Basement studio reorganization

I have a lot of project stuff that goes on in my basement. Unfortunately, my basement is extremely cluttered and disorganized, and I kind of hate being down there, which makes it so that I have a hard time actually doing anything creative down there either.

When I moved into my house two and a half years ago, I didn’t really have a plan for how to lay stuff out, and I just put stuff where it made sense as I unpacked it. Which means that there’s no real flow to things, and stuff tends to accumulate in piles, and things are just really badly disorganized.

I hadn’t really realized just how bad it had gotten until I saw this Simone Giertz video which put to words a lot of what I’d been feeling, only my current situation is way, way worse than the “mess” and “clutter” Simone has on display.

Also, for whatever reason, YouTube has been recommending this Feng Shui channel to me a lot lately, and while I don’t care for the pseudoscientific/religious aspects of what he talks about, Feng Shui as a model for how to think about flow and space has some merit. (Douglas Adams once gave a speech about that, among other things.)

Here’s some images of how things currently are:


Such a mess, right? There’s no traffic flow between the front and the back, things are just laid out willy-nilly, and there’s a lot of choke points that end up attracting clutter and make it difficult for a lot of things to find their place. There’s also a few boxes I never got around to unpacking because I just plain couldn’t figure out where to put the stuff!

So, here’s my aspirational idea for how things should be laid out instead:


I had these things in mind:

  • Keeping the drum kit together with the rest of my recording space
  • Having more consolidated workbench surfaces (currently the small workbench is where I do electronics projects and the large workbench is basically just taken up by my resin printer, which I never use for a bunch of reasons)
  • Better organization for my 3D printing in general, especially the Bambu (which I use the most) and giving it a better place for my large filament bins to live (namely, under the workbench, rather than out in the middle of the floor)
  • Having a sense of traffic flow while also keeping access open to the electrical panel

There’s a few bits of furniture that I don’t show in either schematic, because they’re mostly extraneous clutter. I’ll probably be getting rid of most of them (like, do I really need to keep the media storage shelving units that I haven’t used in years?!), although there’s a large art pedestal (constructed for Teageneration) that I’m not sure what to do with but don’t want to get rid of either.

The big question I have about this setup is how I’m actually going to put it into place. There’s a lot of stuff that’s difficult to move and not a lot of space to move it in. I’m going to have to play an awful game of Sokoban, and during that time my basement won’t be usable at all. And it wouldn’t be feasible or safe to keep stuff outside while I do the reorganization.

I’m also not entirely certain how I’ll organize some of my instruments. My cello, in particular. I have some ideas though, but that’ll have to wait until I see how the space fits a bit better.

My first act should probably be to declutter, but I’m not sure where to declutter to, which is, of course, a big part of the problem to begin with.

Anyway, I hope that I can figure out how to get stuff in place, and that once I do it’ll be easier to keep them in place.

I have a few other ideas about how to make some stuff better; for example, adding some pegboard to the back surface of the large workbench would give me a place to hang some tools.

But yeah I think the first step is to just like. Get rid of a bunch of stuff. I have a couple of DVD storage shelves that I haven’t used in ages but which I keep around for some reason. There’s some leftover scrap from the old furnace which was pulled out years ago.

Also, wow, lightbox2 does not know how to deal with SVGs. That’s unfortunate. Add that to the list of stuff I need to fix…

Anyway, I can’t actually move forward on any of this until the air stops being so crunchy. Hopefully this year’s obligatory wildfire smoke clears up quickly.


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