The basement was wet, but that wasn't the worst of it. The biggest problem was that I'd never really established where things should go, and as time went on it was hard enough just getting myself in and out of there, never mind cleaning up. Piles of wood and clamps shifted to become traps, shelving grew overloaded and unstable, and every surface became a pile. Well, except for the surface in current use.
What had started as a basement woodshop collapsed into a place where I kept tools, though only the most frequently used were readily accessible. The air compressor (and its coiled 100' hose) could power work upstairs, and I'd carry tools up to do work. Power and air tools at least mostly had cases, making them easily findable, and the machines all had their own bases. My cordless Makita tools and their charger generally stayed accessible. Hand tools and hardware had a much harder time, ending up scattered over time. A few tool boxes kept tools together for particular projects, but somehow I wound up with three awls, because I could never find them.
The one machine I used regularly, even when it required gymnastics to reach it, was the bandsaw. It may be tricky to get perfect right angles with it, but it always felt much safer than the tablesaw and far more flexible. A lot of household repair work involved small parts, which definitely was a better idea on the bandsaw. The drill press and lathe got occasional use as well, but the table saw mostly sat. The miter saw came out a few times for use outdoors, where it made 2x4 construction much easier.
In the cleanup process, I may have overreacted, buying plastic boxes to organize everything I possibly could.
I'm still not done sorting, especially with the smaller hardware pieces, but it's slowly coming under control. I need to find a place to put all of those boxes, but I can get to all the tools and find almost everything. A few more steps, and I'll have a usable shop!
Then I can figure out which things should stay in boxes, and which need more creative storage.