A couple weeks ago I decided to clean up the basement. I can't even remember why now. Perhaps because it was a wreck. How the basement becomes a wreck is never all that clear, either, but that's definitely the state it tends toward.
So this is what I started with:
And this is what I ended up with:
The bulk of the stuff piled on and around the table down there was beer brewing and bottling supplies. They've since moved to the room under the front porch, which Eric cleaned out last weekend. That room is the darkest, dampest room in the house, so it tends to get really gross, really fast. Then we ignore it for a long time.
But it's all cleaned out now, and Eric fixed some of the drainage issues that led to it being wet, so we'll see how it goes, keeping bottles and dry supplies down there. It might now work for grain storage, but for now, the part of the basement we use as living space looks a lot better!
I also removed some excess furniture from the couch arrangement, and got rid of some cushions. For the cushions I kept, I took the covers off and washed them. And I wiped everything down, swept and mopped the floors (twice now).
It's an ongoing process, because every time I declutter one space, I unearth things that need to go somewhere else, but where exactly? Trash and items to donate are easy, but I have a tougher time making decisions about Eric's stuff. I could haul everything out to the garage, but then it would be a pile in the garage, because I don't know where things really should go. So I leave it for him, and sometimes it moves on, and sometimes it doesn't.
Despite the ongoing-ness of this whole decluttering process, I continue to believe there will be an end point. Obviously, the end does not come after one, or even two, rounds of decluttering. But surely at some point we'll be out of stuff to declutter? Everything in the house will be things we use. Most everything. I really hope so, anyhow.
Bonus Laundry Room Update
Just for the hell of it, I took some pictures of the laundry room, as it is today. I decluttered the laundry room back in January and I haven't done anything special to maintain it, other than the occasional cleaning. So how's it holding up?
Here's what it looked like when I finished decluttering:
And what it looks like today, with no special treatment:
The shelves are a little messier, and you can see some actual laundry. But overall, it's held up pretty well. And I can't think of a single thing I regret removing from the space.
When I read about other people's decluttering and organizational projects, I always wonder how they hold up. How functional is it? What changes? This one was quite successful for me, so there you have it.