Cleaning the basement is stinky

We are cleaning the basement.  It stinks.  Not the basement, the process.

There are many reasons it stinks:

  1. It takes a lot of time.
  2. It takes a lot of decisions.
  3. It takes a lot of cooperation.
  4. For every “ohhhhh, look what I found”, you have 10 “holy crap, why did we keep this” moments.
  5. There are a lot of things you need to keep and you have to find them a spot that makes sense if you are cleaning.
  6. The basement is … in the basement.  Not a place I like to spend time living, just a place I like to send the kids to put things or retrieve things.
  7. There’s a lot of dust.
  8. Everyone thinks the other person has the most stuff stored in the basement.  This leads to non-productive, vocally heightened conversations.  (I know you get the point.)

Please send me your good thoughts for the basement cleaning to be painless.  Okay, it’s already painful, but maybe send thoughts that nobody gets killed in the process.

These are not pictures of my basement.  I wish they were.  My before picture looks much worse than this, and is one shade removed from the hoarders show people. 🙂

So far, I have a finished full bathroom and a Christmas room (for holiday storage) in the basement.  It’s worth the effort, but still very painful.

Hey stinky basement.  Watch out, here I come.


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13 Responses to Cleaning the basement is stinky

  1. Kemi says:

    I’m cleaning out everywhere at the moment because I’m moving house tomorrow (I know great timing!). So I totally understand this. It stinks! I have 10 bags of stuff to trash or give away. Everyone’s grumpy as their stuff in black bags. We have to let go….we just can’t take all this stuff to the new house..!! Good luck. K

  2. Keep on task…leave the emotions of the “stuff” behind and organization is key! Good luck Techy!!!

  3. Huffygirl says:

    Hey Margaret – you can come help me with mine. I am in the same boat – been cleaning the basement off and on for over a year now. Very slow progress and the decision making is he hardest. Too much sentimental stuff that we’ve kept for 30 years, so why get rid of it now? Keep plugging away at it Techie, and maybe we can both get Margaret to stop by and help.

    • I’ll tell you what. I’ll clean your basement if you put up all my junk on eBay. There’s something I can’t be bothered doing.

      • Don’t you wish it were so easy to get all the people you know and carve out the chores that someone else could do for you and you for them. If you could teleport here and help, I’d for sure do the eBay part for you!

    • Huffygirl, I am sending you all the good vibes I can muster. I get into the right frame of mind and make good progress for an hour and then I come upon a box that is either very sentimental or full of crap I can’t even get up the energy to look through. Maybe Margaret could run a service where she goes city to city with her label gun and wrist bands saying “organize or bust!”.

  4. I wish I lived closer. I’d come help. I love organizing projects that involve bins. 😀 A labeled bin for everything is the way to go. But first, toss all the junk you didn’t even remember you had and never looked for. Be ruthless. You’ll feel so much lighter.

    Jeez, I thought I was having a bad case of floaters, but it’s snowing on your site. 🙂

    • I have the bins…and the labeller…but so far, they are not getting the right focus! The basement work is progressing in small bursts and we are managing to keep peace in the house through the process. No easy feat!

  5. John Erickson says:

    We have a simple solution. We got a basement that floods. Well, not “floods”, per se. The water just kinda leaks through the wall on one side of the basement, flows neatly across the floor, and across to the drain, where it disappears into the storm sewer. No muss, no fuss!
    Well, that, and our heating system (a wood-burning furnace) is down there, so we keep a table saw down there to cut the firewood up. So add a layer of sawdust to the layer of mud that comes in with the water.
    Hey, when you have something that’s 110 years old, you expect a few leaks here and there….

  6. Gosh…When I first saw those photos….I was gonna offer you thousands of dollars to come down here and transform my garage….. but then I read your disclaimer….. oh well…… I really need to look into shelves like that….. there may very well be an actual vehicle buried in our garage somewhere under our mountain of junk…..

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