Let's talk organization... In my basement.

The creepiest post title award may or may not have just been given out.
Extra points if you saw creepy basement sloth in your mind too...
Just me? Let's move on then.

So keeping with my tradition of putting up one home post a week, I had planned on sharing this baby last week around Halloween.

Because basements are scary.

Well, MAC Holiday collections happened and those kind of took over. So here we are. Creepin' it up on a Tuesday.

So just a little warning... If you don't like wordy posts about organization and seeing people's junk, this post may not be for you.  haha

So today we're talking organization. Basement organization. I'm proud to say that now, we only have a few small areas of storage that consist of all our holiday stuff and a small area under the basement stairs where we keep boxes for things we may want to hang on to.  Pretty huge accomplishment considering our last house's attic was piled higher and more strategically than a game of Jenga. It was enough to keep me up at night. We didn't have a basement at our last house and storage space was basically nonexistent. I always held on to extra decor and things of that nature thinking that one day, we would have a bigger place and would need it. So when we moved here into our "bigger place", I got rid of EVERYTHING we weren't using. If it didn't have a place here, I didn't need it.
Things I hadn't thought about or used in years went straight to the garage sale pile. Anything we didn't sell, we donated. It feels so much lighter around here!

So you may actually remember that recent  home post a few weeks back where I mentioned our basement a lot and the whole cleaning out process we were undertaking. Before that, it had gotten zero love on here.
I mean, for good reason. Like I've said so many times, our new home is still very much a work in progress.

Remember this?

Looks awesome, right?
Well, this was a result of my major cleaning-out-fever I've had over the past few months. Thanks to that insanity, it now looks back to normal, like this.

Darn that basement, and darn the consistently bad photos of it. It's always a struggle.

Ahhhh... Wide open spaces again. We're eventually planning on turning this room into something awesome, so I'll update you as we complete it! Not happening any time soon probably... It's definitely a long-term plan.

So after the garage sale, we were left with holiday stuff. I really didn't have as much as I thought. Again, I had gone through it just like everything else and garage sale/donated the items we hadn't touched in years.

So one night, Brad and I made what I like to call the Holiday Room of Awesome-ness. Don't judge, I get excited about organization...

In that far room in the back of the photo above, you can see a closed door alllll the way in the back. It's a really neat unfinished space that Brad had been storing some game boxes and our dvd collection in. This room basically had caught all of the junk after the move (which is where all the crap in the middle of the floor in the first pic had been dragged out of).

So Brad took all of the boxes/game stuff/old bookshelf we wanted to keep and put it in another little unfinished storage area under the basement stairs through the door to the right in that above photo. That room is also Brad's weight room.

So I was so crazy excited to be left with that awesome storage room behind the media room.
Here it is after we organized it...

Pretty exciting stuff.
Apparently the kids that used to live here played baseball in the basement when it was unfinished. Which I've got to admit, sounds like a pretty good time. Apparently Kelsey was cleaning up.

So back to the organization... This isn't just a post about ogling my new favorite place in the house (is that bad?). I mainly want to share my tips with you all that I have learned over the years. Things that work best for me that will hopefully help you too! They're pretty basic, but maybe there's a tip or two that you can pick up!

My best tips for storing holiday stuff and seasonal decor or things that you need to occasionally access...

  • Be realistic and get rid of what you don't use. A good rule is to get rid of anything you haven't wanted to put out in a few years. There's a reason you haven't. Storage space is valuable!
  • Invest in some bins that are color-coordinated to the holiday/season your storing stuff within. Makes for super easy access later. See the orange bins below? Those are easy to spot when I want to pull out Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving stuff.

  • WREATH BOXES. Get them. Use them. Wreaths are tricky to store and can start to look horrible after a few years of storage if they're just shoved against other stuff. I have a mix of nice Rubbermaid ones and paper ones that you assemble yourself (the red and green octagon-shaped boxes above).  The green wreaths you see in that clear box are plain ones that we use on the exterior of the house on the windows so those can be shoved together since they're pretty sturdy and easy to re-shape.
  • Keep your Christmas tree boxes if you use an artificial one. They make for easy, space-saving storage. If you have a pre-lit tree, you can even sort of "loosely" close the box to avoid shoving the tree back inside the box and possibly damaging it. Yeah, mine are shoved. I live on the edge.  
The two tree boxes along the left wall are both 7' sort of medium-sized skinny trees that are pre-lit. Those are the ones I put in the dining room or the formal living room. This year, I'm definitely still doing my food/gingerbread tree in the dining room that I've done the past several years (I even considered putting it in the bar area of the basement, but I feel like it won't be seen/enjoyed as much). The other one is going in our formal living room/my office. I've got something fun planned for that one. ;)

k, back to the tips...

  • Use your vertical space and store against walls. Not everyone has a ton of storage square footage, but you can stack the plastic storage boxes to the ceiling, using only a box-sized footprint.  Once you start making piles (for example, if I would've also put boxes in the middle area of the storage space above), you'll start to accumulate junk you don't need and you won't be able to access your stuff easily.
That's my biggest tip. No matter if you're storing along a wall of a garage, in a spare closet, or in a basement, stack the boxes as high as you can (safely, obviously) against a wall. Takes up a couple feet at the most! Looking back, we could've really utilized our last garage so much more for holiday storage space against the walls or built some sort of awesome shelving system. Oh well.

That tip is best proven in this photo below. This is the area under the stairs I mentioned in Brad's weight room earlier... 

This and the other room I showed before is our only stuff that is stored.

Looks like a pretty big area. But this is where all the holiday stuff was before and it was literally packed full and spilling out because the slope of the stairs kept me from being able to stack stuff too high. But it's perfect for this stuff that's in here now. 

So basically, get plastic bins and stack that mess to the ceiling. Takes up a LOT less space

So those are my biggest tips. Not a whole lot of fun decor happening in this post, but something really useful, nonetheless.  I think I'm going to really enjoy decorating a lot more this year now that I'm all organized.  It's about that time!! 

Oh, and I cannot wait to show you all our big tree this year... It's BIG. Maybe too big... haha. It's arriving tomorrow. SO excited.  Still lots of room in the new storage room to keep it too. Here's a shot of the other side of that room...

Unorganized dvd's and game stuff galore.

So are you guys gearing up for the Holiday season?? It's my absolute favorite time of the year. I know I probably said that about Fall once or twice (or 46 times), but Christmas is just the best.

As always, I'll of course do lots of Christmas-y decor posts and a tour like last year!  Can't wait.


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