The good news is we have a HUGE basement…the bad news is it’s a HUGE basement! It’ll be eight years next month that we moved into our home, and it was only about six months ago that I
decided made peace with the fact that we’re staying—at least for a while. You see, we moved from the BIG house, thinking we were going to simplify our lives, only to realize, about two days after the move, that we NEEDED a big house. Too much furniture, too many pretty things I (well, actually we, to some extent) didn’t want to part with. So….thank heavens for a big basement!
When I finally decided to unpack EVERYTHING a few months ago (we’re staying, remember??), our basement looked like this:
Then, to make matters worse :) my brother and SIL introduced me to auctions…hmmm. Just what I needed. A NEW monster was created, and sometimes our basement looked like this:
Shelves organized, then new stuff would come in. And the problem with auctions is that you sometimes end up with things you don’t want too. It’s called box lots, where you bid on a box of stuff because of ONE thing you want, but you get the whole box full of other stuff you don’t want. Do I need more snack sets (see the boxes stacked under the table?)? Not.a.single.one. My parents always had nice big parties—as in no paper plates, regardless of the number of guests—and the snack plates and punch cups were always put to use. I think it’s a safe estimate to say that they had more than 100 of each, some of which I now have. And then there are the linens…I can hardly pass up a fine piece of hand-embroidered linen. See them stacked on the basket? :)
Oh, and did I mention punch bowls? I have a “thing” about big bowls and punch bowls—maybe it’s my dreams of always having large family gatherings.
This one was an auction find that came with 36 punch cups. Wait! I just said I didn’t need more snack sets! Ahhh, but I DID need THESE. I really like this pattern!!, AND besides, this one came with the stand! My identical punchbowl didn’t have a stand…I NEEDED it. Oh, and did I say I got the whole thing for $3???!!! Yes, THREE DOLLARS!! How could I pass it up?? You understand, right? (And to the right edge of the picture are other punch bowls, and upstairs on the buffet is our sterling one my MIL gave us years ago, which I’ve happily used often—you can see it HERE.)
To redeem myself now that I’ve shown you the bad and the ugly, while all that was going on, the shelves we bought when we first moved here WERE organized. The problem was the ADDITIONAL stuff from the unpacking, coupled with the new auction stuff…
So we bought more shelves and made progress taming the monster:
But now, I’m happy to report, THE MONSTER IS TAMED!
Yes…new dishes to be put away. My SIL gave me the Pottery Barn plaid ones for Christmas. Yippee!! Lucky me! I’m anxious to use them, so I’m thinking about how to use them for a non-Christmas table. Any ideas?
The Christmas things were tamed, but now they’re in a different place, to allow more room for my “play room.” (There’s still lots of room on the other side too, so the little chickadees are going to get a play room to ride their plasma riders down here too!)
The crystal was safely tucked away months ago when I unpacked.
The forest was tamed and covered to keep the dust off.
But here is my FAVORITE fix!! (I wish I could claim credit for the napkin solution, because it’s SO CLEVER, but no…I got it from Mary at Home is Where the Boat Is. Isn’t it brilliant?)
Shoe holders! They’re the PERFECT solution for napkins. I’ve had this ton of napkins in deep drawers in the buffet, in baskets, on shelves. None was the perfect solution, but I do believe this is going to be! (I used kids’ shoe holders because they’re the perfect size for folded napkins.) I’ve wanted to get a clothes hanger for the tablecloths for some time, and NOW was the time. I have so many tablecloths that it’s always been impossible to store them in one place, and while these aren’t all of them, I was able to free up quite a bit of drawer and closet space by moving the good linen ones down and putting others here too. I will check with Susan at My Place to Yours—she’s the expert on caring for fine vintage linens—on how to cover them. I’m pretty sure she’s going to tell me to get rid of the dry cleaner bags. (Susan, if you’re reading this, please advise!)
So here’s how this spot turned out. I keep the seasonal placemats I’m using on a regular basis upstairs, but these were tying up valuable drawer space in the dresser under the shelf with stemware. Now I have EMPTY DRAWERS!! That means more room for more stuff! :)
So any other suggestions? How do you store your vintage linens? Oh, and don’t forget that I’d like some ideas on how to use my new plaid dishes NOW—I don’t want to wait till next Christmas!
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