One Bag Nation

The Basement Report: Still Sorting!

Posted on: June 7, 2008

Yesterday I spent 15 minutes down in the holiday room, chipping away at my great basement organizing project. I piled up all the ribbon and tissue paper and took inventory.

One of the best tips I got from Laura Leist’s book Eliminate Chaos is to sort and purge your stuff before buying any storage containers. Shopping is #8 of her ten steps to getting organized! All those fun stores like IKEA, Storables and The Container Store seduce us with bins, boxes and baskets of every shape, size and color, but you really shouldn’t buy any of that stuff until you know what you need to store.

I’m definitely in favor of investing in storage containers that you like to look at and do the job, but for now, my sorting continues. When I have everything organized in piles or temporary boxes, I’ll decide if I need to purchase anything to store it in.

I’m so looking forward to walking into that room and being able to put my hand on exactly what I need!


6 Responses to "The Basement Report: Still Sorting!"

Hi Ann,

I agree with Laura. Often I purge so good, I don’t even need a container/bin/box for what’s left.

That would be like putting the cart before the horse. 🙂

Barbara, you’re right, but I think a lot of us do just that . . . and then we end up organizing our organizing containers!

Hi there,

I stumbled on your blog while reading some comments over on Zen Habits. I, too, am in the process of tackling my basement. I’ve managed to get the main living spaces of my home fairly purged and organized – but a lot of this occured at the expense of my basement, which is where I dumped all of the unwanted stuff. I tried to commit to doing the 15 minutes a day thing, but found I just kept procrastinating going down there. The other night my husband was away, the kids were sleeping, and I decided to take the plunge – I bet I spent 3 good hours down there purging and organizing. So now that I’ve actually STARTED, I think I will also aim for 15 minutes (or 5 minutes!) a day, and just keep plugging away at it. Sometimes just starting is the biggest hurdle! I feel a little bit lighter already, and I can only imagine how good it will feel to have it done. 🙂

I’m bookmarking your blog, and I’ll be back to check on your progress, and stay motivated myself!

Take care!

Hi Alissa,
The mess in our basement is also due (partly) to the decluttering I’ve done upstairs.

Three hours is an awesome start – you must have made some real progress. Now it’s just a matter of staying motivated to finish. For me, the reward will be a playspace, an exercise area, my holiday stuff organized so I can find it, and a clean, orderly place to store my kitchen overflow.

Thanks for visiting and commenting!


Thanks for commenting on my blog as well!

Just wanted to come back and tell you I did the 15-minute timer thing (I put an accountability post on my blog). I was actually sitting here reading one of your blog posts about procrastination, and decided to get off my butt and get to work. So, thanks! 🙂 You have inspired me. I’m going to do another 15 tomorrow.

Alissa, today is one of those days when I’d rather work in the dreary basement than work at my “day job” . . . so I definitely need to practice what I preach and get on with it!

I’m thrilled to be inspiring you!!

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