Saturday, January 2, 2010

Never underestimate the power of Rubbermaid

While Hubby was helping out his parents on a project of their own today, I took the opportunity to tackle a project that we've been putting on the back burner for months. It involves storage and organization, which Hubs isn't too fond of anyway. Since our dungeon basement is unfinished, we're mainly using it for four purposes right now: 
1) A game room (consisting of a dart board, ping pong table, and a crappy craigslist pool table)
2) A place for Phoebe's food and litter box
3) Laundry
4) Storage
And by "storage," this is what I mean:

This is just one of several areas of our basement that looks like this, but it's probably the messiest. No rhyme or reason to anything whatsoever. Since we moved in, we've pretty much been using the laundry "room" as a place to throw store mostly Christmas stuff, but also packing materials, random crap that we don't want to deal with, and empty cardboard boxes of all sizes. Lots of boxes. Boxes within boxes. Why do we need so many boxes? It's as though we're hoarding them in case there's a worldwide box shortage someday. But seriously, you never know when you're going to need a good box, right? Anyway, I digress.

It all started innocently enough, as I was just planning on putting away a few Christmas decorations today. Then I decided - especially since it's a new year - that this would be the perfect time to do some major re-organization. I ran all over Walmart like a madwoman, grabbing as many storage containers as I could. Turns out they're a hot commodity right now, as I had to go to a couple different Walmarts to find what I needed. (And somehow I also managed to accidentally knock a few more 75% off Christmas decorations into my cart...oops.)
But the real fun started when I got home. After several hours of this (which Phoebe was turning into her own personal playground):

I finally achieved this:

The transformation is even more impressive in person, but you can see quite an improvement here. I never thought I'd buy special containers just for wrapping paper and a wreath, but they make such a difference! Necessary? No. Genius? Yes. Much more attractive and sturdy than a plastic bag or a cardboard box. I also brought down the green plastic drawers that weren't being utilized very well in one of our closets upstairs. They now house our tissue paper, gift bags, and other miscellaneous gift wrapping materials. And thanks to a Sharpie and some white labels, it's easy to tell what's what. You'll notice there are fewer empty boxes in the corner, too. I managed to throw a few of the crappy ones away, consolidated some of the smaller ones, and put the rest up in our storage loft in the garage. 'Cuz you just never know...

I feel so much better after accomplishing this feat. This is life-changing, people! Ok, not quite, but it's up there. We still have a lot of other boxes to go through in the basement, but this is a big step, and totally worth the $45 in storage containers! (I also bought 4 other plastic tubs that I haven't even used yet.) And now I don't have to cringe every time I go do a load of laundry. 

Do you have any major organization plans in your near future?


Kelly@TearingUpHouses said...

Yes! Love these! I'm looking for some for our garage but I can't decide between clear or solid. And if solid, what color? (I'm white washing the interior.) I'm driving myself crazy!


Amanda said...

Hey Kelly! I originally wanted to go clear, but they were more expensive. There were also white, tan, and navy bins that were only $3.40 each. I understand, color is important - even in the garage! :)

dolores @ "Welcome to My Humble Ablog" said...

What a difference a tote makes! Great job. I to packed up Christmas today with a couple of new storage bins; everything fit like a glove. No more flimsy gap "storage" boxes in my garage. ^_^

Eric @ said...

I love the big Rubbermaid tubs! I know this may be controversial, but my wife and I write on the outside what's inside with a big sharpie. She has fantastic handwriting, so it doesn't look like a note scribbled on a moving box.

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog said...

Good for you! I actually have a giant mess of boxes in my garage that I need to go through from when the bf moved in... blah. All the work will be worth it, right?!

marleah said...

Wow, great re-organization! Our basement is also a dungeon - mostly because the previous tenants left a whole bunch of stuff down there that I don't even want to deal with. It looks like the space is much more usable now!

micah @ the yellow front door said...

Fabulous! I've never seen one of those wreath containers! We got rid of all the boxes in our basement too this weekend - rubbermaid all the way! Plus, I think cardboard attracts spiders....

Danielle @ Transforming Home said...

Wow! Can you come over and organize my basement please? Your looks great - Rubbermaid is awesome.


Kristi W @ Life at the Chateau Whitman said...

That wrapping paper storage container is awesome!


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