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Basement incident and finally a bit of (forced) decluttering

May 27th, 2019 at 11:19 am

I had a little basement snafu this week, which has at least gotten me started on my long-deferred decluttering project.

I forgot to turn off my outside spigot and open up the pipe this year. I didn't burst the pipe right away, but apparently expanded it a little. Then two weeks ago, I had my gardener put in some sod where the borders had gotten very weedy, and he told me to water it twice a day for two weeks, which led to my buying a soaker hose to save myself the time. The extra pressure on the pipes that built up from the soaker hose was enough to burst the pipe, and I didn't discover it right away. Fortunately, I also didn't discover it too late--it was at the point where about half of the basement had about 2" of water.

A neighbor brought over his Shop-Vac and helped me get rid of the standing water. Then I bought I dehumidifer to finish drying it out, plus I had to get rid of about a dozen boxes that had been sitting on the floor. Much of the contents were salvagable, some were not. I've been spending the weekend using this as an impetus to do some decluttering, since I need to call a Dr. Clutter tomorrow. So much extra stuff has built up over the past 2.5 years when I've been at this job and my health has been somewhat sub-optimal (thyroid & adrenal issues) that this round manages to merely get me back to about where I was before I started the job.

I have another vacation period coming up right before & after Independence Day when I hope to make further inroads. I don't expect to get rid of all the excess this year, but perhaps another year or two of spending Memorial Day and Independence Day working on the project will get me back to where I would have been if I'd been getting rid of the excess accumulation all along.

Prior to now in my adult life, I was moving every few years (staying between 1 & 7 years at each residence), but I've now been in my house for 14 years, during which I lost my mother, 3 pets, and changed careers twice and jobs 11 times), so clutter has accumulated like never before in my life. I don't think I'll get to doing Marie Kondo tidying or Swedish death cleaning just yet, but I do think I am at the point of maximum accumulation of "stuff" and I'd like to spend the next few years decluttering in preparation for being able to sell this house.

It's actually by American standards a rather small house (1166 square feet), but it's way too much space for ME, and things have expanded to fill the space. I actually do not use the two biggest rooms in the house (the living room and the master bedroom) very much at all. The living room only gets used when there is company and the master bedroom has become the master storage room. Financially, the home has been a good deal (I now pay about half in mortgage what I would be paying in rent if I were still a renter), but I plan to pay off the house at age 65 (2025) and move sometime between 65 and 70 (after I retire), so even though that is still some years off, I'm thinking more in terms of preparing to sell and move than anything else.

5 Responses to “Basement incident and finally a bit of (forced) decluttering”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    Sorry about your basement. Glad you caught it before it was horrific.

    We've been in our house 21 years. That is the longest I've lived anywhere and sadly, we have collected so much.

  2. CB in the City Says:

    Oh, what an awful job. I've had to clean up a flooded basement -- quite some time ago, when I was still married. That's something I don't miss about owning a house.

  3. fireandi Says:

    I'm so sorry about the basement. I'm glad that you caught it before it did a lot of damage. And I appreciate how you are taking this in your stride and getting on with decluttering. I want to have your spirit about bumps in the road. :-)

  4. Wink Says:

    I'm sorry about your basement...thankfully you caught it before there was major damage. Still a headache though!
    When I was condo shopping I was really only looking for a one bedroom, about 800 square feet. But I was adamant about wanting at least a half bath for guests in addition to my master bath, and I wanted an in-unit washer and dryer. I just couldn't find that floor plan and wound up going up to a 1200 square feet, 2 bed, 2 full bath. Sometimes it feels like too much space. I hope you can find something you love that is smaller but still suits your needs when that time comes.

  5. creditcardfree Says:

    I'm so sorry! I would so come help you if I lived nearby. Will you look up Dana K. White of A Slob Comes Clean, or look for one of her books? I think she has some very practical advice for those that don't naturally get how to declutter. Your home and each shelf, drawer, and closet is a container. You can only keep what can be maintained inside that container. I'm cheering for you!

    I have a Facebook Group, Organized Friends, if you want to post pictures, or ask decluttering questions. It's not super active right now, but there are a few other SA friends there that will chime in to cheer you on. 15 minutes a day, nearly every day can make a big dent over time.

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