A bit of basement organization

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, perhaps you’ll recall this horrifying picture I took of my basement last week.


Needless to say, a serious organizing party was in order for this space. I don’t know about you, but getting a space organized makes me feel great, like maybe I can keep one little area of my life under control. 😉

Also, I’m reading this fantastic book right now called, “Better than before: Mastering the habits of our everyday lives” by Gretchen Rubin. Like a lot of you, I have a few bad habits I’d like to break and a few good ones I’d like to embrace. This book has helped me gain some insight into how I’m wired. One thing I’ve learned is that I love transformation, which explains why I’m a sucker for a great “before” and “after” project, and why I’m constantly reading self-help books.

Anyway, I decided to tackle this area of our basement because I’d really like to have some clue where my tools and paint are so I can work more efficiently.

I bought this inexpensive plastic shelf from Lowe’s to store my paint supplies. I used the other shelves I already had to organize my decorations, tools, etc.

Organized-paint-shelfThe first step to total world domination? An organized paint shelf. 😉


I attempted to corral my tools and decorating/organizing supplies into zones.


I already feel so much more productive in this space.


I keep an inspiration notebook out so I can handily reference project ideas.


While my basement work zone is certainly not Martha Stewart-worthy, it makes me smile knowing that if I could tackle this mess, nothing is impossible.

How does organizing a space make you feel?

From mildewed to marvelous: 5 basement makeovers

Like every other red-blooded family out there, it seems the home improvement dream list just keeps getting longer. I currently have more projects on the horizon than I can count on both hands. But someday … oh, that hopeful word … I would really like to focus on our basement. I’d like to add some extra living space down there and maybe even create a few specialty rooms, such as a play space for the kids, a designated workout room, a studio where the mister and I can do our video/podcast work, and perhaps even a man cave. Ambitious plans, huh?

In the meantime, I recently partnered with a firm to help promote some great basement makeover ideas. Check them out below:

Multi-function Room


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Are you like me and you’re thinking about better utilizing your basement? Depending on how large your space is, you could consider making it a multi-function room. These rooms typically combine rustic features with modern fixtures and furnishings. This would be great for a TV lounge/workout room combination. I love this concept and I especially love all the built-in bookshelves. I could fill those up in no time!

Kids Playroom 


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Do you have a less than adequate yard or live in an area that isn’t conducive to a lot of outdoor play? Consider converting your subterranean space into a child’s play room. You could accent it with kid-friendly furniture and colors, potentially making it their favorite room in the house. I would love to have a designated spot like this to corral all the toys (and tots) in one spot. I’m also digging the recessed lighting and that cool slide nook.

Rec Room/Man Cave


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A common renovation for a basement is a man cave. If done right, this could be a great oasis after a hard day at work. My mister enjoys playing poker with his buddies on occasion. I showed him this photo and his eyes lit up. He would seriously love this! If you or your man are poker fanatics, you can actually DIY your own poker table. This tutorial on how to build your own poker table gives you everything you need to know. Of course, if you or your significant other would rather shoot pool, there are plenty of inexpensive options for turning your basement into the perfect billiards room. A billiards room … that sounds so dapper, doesn’t it? (Does anyone besides me still use the term dapper?)

Spare Bedroom

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A basement can also make a perfect spare bedroom or extra bedroom for a growing family. For those of you who want to make it a spare bedroom, consider choosing light and inviting furnishings and colors. If you’re planning on making it a child’s bedroom, one fun thing you can do is collaborate with the kidlets and let them design their own room down to what colors they want.

 Studio or Office

Home office

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A basement can also be the perfect spot to create a private studio or home office. (Ahhh. Privacy. What’s that again?) When setting this up, you’ll probably want to make sure you choose decor and furnishings that will inspire you professionally and maximize your work output and efficiency. If done correctly, you could even qualify for a home office deduction on your taxes. (Consult your tax professional for advice on whether you qualify for the deduction.) I absolutely love that desk, don’t you? I bet I could DIY that …

I hope these gorgeous spaces have gotten your creative juices flowing. Have any of you recently renovated your basement? If so, please leave me a comment and let me know how you’re using your new-found space.

Carving out a work space

It’s fall y’all! I hope you’re taking the time to soak in God’s autumn artwork. The foliage here in Pennsylvania is simply breathtaking right now.

I am so blessed to live in such a beautiful area.

OK, on to today’s topic. Let me start by telling you a (true) story. See if you can relate.

I recently woke up on one of my days off (which are few and far between, by the way) and said to myself, “Myself. I really need to finish re-finishing that thrift store buffet that is supposed to go in the dining room. I must have it done by the holidays!”

(I will not go into detail about how long this particular project is taking me. Let’s just say I started working on it in the month that rhymes with starch.)

So the first thing I did was look for some clothes to change into that I didn’t mind getting espresso stain on.

15 minutes of searching later: I found a pair of paint-covered sweatpants on the basement floor and an old sweatshirt in the garage. Sigh. OK. I was finally dressed and ready to gather my tools.

20 minutes later: I found and gathered the appropriate brushes and rags needed to do the project. I made my way to the garage where the buffet was sitting patiently waiting for its makeover. Hmmm. I needed to set the buffet on something so the stain didn’t drip on the garage floor.

15 minutes later: I gathered enough newspaper to create a dropcloth. I couldn’t find my real dropcloth and, at this point, I didn’t want to waste any more time searching for stuff.

I found my stain and all my tools and was ready to go to work. Wait. I needed a pair of rubber gloves.

10 minutes later: I uncovered two left-handed gloves, one of which had a hole in the thumb.

Now I’m exhausted, so I pause for a permanent little break to watch another episode of “Property Brothers” on HGTV.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that what I needed in this situation was an organized workspace where I could store and easily retrieve my materials. So, this is what I came up with last weekend.

I found a niche in our basement and boldly claimed it as my new creative corner.

Look! There’s so much room for activities (name that movie).

I purchased these bins at Walmart, then filled and labeled them … a place for everything and everything in its place.

After all this work, I took a break and enjoyed this awesomesauce drink and snack.

When I make hot apple cider, I like to add a generous drizzle of caramel syrup. It makes the most delightful caramel apple beverage. Yummy.

OK. Focus, Susan. I also filled and labeled these containers that I already had on hand.

Lastly, I used these shelves to store all of my decorating goodies.

Most of this stuff was picked up at thrift stores or estate and yard sales. I like to see what I’ve got to decorate with instead of digging through boxes to find something.

So there you have it. I’m now on my way to a more organized space dedicated to my craft and home improvement projects.

Before I go, I wanted to announce the winner of last week’s giveaway.

The trivia question was “What important item is missing from this master bedroom?”

Brittany H. from Canada answered correctly. ALARM CLOCK! Congrats, Brittany.

She’ll enjoy a free copy of Ellie Kay’s book, Living Rich for Less.

Happy fall y’all.

This post is featured over at Thrifty Decor Chick and House of Grace.