January Cure Re-cap, Week 2

As you may know, I’m participating in Apartment Therapy’s January Cure (#januarycure) to join a community of folks whipping their homes into shape throughout the first month of the new year. By signing up, I gain valuable tips for seeing my space in a new way, as well as assignments to complete each day that keep me focused on making progress. (Read the Week 1 re-cap here).

This was a rather introspective week, and I felt like I was visualizing more than actually doing, but as an accompaniment to my daily chores, these were certainly useful exercises.

Assignment 4: See a room from a new perspective

Messy office - avert your eyes!

In this assignment, I was to sit in a place that I don’t normally sit and view a room from a new angle. While meditating thus, I took in what I could see around me and visualized what I wanted the space to look like. I sat in the office chair at Alex’s desk (which, admittedly, I sit in a lot), but instead of facing the computer monitor, I turned around to look at the office loft space. Yegads! Where did this mess come from? I want this space to look…not like this! I lasted five minutes before I realized that I already knew what needed to be done to get this space functional, much less decorated. So, before becoming too overwhelmed, I migrated outside to hang out with the dogs, and spent the balance of my 10-minute visualization time imagining the garden spaces for this year. That counts, right? To my credit, later that day I cleared off the desk and cleaned up all those boxes and miscellaneous debris you see on the floor; what a relief to see the carpet now!

Assignment 5: Select a project from Assignment 1’s list

Dog crates area in living room "before" shot

Commitment time! I returned to the list I made at the beginning of this challenge–one that I would work on completing throughout this month. I chose to work on the dog’s area of the living room. Having two crates takes up a lot of room in a small house (thank goodness they’re not extra-large dogs!), and because the only viable space to put them is where they are now, when you walk in the front door of our house, their area is in your direct line of sight. Maybe that’s not so bad because your attention will be on greeting the black, fuzzy, over-eager, friendly creatures who are now vying for your coos of affection and evaluating you on your willingness to play/give belly rubs…right?

As the photo attempts to show, what you generally see when you walk in the front door is a fuzzy blue blanket (that clashes with the paint color) covered with leaves and dirt with Alex’s and my outside shoes strewn on top, and baskets which, despite their intended function, are overflowing with leashes, collars, and towels. Not to mention, our living room only has one artificial light source, so at night, that corner is particularly dark. With some input from my mom, we’re not sure that adding lighting to an area we don’t really want to draw attention to is the best answer… but that’s what I’m working with. I’ll be making small steps on this project throughout the month. Wish me luck!

Assignment 6: Choose a piece of artwork and frame it

See those two empty culprits in the upper right? How could you be so "artless?"

See those two empty culprits in the upper right? How could you be so “artless?”

In this assignment, it’s assumed that many folks have art they’ve been meaning to frame strewn about the house. For me, it’s the opposite. I have several empty frames that are waiting to be filled with artwork. Five, to be exact. My goal is to fill the two empty, hand-painted frames on this gallery wall in our kitchen/dining area. I have until the 29th to select my art…

Assignment 7: Plan the after-party

To keep motivated in this challenge, the final “product” is a get-together of my choosing to revel in all the home accomplishments. I like this idea! What better way to celebrate changes made to improve a home than to invite people over to share it with you? It’s like a combination housewarming/vow renewal party! Unfortunately I haven’t decided on the format yet. It seemed natural to me to cook dinner and invite close friends over, but since that’s what I do quite often, I thought maybe I should mix it up a little. I’m tentatively leaning towards a “punch and Pinterest” party. Inviting a couple of girlfriends for some punch and afternoon snacks while we create something from a Pinterest tutorial for each guest to take home. Apartment Therapy encourages me to host the party at the beginning of February, shortly after my month of organizational triumph, but because of my work schedule, it will probably be more like the middle of February, so I figure I have a few days yet to mail invitations. I’ll keep you posted on the final plan and the invites which I’m hoping to make this weekend…

Assignment 8: Fresh flowers, clean the kitchen, cook a meal

Kitchen cabinet chaos

Amazingly, my fresh flowers from last week are still going strong (another advantage of baby’s breath). I made sure to give them fresh water and rinse any crud off the stems every two days. But since I have to go to the store anyway, I’ll pick up a small bouquet and move the baby’s breath elsewhere to enjoy something new and fresh.

Our kitchen, for the most part, stays pretty clean, so I am going to concentrate my energies on decluttering the counter (again), cleaning out the fridge, and re-organizing one or two of the cabinets (pictured above, which, incidentally, is also on my project list from day 1). As for the meal, I definitely need something simple since I will be working this weekend, but I’m destined to find something delicious in The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook that my brother gave me for Christmas (thanks, bro!). Tomato-glazed meatloaf with brown butter mashed potatoes just might do the trick…

It looks like I’ll have a few projects to follow-up with you all on next week! Have you joined the January Cure yet? How’s it going? Got any suggestions for the ideas I have on my plate here? Do tell!

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2 thoughts on “January Cure Re-cap, Week 2

  1. Good luck with the Cure! I always think your house looks nice. 🙂

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