Friday, November 15, 2013

Organizing the Basement

I spent a couple of days this week getting some of Craig's things organized in the basement of the Alfa.  When we started putting things into it, I gave Craig a couple of big bins that I had used for storing art materials. I told him they were probably not the right size and shape, and that he should think about what he wanted.

Plastic bins were not high on Craig's list of things he wanted to think about. When it comes to tools he has always had the "leave it on the workbench" philosophy.  His usual way of finding what he needs is to ask me to look for it.  He has gotten better over the years as I became more and more reluctant to be his "gofer", but his first words about almost any project are: "Merikay, please go get the ..."

The other day he said the two bins he was using had too many things in them and could I move some of it to another container.

Aha!  I knew if I imposed some sort of system on him he would ignore it, but since he asked I went right to work.

First I measured the space I wanted to use and the existing boxes in it.  Then I went out to shop, stopping at Home Depot, The Container Store, Walmart, and Staples.  I found I had several options.  The best was from Staples.  Several same sized, handled,  stackable, click-close bins available in different colors.

I bought them and spent Monday sorting things out.

Three of these stacked up takes the same amount of floor space as one of the larger ones.  

The empty larger ones are still behind these, or in the other bay, along with a couple of other empty smaller colored ones. Hopefully he will be able to put things back into the correct container.  I have also made notes of what each color contains, so when he asks me where something is I can tell him to look in the designated color bin. We will see how long this lasts!

I have also reorganized a couple of the kitchen cabinets this week. Amazing how a little organization can yield more room and easier access!

Can you tell I have too much time on my hands?


  1. Good job, Merikay. Thanks for the UofO Kleenex holder & Kleenex. Now that we're passed losing to Standford, maybe we won't need to use so many of them over the rest of the season. There's always basketball, though. It was a nice surprise.

  2. Good ideas! We made great progress last weekend as we were looking for John's warp and tossing out my fiber. I will keep the colored bins in mind...

  3. The only things that are not in lockable containers in our trailer are the larger things that are too heavy and big to put in containers.

    A suggestion from your picture the Weber Q will eventually break through that container. Heavy stuff on the bottom. Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  4. At least Craig says "please" when he asks you to fetch him a tool! :)

  5. Merikay didn't admit that I say "please". I had to edit that word in myself! :-)

  6. Good idea Merikay. Russ usually looks for something himself, but when he can't find it he tends to think that he gave it to me for some reason..."didn't you use my pen last time you made a grocery list?..." I found his pen in the laundry when I did a load of his shirts LOL!!

  7. nice job on the organizing! those different coloured bins are a great idea!!

  8. Looks great! Good luck on the...em...future challenges if you know what I mean ;) The stackable bins are great too!

  9. Men can never find anything. They all seem to have bad "lookers."

    Good luck with Craig keeping those bins organized. If he's anything like Al (and it sound like he is) they won't stay organized long.

    (Sorry Craig)

  10. This is workbench theory, a big part of the new science of self-organizing systems. Craig is a brilliant practitioner.

  11. Basement looks great! Good idea to have different colors...putting this idea on the back-burner.

    We are always re-arranging inside too.

  12. Nice work! I love organizing - in fact that is usually the only reason to get a new rv ;-)

    When I have clear plastic bins I put an index card at the front with a list of things that should be in it. Easy to change out as required (not stuck to the bin), and even Carm can sometimes find things!

  13. Plastic bins are friends of fulltimers


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