Thursday, January 19, 2012

Decluttering: the basement workbench

As you've seen many times before, here is my basement workbench (in the far back, behind all the junk in the front).  Note the chandelier, the windshield wiper fluid, Ikea Ribba picture ledges, a suitcase and 400 other pounds of detritus.  

I have zero desire to spend any money on redoing this area, as we are moving in six months (hello, rats!), and this type of organizational stuff won't move with us.  My goal was to clear off the top of the bench, and get all the tools sorted and in one place.  

Slowly but surely I worked my way down the bench.  I made a scrap wood/Ikea Ribba picture ledge pile in the corner. I put the chandelier out on the front porch for donation; it gives a nice Tobacco Road feel to our curb appeal.  I put the suitcase back with the other suitcases.  

Then I went piece by piece, sorting all the tools, screws, nails, and odds and ends into different categories.  I used cardboard boxes and plastic bins we had on hand.  This took about 3 hours.  

There is shelving right behind that pole to the right, which is why there aren't any pictures of the bench head on.  Please forgive the flash photography, as my basement doesn't get much light, especially when I am taking pictures at 10:30 pm.

There are eleven bins, separated into a box of hammers, leftover Ikea screws, furniture casters, brackets, curtain paraphernalia,  a million boxes of screws in packs that you buy from Home Depot, a separate bin of loose screws (SO MANY SCREWS), various other junk, and two plastic thingamajigs that have little drawers, which contain tools separated by category.  

Below the workbench are a rubbermaid bin of cleaning supplies, a rubbermaid bin of tools like drills and saws, and a rubbermaid bin of home decor items not currently being used. Surprisingly, I threw out or donated very little; it was just a matter of organizing what was there.  It would be helpful if I could find my label maker so I could label all the bins.  For now I  will probably buy a pack of sticky-notes.  

Behold, my NINE hammers.  

I'm pretty sure there are two more hammers in the junk drawer in the kitchen.  

I am making headway.  I have cleaned at least 11 percent of the basement so far.  I will assert dominion over the other 89 percent eventually. 

Edited to add: I am linking this post to Pancakes and French Fries William Morris Project.


  1. GREAT JOB! I love the hammer collection. Actually, I am garage needs attention, too. For now, I just find myself stepping over things and constantly thinking (OK, saying out loud as I talk to myself) I know I have that somewhere!

  2. I laughed when I saw your hammer collection. We have a home depot in our basement since we can never find anything and we just keep buying things that we can't find. Ridiculous.

  3. I have as many scissors as you do hammers. I think I need to add a few to my collection since the hubby cant locate the hammer when he needs it.

  4. Oh, wow, that is impressive. It's also a reminder to me that all the piles of my husband's stuff that came from the closet I organized last week, is probably not going to be sifted through by him. I'm going to have to do it eventually and I'm sure I'll find an equally disturbing number of hammers!
    It's coming along. Sorry about the rats. I've been there. Never again.

  5. Looks like you are ready to make a hammer display. You can never have too many!

  6. Hey, you have a hammer for each room. That basement has come a long way!

  7. I'm really excited by all the people who are posting updates on big projects. It's like waiting for an episode of Modern Family. Between your basement and Carey's office, I don't need TV!

    p.s. I died laughing when I read the NINE hammers sentence. :)

  8. It is near impossible to not remark on your hammers, I'm almost close to making an unforgivable pun about them. Resisting.
    Holy awesome job on your basement clean-up. It has truly come a long, long way. Awesome!

  9. Nine hammers? And I get on my husband's case because we have four. Awesome work. I can't believe how much everyone is getting done this week. Such inspiration!

  10. oooh the scary part of the basement! Well done. I'm doing what I can down in my dungeon--so I feel like I've a partner in you.


Yay! You're commenting! I love comments!