Aug, 2012

What About That Crawl Space

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seniors basement clean outWhat crawl space you say? I have a basement! Whatever space you have that you use to put stuff in you are not using at the present time. That is what I am talking about.

Every time I have to go down to the lower level of a home whether it be by a full staircase or a ladder type staircase I am in awe what people keep there. “I thought I might need it someday”, is what I hear when I begin to bring things out of the darkness. I can understand why once you put something down there you don’t bother about it again. Who wants to be crawling around sometimes in a 4 foot high space or try to maneuver a narrow ladder like staircase? I once refused to go down into the space because it was so scary!

  • Okay, where do you start? The best way to deal with a difficult space is to start to bring things out one box or item at a time. Ooh’s and aah’s will be heard from afar as the memories come flooding back. Take time (short time ok) to enjoy the memories. Work at it in 1 hour time slots or tackle it as a day’s work if you are up for it. Having another person helping gives you the moral support you will need as well as the physical help – some of the forgotten is heavy!
  •  Take each item and decide right then and there whether it is a keeper or not. I can almost guarantee that 90% of the stuff will go to the thrift store or the dump. (This is experience talking.)
  •  The memories are wonderful but just remember that the things you have found have been stored below for years and you wandered occasionally where it went or you had completely forgotten about it! If there is something that brings up a memory of the past that is close to your heart take a picture of it before you let it go. Remember a picture is worth a thousand words!

One time when I was helping clean out a catchall part of the basement we came across a stack of boxes in the corner. The owner said “those boxes have never been unpacked since our last move 8 years ago.” As we went through the boxes memories of days gone by were found among the stuff. Only a few precious items were kept.

It is so easy to tuck something away so we don’t have to decide what to do with it at the moment. This habit is very detrimental to us as it ends up cluttering our space to the point of taking our peace as well.

A very anxious lady hired me to clean out her three bedroom home of 25 years. Her anxiety was mainly due to worrying about how she was going to transition to a one bedroom condo. She asked me, “Where will I put all the stuff?” As we baby stepped through the house she realized that she wasn’t using all the stuff she had accumulated and she was gradually able to let things go. She said that she felt lighter and so relieved each time we went through a space and sorted it.

Crawl Space Clean Out Challenge:

Maybe your garage is your “space stuffer” or maybe it is a storage cupboard inside your condo. Wherever it is – attack it. You will feel so much lighter and at peace with yourself. Do it one step at a time, one shelf at a time and one box at a time. You can do it. Like Nike says, “Just do it”

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