Usually a “reveal” consists of after photos from a project, but it feels appropriate to use that word here. Our basement has been hidden long enough – we are ready to reveal the basement clutter in all it’s “before” glory.
The picture above shows the stairs leading down to our unfinished basement. I wrote about how our basement got to it’s present condition here.
More Than Projects
When I wrote that my husband is a renaissance man, I meant that he has experience as a fine artist, wood worker, carpenter, graphic designer, and he is currently an art teacher with the public school system. Mixed in with the outright junk are useful tools, valuable past works of art, and potential resources for future creative endeavors with our children or his future students.
He hates the word “clutter” because it holds a negative connotation for him. When we are talking about the stuff in the basement together, I try not to use that word (although when blogging I use it frequently).
Being Sensitive to Your Spouse While Decluttering
There is the constant question of what to do when one part of a couple wants to declutter and the other is resistant. I have had that question. My frustration, nagging, and attempts to “help” declutter the basement in the past have resulted in very little lasting change. My negative attitude has created more resistance rather than collaboration.
It is only when I followed the suggestions of starting with my own stuff and leading by example that I’ve seen my husband come around in small ways. He helps keep our clutter free zone clear and joined me in editing his clothes. After several months of seeing me clear things out of the house and feeling the benefits of having clutter free spaces, he is ready to tackle the basement clutter.
The Before Photos
Okay, so here are the other photos once you come down the stairs…
So there you go – a 360 degree view of our basement clutter before we work to get it functional and orderly.
When I shot these photos and looked at them on my phone, I was sort of horrified. I felt like the photos made the basement look so much worse – surely it’s not THAT bad. I know though that that is just “slob vision” at work. It IS that bad, and we’re finally ready to work on it together.
I hope showing our basement clutter as it truly is will encourage you if you have an “area of secret shame”. It could be worse, and it’s going to get a whole lot better!
Are you ready to face your “area of secret shame”?
This post is being shared at these fun and fabulous link parties: Sundays Down Under, Morning Cup of Joe, Let’s Get Real, Monday Madness
Thank you for sharing. I have a lot of shame about my own mess, and seeing other people’s problem areas helps me know I am not alone. I don’t have a basement, garage, or attic, so the clutter in my house is on display. Hopefully seeing your progress will give me some fresh motivation. I tend to work on my “stuff” for a while and then lapse. I’m in a lapse period right now and trying to get back on the wagon.
Gale, thanks for commenting. You are definitely not alone. It encourages me to know I’m not alone as well so thanks for sharing!
I’ve been facing my secret shame for 11 months now. Thank God it’s getting better.
Melinda thanks for your encouragement! I’m in recovery too!
That looks like quite the project. Good luck! I’m excited to follow along with your progress… Hopefully it will inspire me to get to work on my basement and garage…
Hi! Thanks for reading. I noticed you’re decluttering as well! I started blogging as accountability also so we share that in common. It definitely helps!
Oh my goodness! That looks like our shed. This type of clutter seriously affects me physically, I get anxious and feel sick. Does happen to you?
Yes, totally, Carla. That’s why I’ve mostly avoided the basement except for trips to the washer and dryer!
I really appreciate your gracious tone as you talk about working with your husband on your basement. I’m sort of a naturally tidy person — not that our house is perfect at all, but it is Ok. My two biggest girls (ages 15 and 14) are pack rats and I struggle with irritation with their room and their desire to hold onto things. I need to kind and patient and wise, not irritable. Which is hard sometimes.
I understand Laraba. I’m not a naturally tidy person, but trying to put in routines to help me keep the house tidy. I understand your irritation. I have to remind myself that the nagging really doesn’t work and to accept my family members as they are – not to expect them to be like me or value the same things I value. At the same time, there is common ground and things that we can agree on.
Thank you for sharing! Most sites only show the wonderful after. I think the before and during are where the REAL work happens – facing the problem and making the decisions. Best wishes to you and your husband. Once your basement is done, he will be a convert!
Thanks Jill! I’m trying to keep it real…too much reality maybe. 🙂
Natasha in Oz says
There’s nothing like a good clean up is there! Thanks for sharing your tips and post at the #sundaysdownunder linky party! I’ve pinned this.
Natasha in Oz
Thanks Natasha! This will certainly be a good and lengthy clean up! Your linky party looks amazing – glad to be able to join!
christa sterken says
While I don’t have a basement, I am going to share this with friends who do. It is just such an overwhelming project. Thanks for your encouraging transparency
Thanks Christa. It wasn’t easy to decide to share but I knew we weren’t the only ones who had an “area of shame”.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing these pictures!! My husband is a good, good man, but keeps almost EVERYTHING. I have my own issues with stuff, so our house is a mess. Our garage is unusable, many rooms of our basement are just pathways, and our bedroom is similar. Just SO. MUCH. STUFF. Trying to do a little at a time, focusing mostly on my stuff, and trying to not get discouraged. It is an uphill effort!
Your welcome Chris! Your situation sounds like ours. You’re doing the right thing – focusing on your stuff and doing a little at a time. Keep going up that hill! I’m right there by your side.