motivation

A few days ago, we scheduled our home study update meeting with our social worker for this morning. The plan was to meet at the agency for an hour or so, then she would type up the minimal changes to our home study, and that would be that. I was a bit surprised that the meeting would be at the agency instead of at our home, but I didn’t question anything. I’ve learned in this process to just do what I’m told.

So, in the middle of the day yesterday, I got a call from the social worker, who said something along the lines of, “I’m so sorry, I screwed up and I can’t believe that I scheduled this for at the agency and not at your home. I have to come to your house.” This really wasn’t a big deal as the same date and time worked, and we made plans for her to come to us instead of us going to her. No big deal.

After hanging up the phone, I remembered that this is what our finished basement looked like:

Yikes!

We’ve had a plan for months that we would work on our basement this winter. We want to get rid of the old couch and chair, move the table and chairs, and create a new storage area in the back nook part that is somewhat visible in the back of the first photo. It would be a good winter project, we thought, and it’s something we need to do before attempting to empty out my office so that it can be turned into a nursery. So, for months, we’ve been doing NOTHING with the basement. If something needed to go down there? We’d just throw it anywhere! So what if getting out Christmas decorations required unloading an entire closet? There was no need to put any of it away! And this is how we ended up with a basement that looked like we had the beginnings of a bona fide hoard.

But, there is nothing quite like your social worker coming in less than 24 hours to motivate you to clean up your basement! (Note: If this was an unfinished basement, I wouldn’t worry about it as much. But this counts as living space, and we already explained to her that we hoped this would be a good play area some day…)

So, when we got home from work, we changed clothes and got down to business. We went through the pantry, the tool/furnace room (not that we store anything in our furnace room, of course), and the laundry room and did phase one of our reorganization plan. We moved things from one spot to another and weeded out a bunch of stuff we just didn’t need or want anymore. We filled up my entire car with stuff for Goodwill and the dump for phase two.

We ended up with some things that didn’t quite have homes, but that was okay since we stacked them up in the space we plan to close off with a simple set of curtains (to create a flexible storage space without spending money or making permanent changes).

Here’s the end result. It is SO much better.

Macy is thinking: Woah, there was carpet back here? Who knew?!

How many readers have already figured out the punchline to this story?

She never left the living/dining area of our house.

Oh well, at least we finally found the motivation to organize our basement!

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26 Responses to motivation

  1. AJ says:

    Wow, congrats on getting your basement cleaned out and organized (even if it was a stressful process – I know how a home study visit can whip me into a cleaning panic)! Our guest room (and future child’s room) looks a lot like your “before” pictures. Maybe your motivation will be contagious and we can get our room organized and set up this weekend…

  2. My goodness, that is IMPRESSIVE! And even though she didn’t see it, aren’t you relieved that it’s done?! Looks beautiful!
    I was giggling when I saw the photo of the trunk of your car but hadn’t yet read the corresponding text – I thought you had just stashed everything in the trunk in a panic. I was glad to read it was actually headed somewhere 🙂

  3. Holli says:

    Oh Dear! I could totally see that coming.

    The basement looks great – and you must feel awesome, having completed an entire season’s worth of “weekend work” in less than 24 hours! Well Done!

  4. sue says:

    this cracks me up! i might be giggling about this for days. i remember when our social worker first came, i cleaned everything and was a little disappointed that she didn’t use her white glove! ha! by the time we had cohen’s last post placement visit, i didn’t even do the dishes – and there were a lot. we got to know her well enough that we didn’t care, and we knew she didn’t care!

    i’m so glad you got it all cleaned up! it looks great and will be a great play space for your little one.

  5. Kala says:

    I was wondering if she even wandered through the house. Oh well, I am impressed by what you did. Go girl!

  6. Kelly says:

    LOL, my thoughts exactly when I saw the first picture was, ooh, that is something a social worker would probably never even see or if s/he did, they probably wouldn’t *care* that it was a mess! BUT, like you said, it was the perfect motivator to get ‘er done!!! It looks great!

  7. Jennifer says:

    It looks great. Ooooh I miss growing up and having basements. 🙂

  8. Kelly says:

    Ha ha – I’m a bit slow these days so I totally didn’t see that coming but I’m so not surprised! However, if you’re like me it’s only pressure like that that will get me off my ass to do projects like this so it must feel great to have it done. It looks great!

  9. Christine says:

    Oh Kelly! I love the finished product… but wow, what a crazy way to get it done… huh?! When I saw the picture of Macy in there I thought to myself “OOO – new rug to sniff!” Do I think like a dog or what?!

  10. Robin says:

    That is hilarious!! I mean, I guess for me reading this after your freak out. Not for you during the freak out stage I’m sure. But.. wow. At least you got it cleaned up?

    Glad to hear the home study update is done!

  11. I could use something like that to kick my butt into cleaning our basement! So funny! Like Elizabeth, I thought initially that you’d just stored the stuff in your car, which would have been hilarious! It must be nice to have finished that project in record time, and of course, she only stayed in two rooms! Our SW was the same.

  12. Erin says:

    LOL Oh no!! Well, at least it’s done.

  13. Beth says:

    ha ha oh I”m sorry. But it does look nice.

  14. Jenny says:

    Man! All that work and she never took another tour! Dang!!! But, like you said, at least it’s all straight and organized now!

  15. Meg B says:

    Oh that is just too much…of course that happened. Good for you for getting all of that done! Our HS update was at our place. Our case worker just walked in, sat at our dining room table, updated the paperwork and left. Nothing in our place had changed….I envy all that storage space…

  16. kris says:

    Oh man, she never saw the basement?! Too funny. It looks great now though!! There’s nothing like a crazy deadline to get things done. Very nice. I laughed at the “whoa there was carpet back here? Who knew?” Ha!

  17. Zoe says:

    No surprise there! Funny. Sounds like our fire inspector story. You guys did a remarkable job — and what else would have put the fire to your feet?

  18. I’m with Kelly, my brain is so damn slow lately that I didn’t see it coming BUT I would have so done the same thing. Your basement, which by the way looks wonderful compared to ours right now (pre and post). Ours has been declared a national disaster. Besides being for storage, it is also our area for Colin to play with riding toys etc. It seriously needs an overhaul. You available? I will provide wine.
    Btw, our SW never left our kitchen table!!!!

  19. Liz says:

    I didn’t see the ending coming either – how quickly we forget!

    So impressed with what you did, hope you feel good about it even though you still have more time than you thought…

  20. Jen says:

    WOW, nothing quite like a boost of motivations!

  21. colleen says:

    wow! that was a big job to take on after working all day. and i so didn’t see it coming either that the sw didn’t even go downstairs. figures, right? 🙂
    we had the best sw ever. I loved her! i realized early on (after our very first visit with her for our home study when we had NO electricity) how cool she was. she just sat on the floor next to our fireplace petting our dog and chatting the entire time. totally wasn’t expecting that! 🙂

  22. zsmama says:

    I figured out the punchline right away, and I’m sure you knew in your heart of hearts that she wouldn’t go venturing in your basement either. For me the HS was serious motivation to just really clean.

  23. Kelly, that is hilarious!! I would have done the same. I am the type who purposefully invites people over, so that it forces me to clean my home. (: I’m impressed at what you accomplished in 24 hours!!

  24. Janet says:

    Man…first of all…I’m super jealous you have a finished basement. I’d LOVE to have more space, especially for D to play in as he gets older. Second of all…I’m totally laughing that she didn’t go down there. I remember cleaning like a MAD WOMAN for our home visit part of the home study. Our SW did look around, but I cannot remember (commenting on things almost as if she was on a home tour or for getting decorating ideas) if she went to the basement or not. I hope not…since that is where we keep the lion pit. Phew!

    Seriously…your basement looks great and sometimes motivation like that is what we ALL need to get things done. NICE!

  25. Sandra says:

    That’s quite the transformation! I am impressed!

  26. jjm says:

    Our house has never been as clean as it was for our first social worker visit!

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