Close this search box.



First, let me start by saying that even though it’s the end of the August and kids all over the country are already back in school, summer is not over. Not even close. Dammit.

Now repeat that until you really believe it. Because even thinking about fall and the miserable season that comes after it puts me in a foul mood.

But deep down, I know that my gardening days are numbered for 2015 and I’ve started cooking up plans for what to do with myself when it’s too cold out to blissfully stare into the center of a gorgeous flower.

After a year off of house projects, things WILL be done this year. It’s just a matter of what things we decide to tackle. As is the way with Murphy’s Law, no sooner had we all but decided that we’d redo the first-floor bathroom this winter than Mr. Much More Patient’s car started having serious issues and cutting into our renovation budget. That may still happen, but in the meantime I have some DIY urges that must be satisfied. So this season-that-comes-after-fall-that-shall-not-be-named I’m going to put some serious elbow grease into fixing up the finished side of the basement. I’ve decided the only way to make it not continually turn into a convenient dumping location is to make it nice enough that we don’t want to do that.

Step one, of course, is to clean it out. I hate doing that. I hate having stuff that doesn’t have a place (and sometimes a purpose) and have to do that do-we-need-it dance. I also struggle with how to get rid of it. How do you deal with stuff overload? Donate it all? Pick through it and sell what you can? A little money would be very nice but at the same time it is a time consuming and frustrating process. For instance, I sold a $20 area rug through a local Facebook rummage group but have spent two days trying to arrange a pick up with the buyer. Is it worth it for $20?

I do have a plan, though. I know they are all the rage right now so that probably means we’ll all hate them in a year, but planked walls will be happening. I’ve looked up a few blog tutorials and I think I can plank all the walls for about $200 in plank materials (not counting nails, caulk, etc.). The whole thing will get a coat of paint to make it light and bright down there.

I think I’ll pull up the ugly gray carpet on the stairs and paint them, but in the corner where I pulled up the rug, it appeared that the treads are particle board, which could complicate that plan.

In a perfect world, I’d like to use vinyl plank flooring to cover the pink and blue sheet vinyl that’s down there, but this weekend I discovered that we needed about 400 square feet of flooring and even the least expensive vinyl planks add up to a pretty penny when you have that much floor to cover. So I’m looking into options and toying with the idea of painting it.

Since there’s a “stuff” problem down there, storage also needs to happen. There is an awkward corner with a sump pump and the electrical box, both of which have been half covered up by a previous owner. I think that might be a good area to just build out with semi-built-in units as both a way to incorporate those necessities into the design and add storage.

A few other things will also happen including some lighting improvements (changing out the ceiling lights and maybe springing for an electrician to  put some sconces around the room) and removing the fireplace insert. The flue has been closed off so there’s no reason for the insert which was once used to heat the room. I’d rather have an empty firebox with candles in it or whatever than the big, hulking insert.

But it all starts with a clean slate and I really want to know what you all do to deal with your stuff. Let me know!

6 Responses

  1. We used to do garage sales, but people want to pay so little at a garage sale I've given up. Now we donate it all to Value Village. Your inspirational photos look wonderful.

  2. Having recently spent about 9 months of Fridays cleaning out my parent's house with my siblings, I have a path of least resistance attitude. We ended up donating and trashing most of the ''stuff' in our folks house. We all took a few items of sentimental value and hired an estate sale company to deal with the rest. I feel freed by this, now realizing 'stuff' only has the value a person attributes to it. So if it becomes more of a hassle to deal with selling it than you would get in return (and really, don't minimized the $ value of your time), donate it. And as Stephen mentioned, it never hurts to accrue some good karma!

  3. Having recently completed a long distance move, I had plenty of indoor and outdoor "stuff" to deal with. It broke down to 4 categories: 1) take it with me, 2) sell it (consign, craigslist, etc), 3) donate it, and 4) junk it. It took time and planning, but I made some $$$ and saved more by not moving it. The donated items made me and the recipients happy. All in all, a good feeling – my new house actually has storage with nothing in it!

  4. Well I have a utility room that I call my DoomsGay Prepper room because it is a crazy archive/stockpile of stuff. I have steel shelves around the perimeter of the room and two aisles in the middle. And it is embarrassingly full. I think it depends on what kind of stuff it is. I have tons of china, crystal, silver, Christmas decor, and vases/hurricane lamps. That stuff is easy to store, thankfully. Furniture is much harder. I try not to keep a lot of extra furniture on hand, but I do have some flex tables. Those I keep in a row. The other thing I do is have a master inventory. This takes a long f*****g time but is SO worth it. I took photos of literally everything I own on my iPad. Then organized them into albums. This helps me shop my own stuff AND realize what I don't use. I never bother with selling stuff. I should. But it's just so easy to drop things off at Goodwill. Plus I feel like since I often shop Goodwill and enjoy the great deals, it's good karma to feed the other side.
    I shouldn't have gotten cocky about my Craigslist china. The guy texted me Sunday and said he had car trouble and can I come to his house instead? Um. I might risk getting murdered over Limoges but not for my 16th set of Noritake. But I am a little disappointed. I was planning on using it for Thanksgiving!

  5. My mind is turning to indoor projects too. This fall, we're redoing our (only) bathroom upstairs on the bedroom level. My original plan of moving a wall to enlarge it has gone down the toilet (pun intended) once I got the quote back – it was double what I had budgeted. So we're already cutting corners on this project and we haven't even started. IF we get that done, I'd love to strip the wallpaper from the master bedroom and paint it. Sadly it needs some drywall work first. It never ends.
    Love the concept of the plank walls. The floor will look cool painted!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

What would you like to know? Search, or jump to categories below.