We moved into our home in 2006. It was our first home and a new build, so we were the first owners. We felt so blessed to have a home after more than a decade of moving from apartment to apartment every year. It was gloriously empty.
I’ve referred to our very cluttered basement in previous posts. The basement has been my husband’s domain since we moved in. He is a true renaissance man – and with his talents and interests came tools, previous projects, current projects, and ideas for future projects. In the 9 years we have been here stuff has accumulated to the point where the basement is an area of secret shame for me. Only very close friends and family members have been allowed down there.
Originally, I was genuinely excited for him to have a spot to house these things and a space to work on his projects. I just didn’t realize how much space it would take. There was a large influx of stuff after we moved in because he had been storing these items in several basements across the city.
Neither of us had really planned out the space or thought about doing so. It was a slow accumulation of stuff without deliberate consideration of whether it should actually come into our home. My husband’s immediate answer to storing things was “yes” – “no” was not an option.
In addition, whenever guests were coming over, we would dump everything in a box and bring it down to the basement. It would sit down there untouched until the next basement decluttering spurt. The basement became a dumping ground for things without a clear home.
Grief and Clutter
What about me? Why wasn’t I more involved in the decision process? I’ve thought about this time and realized that in addition to having two young children and the rest of the house to try to organize and maintain, I was also dealing with overwhelming grief. I lost my father right before moving into this house. In the span of two days, we settled on our house, moved our stuff in, and flew out the next day for my father’s funeral.
It has taken me years to be able to address the loss, and then the fallout from the loss. Part of the fallout was not having the energy or motivation to declutter our house, let alone our basement.
Facing our Area of Secret Shame
We are finally at a point where my husband and I are ready to tackle the basement – together. I will be posting before pictures and sharing about the process throughout the months to come. I hope you’ll follow along.
Have you had an Area of Secret Shame in the past or the present? No pictures required!
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