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Weekend Project: Clear out that Room!

2011 December 2


If you are anything like us, you’ve got the perfect room for a child but, for the last fifteen years it’s been used as a walk-in closet. Did I say ‘walk-in’? Well, we did have a path!

Before turning that room into a warm, welcoming bedroom you need to get it completely empty!

So of course, we’re going to start in the basement. If you don’t have a basement, use your attic or garage. If you have none of these rent a storage stall.

What we are aiming at is getting a place to store things that we’re not getting rid of right now. That way, we’re not overwhelmed with decisions on what we’re going to do with things.

Here are some things you will need:

  1. A pack of 32 gallon contractor clean up bags.
  2. A 32 gallon garbage can to hold the bag for you.
  3. Several standard size clear plastic storage containers with clasps on the lids. Get enough of these to pack up the room; you won’t use them all, but with extras you’ll have no excuse to stop working.
  4. Some plastic or metal easy to assemble shelving.
  5. Assorted cardboard boxes.
  6. Cleaning supplies: push broom, dustpan and brush, wet/dry shop-vac (borrow neighbor’s if you don’t have one), Pine Sol and bucket with assorted sponges.

Divide the area up in sections, beginning at the cleanest corner so we have a quick victory. Don’t look at the place as a whole. This is the same principle applied in not looking down when you’re hanging over a cliff: all you’ll do is scream and nothing will get done.

There are three categories of things in any room, and this includes your basement:

  1. Things you want to keep or can’t make a decision on.
  2. Things you want to give away.
  3. Things you need to throw away.

Things to give away may also be things you can sell, but unless you are a veteran yard sale warrior it is much easier to pack a few cardboard boxes and drop them off at your local Goodwill Store; let somebody else get some use out of this stuff – you have other plans. Your objective is to get that room emptied, and promising yourself you’re going to have a yard sale as soon as the weather clears may be a delaying tactic.

Okay, now for the hard part, at least for most people.

Things you throw away include the bookend depicting a headless girl you’ve been insisting the last ten years you are going to repair. Unless you have the Gorilla Glue in one hand and her head in the other, she needs to go into the trash.

Anything that is outdated, including things that are so old you can’t tell when they expired, is trash. A good rule of thumb is: wine and women mature and get better with age; almost nothing else does!

Canned goods from 1996? Out!

Eight tracks are not coming back and the sooner you face that fact the better for all of us. Just let them go.

Anything else that can be neatly placed on the shelves and that you’ll still use, such as tools, fertilizer, is fine. After all, it’s a basement.

Once you have the basement manageable, which means it is clean with available space for those plastic storage containers, we can tackle that walk in closet, er, I mean, bedroom.

Get your storage containers for keepers, your cardboard boxes for giveaways, and your trash can for… well, trash — right outside the room.

Apply the same principles as with the basement: divide the room into sections. Once you get some space cleared you can line up your storage, giveaway and trash receptacles in a line inside the room and blast right through this.

Carry the storage containers to your basement, the giveaways to your car, and the trash to the curb.

Drive immediately to Goodwill!

On your way back home, stop at the paint store and check out the Disney colors!

Photo: “Closet Clutter Monster” by Amy Burton

3 Responses leave one →
  1. December 3, 2011

    This is great advice for everyone whether or not anyone is getting ready to bring a child home.

    BLT 🙂

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