I Hope I Come Out Alive

Boy, do I ever have an exciting few days in store for me. Wait ’til you hear! I am off work today (ok, most of the day) and will also be off Monday and Tuesday. Not that this upcoming project will take that long (please tell me it won’t), but because Knitting Daughter is off on a little trip to visit a friend, and for some reason I thought I’d turn my attention to the house.

Or more specifically, the basement.

It’s a nice basement. After all, that’s where Loopy resided for the first year of our shop. Now, that old Loopy corner is all set up for my scrapbooking. (Never mind that I haven’t scrapbooked in four years – which, coincidentally, is how old The Loopy Ewe is. Enough said.) But hey, it’s ready for me, as soon as I want to sit down and do it.


There’s an area for sitting and watching tv. (With the oft-used treadmill behind the couch. Cough.)


But the scary part of the basement? It’s The Back Room. Really, I usually avoid it at all costs. It’s not that big (which is part of the problem) and it’s almost impossible to find anything in there (which is also part of the problem). But lately, it seems to multiply things when we’re not looking. No one sees the back room. If you were to ring my doorbell and ask, I’d tell you no. If you were over, watching a movie and knitting with me and Knitting Daughter, and begged to see the scary Back Room? I’d tell you no. Also, no to my parents, my mother-in-law, my best friends, and the meter reader. (Not that there is a meter back there to read, but just in case there was – the answer would be no.) No one gets to visit The Back Room.

So I am going to be buried back there over the next few days, sorting, tossing, Goodwilling, and organizing. Who knows what I will find? I can hardly contain my excitement. I know that WH was pretty excited when I mentioned this possibility of organizing to him. (As a member of our household, he DOES get to see The Back Room, but he tries not to.) I hope I come back out alive.


Am I alone in this? Do you have a room, or a closet, or a part of your home that no one gets to see? That needs a bit of organizing? That is off limits to everyone but you? (Now that I showed you a picture of my Back Room, I’m assuming you’d allow me to see your unorganized area. I just need to knock on your door and ask, right? Just between us?)

Sheri whomightonedaydeletethiswholepost


  1. Have fun with it Sheri. I always dread projects like these, but then I find all these tiny trips down memory lane. In the end, it makes me feel lighter to have organized. Plus, I ALWAYS drag my husband into it b/c I’m lacking the “organize” chip in my brain.

    Yes, I had a storage place in the basement when I lived in MI. No basements in TX and I’ve never been into either attic at my house. (Quite seriously). My husband is in charge of those and he’s an absolute neatnik, so I’m sure they’re beautiful.

  2. We’ve been in our house 25 years, and have accumulated more than our share of stuff. It felt really great when we finished cleaning out the garage and master bedroom closet earlier this year. The boy even straighted his room – it only took a visit from a cousin he hadn’t seen in years to do it. (Maybe we should invite people over more often!) The back bedroom is next, and after that the basement. But they’ll have to wait for a rainy day. It’s going to be nice this weekend and I need to work in the yard.

  3. The stash room at my house–mainly because only one person can get in there at a time. There’s other stuff in there besides the stash too. Funny you should mention scrapbooking–my former Stampin’ Up consultant asked me if I wanted to participate in a hostess club this year–I laughed. My scrapbooking stuff is in the stash room too buried under the stash. My friend did tell me she thought Stampin’ Up had a knitting stamp set. “hand knit by” etc. I may have to check that out.

  4. Unfortunately, but most of the stuff belongs to dh and dd. Dh is supposed to be working on cleaning it.
    I however have been too distracted tonight playing Wild Wool, the limited edition Lego sheep wool gathering/sheering game. It is quite fun. The game is called Wild Wool in the Lego stores, but seems to be called Shave a Sheep on the website. Here you go if you need another thing to keep you occupied 🙂

  5. The whole garage is pretty much our “back room”. Now that we’re thinking about downsizing our big house, the time is getting closer to when we have to do that organize/clean out thing. I won’t think about it right now…..

  6. Consider yourself lucky you only have one room like that in your basement. Our basement is unfinished (except for an extra bedroom we built down there), and after 17 years, it pretty much ALL looked like that! Cleaning it out had been on my to-do list for at least a year, but every time I went down there, I just got overwhelmed and had no idea where to start. Finally, I got the hubby to agree to help with the task, and we conquered the whoooooole basement in one day! There is a mountain of stuff waiting to be picked up by the VVA truck, and another mountain of plain ol’ garbage that we’ve been putting out a little each week with the trash (the garbage men probably wonder what is going on! LOL). It is so nice to have the open space now. Hopefully we can maintain it! It just baffles me the amount of JUNK we managed to accrue in 17 years! Yikes!

  7. When I started moving in with Frank, right before our wedding, I started with the kitchen stuff. Sheri, every single cabinet in his kitchen – except ONE – was filled with model boxes. Model planes. Model ships. Model spaceships. All neatly packed in his kitchen.

    I saw that, and I knew my lil’ yarn addiction was going to be NO problem. He still says he has more models than I have yarn…

    He’d been engaged once before – his fiance wanted him to get rid of all his kits. I routinely talk him out of getting rid of any of them. He sold a huge one based on the 1960s movie, “The Time Machine” – I really tried to talk him out of that one.

  8. We don’t have enough room to have an unused portion. With two people (including one introvert who needs alone-time somewhat frequently) who work full-time from home, in a 950 sq ft apt we share with two cats, we have to be very efficient with space. That’s not to say there aren’t a couple boxes that haven’t been opened and sorted in several years; in fact, there are two boxes of scrapbooking supplies that date back at least as far as your scrapbooking supplies, from my previous life as a sb consultant (which I now believe is where I recognize your face from).

  9. You want to know about my Scarey Closet?!
    Or would you prefer to hear about the boxes I inherited when we broke-up my mother’s house…you know, the ones that got packed up at the very end, full of stuff no one had the energy to deal with at the time, but also that no one especially wanted? I’m moving this month and am determined not to move those treasures AGAIN!

  10. Are you serious…I think it looks pretty organized…..I love your work area setup…I’ve been trying to organize the closet in my son’s old room – which is supposed to be the guest room…….hoping to do this in the fall….good luck!

  11. You have guilted me into attacking one of our “scarey” areas. Now, should I start with the Utility room/Laundry room, the “walk-in” closet (LOL) in our bedroom, my office/craft room or my husbands shed/workshop (no, I’ll leave that one for him). So much stuff, so liitle space.
    Have fun, Sheri!

  12. You are a brave woman, Sheri!! I try to do the 21 thing fling every couple of weeks and toss or Goodwill the results. So far, it has not made a DENT in the basement mess…….

  13. Good luck. And yes, I have a back room in the basement and an outdoor storage shed that are stuffed in an unorganized chaos. Maybe some day I’ll get to them. This year, I’ve tackled a closet or cupboard at a time. Organize, organize, organize with those plastic bins and totes.

  14. Oof. I have two rooms in need of organizing, one at home (my office at home) and one at work (my office at work). I can’t figure out how things get so out of control — not enough time or not enough oomph? Sigh. Good luck! Does your Back Room at least have a window so you can send up emergency flares or wave a white flag if needed? When you triumph, please let the cluttered among us know how you did it!

  15. I have more than one area like your back room. I’ve been trying to clear them out some, but as fast as I remove things, my DH fills in the holes with more model railroad stuff! I think I’m fighting a losing battle. I wish you luck, and will look forward to photos of the results.

  16. Right now about 3/4 of house can be categorized as disaster — the family room stuff is in the little playroom, the living room stuff is in the dining room, the kids’ bedroom stuff and my DH office stuff is in our bedroom. Currently climbing over stuff to get else where is just part of the routine. What are we doing? We live in a slightly wonky old (1890) that was, at one point, split into two for apartments and now we’re putting it back together as a single. (Previous owner must be laughing somewhere….) Luckily we have awesome builders and I mean awesome (on schedule, good at what they do, good at rolling with the old house/pre-inspection era construction (anyone who wonders why we need building inspectors…) ) Still…can’t wait ’till it’s done. 🙂

  17. It’s a cleansing and purifying experience! I’d show you mine, but I just (mostly) finished getting it organized. It would be my stash in the unfinished part of the basement. I’d let you see the finished part of the basement, though. That’s next. Oh, and you can see my sewing/computer room, and dining room, bedroom and iving rooms, too. Stash resides in all those places. All are on the “get organized” agenda. So, now that I’ve done one area and come out alive, I KNOW I can get the rest of it, too! You will feel SO good when you’re done!

  18. My fiber room currently makes your back room look very organized. There are open piles of “things” (yarn, pattern, needles, magazines) as well as unlabeled overflowing tubs of yarn. My Bernina is at the back of the room, buried under mending that I cannot get to because I can get to my Bernina. (get the picture). But, I am “going in!” this week. Have told my DH if he doesn’t hear from me, to bring a shovel and dig me out! LOL! I am determined to do the same thing you are. Right now, however, I would be a good candidate for that show on hoarding. Ugh! Oh and, the key feature to my success is “no new yarn.” Sorry Loopy Ewe. I will miss you for awhile!

  19. OH boy, do I ever! Except mine isn’t hidden! We have an old house with little storage, so my “room” is the den that has a glass door and a glass window into the rest of the house so that all our guests can see the shame.

    Perhaps it is time.

  20. he he he he…. do I evah…. I have a “hidden” walk in closet that is behind the walk in closet off our bathroom. It goes under the stairs and no one braves all and goes back there except the dog when it’s storming outside and me. Problem is it has “spilled out” into the regular closet so now something needs to be done….. so some reorganization has been slowly occurring this summer. But after I get my college gals off to Arkansas, I will have to tackle the job!

  21. There’s the room in my house which is “the b-i-l’s room” (the perils of renting from the in-laws). Doesn’t live here, hasn’t for years — and only drops by to dump more junk in the room.

    Funny, but he hasn’t noticed I’m slowly moving things out of it….

  22. Yes… we have a back room AND a crawl space in our basement that are quite scary! We decided to make it our summer project to totally go through and reorganize; donate; throw etc… Well, we are now well into August and we haven’t started….. Sigh. I’m thinking now maybe our knitting daughters would have enjoyed doing that as a project this weekend =)

  23. My whole house is that room. I am in the preschool years of my parenting. My personal tornado is named Lucy. Her brother is older and has less messy toys at this point, also a better attention span.

  24. Oh yes, we have a “back room”. We call it the cats’ room because that is where they sleep at night since we don’t allow them to keep us company at night. The cats’ room started as dh workroom, soon became storage and now, who knows what it is. We declutter, donate, and consign stuff every few months, but some how it is still cluttered and multiplies. I don’t understand it, but its the way it happens. Your room already looks so much more organized than ours. I wish you luck and hope to see you out of the madness of the back room and into the light once again soon :).

  25. Oh and no, sorry I would still not let anyone in the cats’ room. I just can’t bring myself to reveal that secret ;).

  26. My craft area is a disaster. And there is a back room, which is slowly, painstakingly getting sorted and cleaned out. Every little bit helps, right?

  27. At the moment there is Mommy’s Closet…. I would not be surprised to find a Yeti in there. (And would be delighted to meet him, if he knew where my other bamboo hiking socks were!)

  28. My version of the back room is much much worse than that. I’ll take a photo and email it to you if you want to feel good about your back room. But I am not ever posting it anywhere on the web. No way, no how.

    I need to work on that room too. Only it’s gonna take a lot more than 4 days. More like at least 4 months. If not 4 years… (Hmmm dividing the cubic feet of stuff by a reasonable amount to cope with in a week…no not gonna do that math. Too much opportunity for heart attack inducement.)

  29. Yup, we just spent about two weeks making a “first pass” on the garage that hadn’t been touched since we moved in here…ok…we did the first side…the other side is going to wait until it is not so hot…(and then it will be too cool or too cold…).
    Good for you…if we don’t hear from you in a few days, we’ll send in chocolate :>).

  30. Your back room looks great. My whole house was a mess. Note, I said was. I decided that I have reached an age that I needed to start cleaning things out. I dreaded the job since I really didn’t know what to start first. Well, I kept at it. So far, the basement is finished, the second floor of my house just needs one more closet cleaned out, and the first floor is basically down to the kitchen. I have boxes filled with items ready for a yard sale when that finally happens. This fall, I will tackle the attic. That is scary since I have alot of boxes to go through up there. Thank God for the garbage man and electronic recycling! A great tip is to shop at the Container Store to get yourself organized. I just wish we had one that I could visit rather than shop online.


  31. Your back room looks like my entire basement and crawl space combined. Just quaddruple it and it seems insurmountable to me. Maybe one day i will get there. In the meantime i will just accumulate. Good luck with yours.

  32. I had to laugh as I have a similiar back room in my basement, as well as the closet in my knitting Daughter’s bedroom. I have had very good intentions this year of getting to both these things and clearing out some room, but I went back to school instead and so they still haunt me!! I have been trying to haul aout a few loads of stuff to give away on a weekly basis and MUST step it up a bit as I do believe it has been multiplying!

    Hope you are successful, it looks like you have some nice shelves in there!

  33. Sheri, I hope you had more luck than I did this weekend. I took a couple of days off of work to deal with organizing my books and music (put together two bookcases, one multimedia tower, and one TV stand) and most of all, tackle my sewing room, which is where I also store my knitting stash. I got just about everything done, EXCEPT yesterday when I was working on my sewing room… in my haste to get items to recycling, I cracked my pinky toe on the vacuum. Hard. YOWTCH. Needless to say, I wound up making a trip to the ER (broken toe) instead of finishing up cleaning and organizing the sewing room. I hope you did not have a similar fate this weekend!

  34. Umm, Sheri? My house wants to be as organized as your Back Room when it grows up.

    I’m working this week on organizing my knitting/sewing/spinning/hoarding studio (formerly known as the attic). What fun!

  35. “Am I alone in this? Do you have a room, or a closet, or a part of your home that no one gets to see? That needs a bit of organizing? That is off limits to everyone but you?”

    Back in the spring, the owner of the house we were renting died. He was an older man and we kinda suspected this was coming. We’d been in negotiations with him, via one daughter, to try to buy the house. But, that halted when we learned after his death, he was 3 months behind on the mortgage *and* his estate was broke — there were ceiling repairs we’d been pestering them about from January on.

    So, with barely 3 weeks to prepare, we located an apartment and moved. We went from 2400 square feet, plus a storage shed — can’t really count the 2-car garage because of the leaking ceiling in there as well — down to only 1133 square feet. Needless to say, we now have *two* storage areas (climate-controlled!). One is 10x10x15, the other is 10x10x7.

    At first, we were being really good about organizing the storage. I had a code for “back” and for “front” — things we could gleefully bury until it was time for us to move to a house and things we might want access to while we wait. But as the packing and moving wore on… and it became clear we *needed* that second storage area, things got messier and less organized…

    Now, we’re waiting for the bank to get back to us on an offer we put in on a house that’s listed as “short sale”. Here in the Valley, that can be 4-8 MONTHS… Thankfully, I was smart and *never* considered putting *any* of my yarn in storage!


  36. I’ve always dreamed of parking my car in the garage. Not having to walk out in the snow, rain, and ice would be heaven! Mind you, we’ve had a garage for 10 yrs but have I ever parked in it? NO!

    A few weeks ago DH started cleaning out this albatross and now we almost have one bay clear and ready to park in…just in time for the car he’s restoring to come home and live. Go figure.

  37. I have 3 little kids(2, 4 & 6), a cat, a schnauzer & me & the hubby…’nough said. (& I watch another 2 year old boy several days a week & starting the end of the month will be watching a 1 year old boy too…)

  38. Oh heavens yes. Most of my basement. The back is full of unused power tools and the other half is full of stuff that should be in the back where th power tools are. So until my husband parts with the power tools, I feel like I can’t put up shelves and get everything organized. Sigh.

  39. As a matter of fact, I just took a picture of my unorganized area today. I had such big plans to get it all cleared up in one day that I took a ‘before picture.’ Luckily, I got busy and didn’t post those pictures on facebook as planned because the ‘after’ picture looked almost exactly the same.

  40. Well there is the room that used to be my project room that is the catch all for furniture (from parents and in laws), stuff from when the kid came home from college and everything else you can imagine! Need to get in there and decide what to do with all the stuff…before more arrives!

  41. My whole basement is oft limits. We have two rooms of assorted junk and then we brought everything from a storage unit to the big semi empty room. We now have boxes from the floor to the ceiling 5 rows across and 8 rows deep. This is a combination of my stuff moving from a larger to smaller house, my mother’s house which we cleaned out and DH’s stuff from his house. I hope to live long enough to get through all our boxes:-)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.