.
Here’s the after. Most of the STUFF is still there. It’s just better organized than before. I got rid of only the items I was certain I wouldn’t use. I took all the extra food to the car for delivery to the food bank. This is the daybed setting as it should sit. That’s a very old style daybed. It’s just the perfect size a room that’s only 6 foot by 7 foot.
Here’s the canned foods now out of bags and stored until later. I was tempted to stop and do an inventory but decided that could wait. I have to figure out where the canned stuff will be kept. They are in a temporary home for now. It must be a cabinet with doors. I don’t think I could stand to look at canned stuff on open shelves. I put all the books back onto the shelves.
Here’s a little farther to the right in the room. See the cardboard cabinet? It has art quilts on top. There are charity quilts in the chair waiting until my annual Christmas drop off. You may wonder why the chairs are not in the kitchen? They are too short for the table. Whenever I set in one of the chairs the table top is a very near my chin. I feel like a child that needs a booster seat. I plan to put wheels on the legs to raise them a couple of inches and then pad the seat to give a couple more inches in height. Someday. Until then; the chairs don’t get used.
Here’s the closet area again. See the basement access door? The closet is very shallow. The closet is about a foot and a half deep. The access area is between floor joists. The joists are 16 inches on center.
There is an interesting story about the basement. It has brick walls and a concrete floor. One day, a long time ago, I lay on the floor with a flashlight looking into the basement. Just to see what I was missing out on. All the bricks are natural color except one. That one brick is painted bright red. Why? I don’t have a clue. I can’t help but wonder if maybe there is some long forgotten treasure behind that red brick. I’ve never been into the basement so I’ve never checked it out. I don’t point it out to anyone going down because I want to discover its secret for myself. If I ever get a stairway built so I can walk down there that’s the first thing I want to see.