in order


This little china cabinet is finally  the way i like it. 
It's filled with my buffalo dinnerware that i used/collected during my catering days. 
until now most of it has been in the basement.
back in december our basement flooded during the rainstorms that hit us.
I lost my entire magazine collection.  i know.

but anyway, over the last 3 weeks i've been slowly going through everything in the basement and being ruthless in my purging.

below is what the basement looks like almost empty.



you can see that it's a not very big.  it measures about 8' x 8'
all our sporting/camping equipment and any household run over has to fit in there because we don't have a garage.  i know.


i guess there is a reason they call it junk


 

so after going through every rubbermaid bin, sorting and tossing like a madwoman, i was able to get it all organized and now all the dishes are inside the house. 


Then i had to go through all our books and try to get them to fit into this cabinet since the other cabinet is now holding my dishes.  are you keeping up?  donating books is probably the hardest thing for me to do.  i love books but since i'm now a big fan of the library, i realize i don't need to own them all.

 i realize all this is boring, but this is what i do when my husband is away.



so now the dinnerware is happy, the books are happy, i'm happy and the salvation army is happy.


oh and i found this red and white striped pillow cover that has been missing for like a year. 
so that made me really happy too.

and i forgot to take a picture of the basement all neat and clean.


xo
janet


58 comments

  1. I am sorry you were flooded. Everything looks great! I think this is a great way to pass the time while he is gone!

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  2. Way to get things done in spite of the mishap!

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  3. Cleaning and purging is like a high to me...sounds funny, but I love the feeling when all my stuff is on the curb waiting for someone else!
    I live with a "semi hoarder" and live in fear of our third floor, which I haven't been up to in years...must we still keep three computers from the 1980s!
    I love how your home feels so open and cozy. I want a gardener's cottage!

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  4. holy moly... you had all that stuff on your driveway packed in an 8x8' basement?? Dang.... you're a good packer! Isn't it amazing the stuff we accumulate?! I hate having messy closets/storage... makes me feel icky, so I can imagine how wonderful you feel today!congrats...
    xoj.

    p.s.... love the red & white pillow!

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  5. Dear Janet, Marvellous therapy all this clearing of the decks. I fully approve although it is relatively easy for me to say this as I am not a hoarder......except when it comes to books. Those I cannot part with and when bookcases, shelves and cabinets are full to bursting then they are formed into still lives on every surface!!!

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  6. I love to purge, but I am sorry you had to go clean up!
    It is hard for me to part with books, especially my home design ones!
    But I agree, the library is a good thing!

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  7. Which Salvation Army did you donate to? I want to go buy all your "junk"

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  8. Everything looks so fresh!

    I'm looking forward to bringing up lots of stuff from the basement when I finally have a functional kitchen; I miss my pretties!

    Sue
    xo

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  9. Janet,
    I am sorry to hear that your basement flooded...the upside is that you have made the best of it and the china in the cabinet looks fabulous...
    sad about the magazines...I purge mine every few months.

    Hey we have that Coleman cooler too...

    Your quince is still looking fresh and very chinoserie chic!

    Your home just gets better all the time.

    Hugs
    XO

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  10. what a win-win-win situation! 8' x 8' - that's huge, well, compared to city standards, the average cellar that comes with a flat in Vienna is about 4,5m2 small
    The cabinet with the books and lots of air, especially in the light like you captured it, is really beautiful.

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  11. PS: here you see what it is like when you do the job in an appartment building:
    http://tinyurl.com/49a3z39
    Do you feel like the 10's are the de-cluttering years? (10's as in 80's, 90's etc)

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  12. Oh God ,there you go again. Don't you realize every time you do this I am flooded with Catholic guilt?

    I know,I'll go redo my coat rack, and say five hail mary's.

    xo Jane

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  13. Love it. I too collect Buffalo china. I have had to limit collecting white ironstone to Buffalo because I was filling to the brim. It is my favorite...it's indestructible!

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  14. It's not boring because a) you are so funny b) you take great pictures c) I like chalkboards when they aren't in Brooklyn lofts.

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  15. I love it! Did you get rid of all that stuff outside? Congrats on a successful decluttering day. ;)

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  16. I am sorry for your magazine loss...since I am a magazine "hoarder" I can sympathize. :(

    Great job on the reorganizing...love your cabinet.

    Linda

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  17. i have sketchy internet connection right now so i have to type quick. thanks everyone and you really don't want my junk b/c well it's junk and jane, you know i'm catholic so what do you think motivates me? and paula, maybe but i've been on a decluttering mission my whole life. and lisa, thanks but why don't you like them in lofts? curious.

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  18. Oooooooooooh that book thing. Me too. 9 trips taking books to the thrift store about 6 years ago.

    Your styling is more than pretty. It's peaceful.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

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  19. Years ago Susan lost all her cookbooks, many collector items, when her basement flooded.

    We have a few globes in our home.

    I like the way the photos (?) are framed.

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  20. Did you ever know that you're my hero! You are actually the wind beneath my wings. You should see my house. I move shit from one room to another to take pictures for the blog.

    You can dump the dictionary too unless you use it press flowers. You can find all those words online. It's the one thing I've thrown out in the last three years.

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  21. Boring? Not at all. I did a post earlier this month on organizing my armoire, and it morphed into a brief family history (explaining old family photos on top of the armoire). I think your story is a good reminder that we all need to go through our "stuff" now and then, get rid of what we don't need, and start using what we haven't been. Good inspiration.
    Claudia

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  22. That is Spring Cleaning with intentional capitals! Love your white china.

    I've just done a post on my fave accessories with a link back to you.xx

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  23. That must have felt so good! I need to find my decluttering mojo again and get rid of some stuff. You have inspired me.

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  24. You mean that was your basement messy?? I really need your help. Both of your cabinets look great. I really hate to get rid of books too but I starting doing it in the last year. Books tend to mutate in my house.

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  25. Will you come help me purge? I really am working on it. I donated four bags of books this week--it was a heart breaker.

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  26. I'm so sorry you had a flood in your basement. Just having to do the clean up is the worst! To lose things on top of that makes it so much more crushing. I do think your cabinets looks great! I love being able to see plate:)

    what magazines did you lose. I might have the last four years of some of them--shelter mags. I've been trying to figure out a way of getting rid of them but I want them to go to a good home. Let me know, and maybe I can restock part of your collection.

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  27. Glad to have found your blog, what satisfaction you must have felt after completing that clear out. I hate giving books away too, but have found a mantra that means I only keep what I treasure - and may reread. Others go off to (hopefully) give pleasure to others.

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  28. I love your blog and anything on organization is like crack to me! I love to purge and keep what I acquire in check. After reading this post, I am so curious to know what buffalo dishes are.

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  29. The Universe must have decided you no longer needed your magazines. Still, it would have been a horrible discovery.

    This is one of my favourite posts in recent times Janet. Boring my eye. What are the things under your three glass domes? Birds nests? Dessicated cake?

    Your driveway pictures look like Peter Walsh, Declutter Extraodinaire, has been around. He does that to people he is helping. EVERYTHING is hauled out of the garage (or basement) and lined up down the driveway to sort through.

    We don't have a garage or a basement. Just a carport and a tiny garden shed which isn't suitable for storing anything except a few garden pots and tools. That keeps down the junk collecting.

    I would really like to go through your junk though.

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  30. Oh, isn't purging all your clutter just the best feeling ever? I am very impressed and only wish I could get myself to the Salvation Army that inherited your junk ... I'm betting even your "junk" is adorable!

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  31. No not boring at all Janet I love to see how others reorganise. The plates are perfect displayed in the cabinet. I gain comfort from looking at beautifully displayed objects, what's the fun in hiding pretties away out of sight.
    Agree on decluttering books, this is the one area that my husband and I find incredibly difficult to maintain ruthlessness but sometimes one must grit teeth and just do it.
    I never tire seeing interior shots of your home.
    Oh and I see a gorgeous slim white cabinet and a couple of bowls in the basement that I would be hauling into the house!
    xx

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  32. Dear Janet, Everything looks wonderful, and the basement is shipshape. What a woman! Love the plates in that cabinet, and the books in the other. Both cabinets look just, just perfect. That pillow is a great red touch too. Thank you for taking us with you on this project. Hugs, Joyce

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  33. lovely! I love how clean your home is.
    But, do you know what I love the most about this post.... the Walk the Line lyrics on your chalkboard. Love Johnny. I am thinking we must have very similar taste in music!
    xo

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  34. The best thing about this post is the fact that it makes me realize that it is ALL about BALANCE. The Gardener's Cottage is small, so the scale must balance according to proportion. Even though you purged, you selected appropriate belongings to create a very beautifully styled home. It is warm,cozy, and elegant--not stark, bare, and sterile. You minimized in the past with the 100 challenge, and now you've done the same with your basement organization, yet your home continues to be so beautifully rich and polished. The question then is this: What do we really need in order to live an abundant and full life? The answer: It is quality, not quantity. It is thoughtful consideration towards a balanced and harmonious life of function and beauty--The precise key to true peace of mind. Thank you, Gardener's Cottage...you are sooooo Zen. :-)-Suzanne in Illinois

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  35. Hi Janet, Gosh, look at all you did. I think Larry is a very lucky man. It all looks so great! ox, Sandy

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  36. yikes, the internet just came back on so i'm typing quickly again. steve, you freaking KILL me with every comment. julie, the mags i will miss the most are my domino's. omg, they are all gone and my elle decor's. fiona, thank you and they are birds nest that i've collected over the years mainly off golf courses. anne-marie, i love that white cabinet but i have no where to put it in the house. joyce, thanks and michelle i adore johnny, are you a jw fan? and last but not least suzanne, thank you from the bottom of my heart. and send me a pic of your fav accessory!!!!!!!!!!

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  37. Uh, so NOT boring. This is the stuff that makes my world go round right now. My whole November was purging BUT I have put off the basement chore until Spring. In our previous how we had a MAJOR flooding issue after a monsoon moved through (6-8 inches of standing muddy water)--it is a horrible, horrible process to clean up (we actually had living area down in ours). Now we have an old cellar basement which is storage (in big plastic tubs...a few boxes)...but will be purged soon. xxBliss

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  38. Janet,

    I literally saw this post and exclaimed out loud! I really appreciate your style, and was really drawn to the cabinet with the apothecary and plates-just lovely!

    I cleaned out my basement a little last week and I wish it looked half as good as yours. Eek!

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  39. Oh Janet, I'm sorry. I know exactly what you went through - our basement was flooded in September. We lost our hot water heater - no hot water for 10 days, that was fun, but the worst part was even though they were packed in tightly closed rubbermaid containers, much of my children's old schoolwork got wet and ruined. Heart breaking. I spent many days cleaning out our basement and getting rid of junk, too. At least now we have clean basements, right? karin

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  40. Sorry about your magazine collection Janet-

    But Go Red Stripes!!

    xx
    SP

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  41. I absolutely love the interior of your home!
    Especially the room that is home to the buffalo dinnerwear.
    Is that a framed chalkboard on the wall?

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  42. You are very inspirational, love your dress style and your home decor. Would love to see more of your home. Keep inspiring me.

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  43. Hi Janet, speaking of salvation army: did you give the (x-33) clothes to the salvation army after the first round of project 333? I can't recall if you ever showed your closet and if you can already speak of a "before/after".

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  44. I always tackle a big project when my hubby is away, that way I can work straight through, no interruptions....grape nuts for dinner..LOL!

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  45. A definite win win situation now Janet ! Your white dinnerware looks so lovely in that cabinet and I am sure that your basement is neatness itself too. Know what you mean about getting rid of books though... hard isn't it? XX

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  46. So sorry about your magazines! Flooded basements are a definite drag. The china looks great in your hutch and I am with you on giving up books. Very hard to do. Like you, we have limited space and I have to bite the bullet every once in a while and give some away. Our local library usually has a book sale in the fall, so I donate to them.

    We don't have a garage, either. And our basement is old, old, old and entered from the outside. So only the boiler, hot water heater and oil tank live there.

    xo
    Claudia

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  47. the basement is almost ready for hilary to move in....just sayin'

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  48. Your entire house is absolutely perfect! Sorry for the flooding....looks like you made the best of it though. So, so cute.
    Betty

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  49. This was not boring at all. I love stuff like that! My last post was just purging/organizing a kitchen cabinet. Everything looks so nice, so simple and organized (which is my goal in everything.)

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  50. You have a basement? No one in California has a basement. When we moved here I had to get rid of so much stuff...like all my magazines. Although the upside of not having a basement has made me lead a more simplistic life which feels pretty good. Your china cabinet and your books look beautiful. The whole house just sparkles!! I want to see a photo of your new and re-organized basement. All your posts on organizing have inspired me to do the same!

    xo annie

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  51. Hi Janet, You have a basement in California? I had this idea that no homes do, but I suppose that might just be the newer ones. I love how you've organized things. I have an old basement, too, and am also constantly purging. I have a large closet upstairs that I'm constantly decluttering, organizing and reorganizing, and I wonder sometimes, is there something wrong with me that I love to do this so much? But I see that there are others who enjoy it as much as I do! So I know I am n ot alone. You have such a lovely home. Christina from PA

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  52. Hi Janet,
    Your basement is a mini version of my 'whine' cellar -- I'm always whining because it's often flooded. Doesn't it feel good to purge! I am in the constant state of getting rid of things. Old homes have (no matter how large) have little storage.
    Deborah

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  53. JANET - I AM VERY IMPRESSED!!!!!!!!!!!! You are just what I need. Your home is looking beautiful.

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  54. oh.my.gosh. flooding of basement and needing to then go through everything and toss. that is my nightmare for myself!

    i love seeing how people organize themselves, and it helps to know i'm not the only one who accumulates things - even while trying so hard not to!

    as always, your house looks like it stepped out of the pages of a magazine.

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  55. When talking about a favorite fashion accessory, I wish I had a picture to email, but I can say, however, that it would have to be...simply...the white shirt.
    And,since this post is about "the order" of a home, I can think of nothing nicer than a good smelling candle. :-) -Suzanne in Illinois

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  56. oh oh my dear Janet, you had to work a lot!!!
    I love the way you have told the story of the flood, being so positve and lovely and always getting rid of things you don´t need... I really have to learn so much from you about not accumulating things in the house... will I ever learn?
    The books and dishes must be very happy as you said!!!! good you found the pillow....
    hugs

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kindness is never out of style.

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