Question: What’s the biggest project in your life that needs dire attention, but that you’ve procrastinated on?
My Answer: Without a doubt, cleaning our basement is the project I’ve most procrastinated on. My husband and I have asked ourselves repeatedly, how we’ve accumulated so much “crap” in our 29 years of marriage.
A quick walk-through our basement and a look around pretty much answers that question. We just don’t get rid of stuff when we should. We still have most of our kids old toys and even their old clothes that we should have departed with many years ago. I’m a confessed sentimental junkie. It pains me to get rid of baby clothes and sentimental toys my kids played with. It pains me to part with old prom dresses and bridesmaids dresses. But I’m quickly getting over that. I’ve realized they are taking up valuable space. Space that we desperately need cleared.
All the clutter is bringing much angst in my life and causing my mind to be cluttered. I’ve realized that all this stuff has to go and something’s gotta change! Yesterday, hubby and I took the plunge and began this very daunting task before us. I wanted to see just how much we could accomplish in an hour. So down to the basement I go, carrying my large hour-glass (which is surprisingly accurate to the minute–yes, I’ve timed it)! We began. After working hard for one hour, we had one very large garbage bag full of trash, a good-sized Goodwill donation box of clothes, a small yard sale pile forming, and a box for each of our sons’ things (things they will need to go through later and decide if they want to keep or toss).
We repeated these hourly cleaning sessions two more times and ended up with 4 large garbage bags, 2 large Goodwill donation boxes. I plan to do another hour or two down there today and every day until it’s decluttered and reorganized and cleaned up. It can be an overwhelming job if you stand back and look at what’s in front of you. Many times, I’ve stood in that basement with tears forming in my eyes, looking around and thinking, “where do I start?” I’ve learned the only way to approach it is to pick a section and work in increments of time so as not to get too overwhelmed. For example, I’ll tell myself– “I’ll work on this corner for this hour until I have it decluttered,” or “I’ll clear off this one table until it’s bare, etc.” Yesterday was a very hot and humid day and so one hour was what I set the time for. We would work an hour and then feeling damp all over and noting our hair feeling wet, we would go rest a while with a cold beverage and cool down a little, then get back to work some more. After working a little over 3 hours, I had mixed feelings. It felt good to know we threw away a lot of stuff that needed throwing away. It felt good seeing the 2 boxes of Goodwill items we collected. But I realized this “job” is going to take much longer than I originally thought it would. It was a little frustrating to look around realizing we didn’t even make a dent in the “stuff” we’ve let pile up.
But I can’t get discouraged. We’ve vowed to just keep chipping away at it and hopefully, soon, we’ll start being able to see our progress. It didn’t get this way overnight and it’s certainly not going to be cleared out overnight.