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Chicken Nuggets, Bleach, and How Two Moms Brought A Basement Back from the Dark Side

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She called me from the McDonald’s drive-thru, frantically ordering chicken nuggets for her kids’ dinner.

“I’m about to lose my mind,” she said, anxiety poking through her warm Southern accent.

I believed her. Her husband had recently deployed overseas and she had just moved to a new house with her three small children, one of whom lives with cystic fibrosis. This was not a woman who took the phrase “lose my mind” lightly.

“Can you come tomorrow?” she asked.

Of course I could.

I arrived at 8:45am, after dropping my own three kids off at school. She led me to the basement, which looked pretty typical for most subterranean lairs.

Brooke basement before

Over the next six hours, we did what moms do – work around the chaos and distraction to create order. We sorted items into Trash, Treasure, and Transfer piles. We carved out a space for her sewing hobby so she could access her machine, fabric, and various accoutrements. (I even learned the difference between a fabric remnant and a swatch – score!)

Brooke sewing area
This cluttered corner now houses fabric and patterns.
Brooke sewing desk
This sewing desk now has space for my client to practice her favorite hobby!

We worked around a toddling 12-month-old, preschool drop-off and pick-up schedules, and–I kid you not–an anxiety-ridden hairless cat with new home-induced incontinence.

One very important aspect of this basement project involved cleaning. Because my client’s son has CF, it is vital that all the spaces in her home are germ and dust-free. The previous owners of this home had clearly not adopted a clean-basement philosophy. Thus, my client rejoiced each time we cleared more floor space, allowing her to get out her favorite germ-fighting weapon – bleach. I would have eaten off that floor by the time she was done. (And, in fact, I think I did see her 12-month-old do just that a few times…)

By mid-afternoon, we had a basement you could walk in, sew in, and–if so inclined–nibble a dropped chip from the floor. Success!

Brooke basement

I’ll be back to continue this project and see it through. But I could tell my client’s anxiety level was significantly reduced by the time I left that day.

What can two moms do with six hours and a mission? One hell of a lot.

Rose Professional HeadshotRose Lounsbury is the Dayton, Ohio area’s up-and-coming professional organizer. A mother of triplets and former teacher, Rose uses the philosophy of minimalism to help clients de-clutter and de-stress their lives. What started as a blog about her personal journey toward a simpler lifestyle has turned into a career centered on helping others find calm amidst the chaos. If you’d like to have Rose help you with an organizing project at your home or office, please call her at 937-626-9030.

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2 Responses

  1. I didn’t realize you left teaching, Rose to pursue this full time! That’s awesome! Love reading your blog…you have awesome writing style…best wishes on this endeavor!

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