The January Cure

Like many people, one of my daily reads is Apartment Therapy. Last January I was intrigued by “The January Cure“. In short, it’s devoting 30 days to doing things around your home to make it a more organized and happier place, which in turn makes you a more organized and happy person. I started the cure last year with lots of motivation (I was very excited to be a more organized and happy person), but I only made it through the first task. The first task being: Make a project list. I went through my house, room by room, finding all the things I wanted to get done. The list was a short novel, I was overwhelmed, and probably started in on 15 projects at once (totally ignoring the purpose of the task), and that was the end of that tune.

Flash forward to January 2014, I am back on the cure and this time in it for the long haul. I decided this year I would focus the cure on ONE room. If I still had tons of energy after completing the cure task for my one room, I could apply the task to other rooms. So far this m.o. is working. I’m on day 4 people!

The room I chose to focus on is our home office. (You thought I would say the laundry room, but why would I finish that before starting in on another room?) I chose the office because it is the most stress inducing room in the house.  When we moved in we had high hopes for the office. We were finally real adults with an office at home, or a study as my husband likes to call it. I thrifted a huge desk, Craigslisted a glorified futon (because everyone’s home office needs to double as a guest room), and that’s where things came to a halt. The desk became a nice surface to place piles of junk on, the futon became a second closet, and the office itself became an unused furniture/junk graveyard. I would cringe every time I walked in it, especially when I needed a flat writing surface (perhaps a desk), but could not find enough space to even address an envelope on the cluttered desk.

Last fall, I sold the futon and cleared out a lot of the junk. But don’t fear lots of junk remains and the room is still 95% unfinished.

office before

Now that you have the office back story, let’s talk more about the cure.

Day 1 this year was the same as last: Create a project list. This was easy and appears to be a very doable list.

  1. Paint all trim and doors. (I was so sick of painting trim when we first got the house that I never even got close in the office, and it’s in the worst shape)
  2. Add 1/4 round trim to baseboards. (There’s a 1/2″ gap between the bottom of the baseboards and the floor. Either the house is sinking into hell or it’s a combo of previous carpeting/old house)
  3. Organize closet. (The closet is a decent size, but has a terrible set up that makes it useless)
  4. Add rug. (This rug from the bedroom will be finding a new home in the office)
  5. Add bulletin board or dry erase board. (Hopefully will help keep the aforementioned “junk” from accumulating on the desktop)
  6. Get rid of junk.
  7. Change outlet next to door.
  8. Move barrister bookcase downstairs. (I told you this place was a furniture graveyard. The barrister has been residing here since his painful divorce from the living room)
  9. Add drawer organizers to desk drawers.
  10. CLEAN everything.

Day 2: Buy Flowers and Deep Clean floors. Last year this would have done me in. Deep Clean all my nasty dog hair encrusted hardwood floors? No gracias. But this year: Clean 100 sq ft of floor? Gladly! I vacuumed and dust mopped and cleaned by hand with a rag and some Bona. I felt very Cinderella and had beautiful clean floors at the end. I didn’t buy flowers because my Christmas amaryllis looks ready to bloom any day now… and it was really cold outside.

Day 3: Get a fresh perspective on an area you don’t like. Imagine the area empty, and then (still imagining) add pieces back in. I do this pretty much everyday on all corners of my house. Imagining is fun…

Day 4: Set up an Outbox. The whole point of the outbox is a way to get rid of things you don’t really need. Things go to sit in the outbox for at least a week or until their fate is decided. Then you keep em, or get rid of em. I have actaully been using the outbox idea since last year, and it really does work. So I already had a outbox in my front closet because I’m really good at The January Cure.

I’ll do some regular updates throughout the January Cure. Hopefully adding some pretty “after” pictures along with projects and decorating.


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