The January Cure: Better luck next year

The January Cure by Apartment Therapy wrapped up a couple of days ago, and…surprise, surprise, not a lot changed on my end. Even though I didn’t do as many of the assignments as I was hoping to do, I did enjoy reading the prompts each day and perusing the comments left by others. It’s nice to know so many others are in the same boat. I also liked to be reminded that the Cure was about progress, not perfection. Sometimes my need to do something perfectly is debilitating and prevents me from actually doing anything.

Here’s how the assignments went since my second update:

Day 15 / Get your sofa into shape

We NEED to do this. It’s on my list of major projects. I want to vacuum the whole coach (even the back of it), clean under/behind the couch, put some pads on the feet to keep it from sliding around on the wood floor, and rotate the rug because we mashed down the corner that gets walked on the most. It’s going to likely be at least an afternoon-long project that will require Korri’s help.

Day 16 / Do a 3-minute surface sweep

This is something I try to do every day! It’s crazy how much I can clear/tidy in such a short amount of time. Our kitchen gets the bulk of the junk since it’s the first place we can drop things after coming through the door so it’s pretty much always a mess. I’m trying to think of some sort of organization system to sort mail, magazines, receipts, etc. I can’t decide between a stackable flat organizer or something that would hold everything upright like this letter holder.

Day 17 / Take a catch-up day

I can’t remember what I did, but I don’t think I worked on any of the assignments. I probably just filled and ran the dishwasher. We have a bad habit of leaving dishes in or by the sink and I’m trying to end that by keeping the dishwasher turning over constantly.

Day 18 / Clean the floor + treat yourself to flowers

I had every intention of doing this assignment last weekend…and then we spent the whole weekend on the couch watching shows on Netflix! The downtime was much needed and appreciated. We do vacuum and sweep relatively regularly but should probably mop the wood floors soon, especially in the high traffic areas.

Day 19 / Do a pantry cleanout

I actually did this back in October! Our pantry is I think the biggest pantry I’ve ever lived with, but it used to be so wildly disorganized and it would drive me crazy, so I took one weekend afternoon and evening and reorganized the shelves. It looks and functions so much better now. We just need to be good about going through and using the products we have now! I took the above photos the morning after organizing, so the shelves are slightly more disorganized/full now. I love that I can actually see what canned and jarred food we have with the shelf organizer, and I use the wire basket to corral dirty rags before laundry day.

Day 20 / Set up a “landing strip” by the door

I honestly don’t know where I would put a landing strip or what I would use as a landing strip, so I didn’t do this assignment. I do wish we had coat hooks and a bench to sit on to put on or remove shoes, but Korri has vetoed a bench. I did buy a shoe rack to put in the closet by the door to corral the shoes we wear most often (and the shoes I wear if I need to run outside), but now I’m thinking about leaving it out and seeing how it works if it’s by the door directly versus in the closet.

Day 21 / Empty the outbox + reset the living room

I didn’t do the living room assignment, so there was no resetting to be done (unless removing the Christmas decorations counts? Ha!). We still have various outboxes situated around the house, and I’m going to move them down into the workout room that is currently being used as more of a storage room until the outboxes are cleared out. I need to either borrow my dad’s truck to take everything that needs to be donated or figure out a charity that is wiling to come pick up a piece of large furniture…

Day 22 / Enjoy (and take care of) your space

I definitely need to go back and reread the assignments and keep plugging away at them. I also plan to finish reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (plus the Netflix series, which Korri and I started last weekend) and I hope that will help. I also signed up for Apartment Therapy’s Weekend Projects newsletter, which starts next Friday. Even though the Cure didn’t go as well as I had envisioned, I’m making it my goal to get the house in order this year! :) (And I’m looking forward to rereading these posts next year when I try to tackle the Cure again.)

The January Cure: More of the same

You all know by now that I signed up for Apartment Therapy’s The January Cure in the hopes of resetting my home after the holidays and in preparation for the new year…and if you saw my first post about it, you’ll know that it hasn’t been going quite to plan. Well, it hasn’t gotten much better since then but I like how the assignments are forcing me to think about my home and how I want it to look and feel. I’m currently reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (a few years late, I know, haha!), so I’m hoping that book along with the Cure will help kick my butt into gear, even if it happens after January ends.

Here’s where I stand with the Cure assignments since the first update:

Day 8 / Clean the kitchen + treat yourself to flowers

This was the weekend assignment from January 11th that I mentioned in the first update. I couldn’t get Korri to help me with this one (he worked the next Saturday and then we had a lot of plans on Sunday), but I did manage to wipe down most of the surfaces and have been good about keeping the dishwasher going so the dirty dishes don’t pile up. There are random piles of paper that need to be dealt with, and I also wish we had some sort of dish rack to tidy up the drying hand-washed dishes. The outside of the cabinets really need to be cleaned (especially the ones over the stove), but I have no idea what is safe to use on finished wood. I might try a white vinegar solution and if that doesn’t work, maybe Murphy Oil Soap? Do you have any suggestions?

Day 9 / Do a bathroom cabinet cleanout

I actually did this in mid-December and found a bunch of stuff to donate! I’m on a mission this year to actually use up what I already have before buying new products and hopefully that will keep the clutter down. I’m sure there will be more products in a few months to a year that I haven’t touched that will then be tossed or donated. I just thought of a good idea: tape the lids on all the products I have and if I don’t use it within the next year, toss it. It’d work like the backwards-hanger trick people do in closets!

I’ve been contemplating bathroom storage since going through my stuff. Right now, I have one of those tiered cabinet organizers for my products so I can actually see everything I have. I also have a couple of fabric bins, and that’s where products go to die because I don’t see them. After going through those, I mostly keep just medication and other items (like tampons/pads) in the bins. I was thinking about getting some sort of drawer contraption like this to use instead of the fabric bins since those bins aren’t keeping me very organized. (Also: What do I do with expired medicine?)

Day 10 / Plan a get-together

We actually had family over a fair number of times in the warmer months (mostly because we grilled quite a bit) but haven’t had anyone over for a while because of the state of the house. I did not plan a get-together but I’m sure one will happen soon enough. They aren’t usually planned more than a week in advance. We do so much cleaning when we know people are coming over, so I understand why this was an assignment!

Day 11 / Find and frame artwork

Most of my “artwork” (mostly photos) is already framed, it just needs to be hung! I do need to figure out what all still needs a frame, though. I often find myself browsing frames at a store and not knowing what size I actually need, so that’s counterproductive. Ha.

Hanging artwork is one of my main projects. We have nothing up on the walls, and I would love to start hanging things since we, you know, live here and have been for going on two years now! Korri has been against putting nails in the wall (even though we don’t rent…) but I think I may have convinced him that it’s something we should do (and we can use Command Strips to avoid nail holes). I’m not going to go crazy and put stuff everywhere, but I have a few things that need a home on a wall and not on a counter top or the floor. I just need a second set of hands to help me hang them straight!

Day 12 / Work on a project

I still haven’t put together a full list of projects, so I didn’t do this assignment…

Day 13 / Clean the bathroom + treat yourself to flowers

This was the most recent weekend assignment. It did coincide with towel-washing day (yesterday), so that was nice! I thought this would be another assignment that wouldn’t get done, but I did end up cleaning both the master bathroom and the guest bathroom late Sunday night! I didn’t do everything (I left the tub/showers and inside of the toilets for Korri, and I’ll do the floors later), but I did clean the sinks, counters, mirrors, outside of the toilets, and the outside of the master shower. I also boiled water and poured it down each drain to make sure those weren’t clogging. I’ll call this one a success!

In the photo above, Rosie was yelling at me to give her water. She’s always been obsessed with drinking water directly from the faucet. When we first moved in with Korri, I was adamant about not giving her faucet water, but Korri gave in a couple of months ago. She’s very spoiled (and hydrated)!

Day 14 / Get rid of paper clutter

This was today’s assignment. Ugh, paper is where everything falls apart for me. I cannot figure out how to get rid of most of it. I did not work on this assignment because it’s going to take way longer than just a couple of hours or even one full day. I’ll be studying this topic heavily when I get to that part of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up!

There’s another 10 days to go in the month, so let’s see if I can finish better than I started! Are you doing The January Cure or decluttering your home with the KonMari method by Marie Kondo? I’d love to know how it’s going for you!

The January Cure: Where art thou, motivation?

I mentioned in a couple of previous posts that I signed up for The January Cure hosted by Apartment Therapy for the first time. The idea behind it is to do a small, manageable assignment every week day (with larger tasks over the weekend) to refresh and organize your home for the new year. I was super excited about the idea of doing small tasks every day to clean and organize after the craziness of the holidays. I signed up in mid-December, and I was totally ready to go, but decided to just relax my way through the holidays and get going with the refresh on January 2nd, the first day of the Cure.

Even though I had such high hopes and good intentions, I’ve done very few of the tasks so far. The problem is twofold: I haven’t had much in the way of time to do most of the assignments, and even if I did have time, I seriously lacked in motivation. I don’t know why; I usually love working on organization and am dying to get our house in order (it’s embarrassing to still be living in unorganized chaos—and I’ve been living here for going on two years). It’s January 11th, and I still have most of our Christmas decorations out. (The goal for this weekend is to get those put away at least.)

I really wanted to write about the process, but this update is quite lackluster. It’s real life, though. Ha. Here’s where I stand on each of the assignments so far:

Day 1 / Declutter a drawer

I’m counting this one because I reorganized/cleaned up all of the drawers in the dresser in the guest room over the weekend. I got rid of a bunch of old papers I had in there and tidied up the drawers that house reusable bags and the guest towels. I reminded Korri that he has approximately 10,000 ESPN magazines living in there (he told me he has every single one since the beginning…). I didn’t do anything with them. It’s hard to declutter when half of the clutter is your partner’s clutter, ha! I would love for him to go through his stuff because I would like to move gift wrap stuff to one of the drawers.

I decluttered one of the junk drawers in our kitchen (yes, we have more than one…working on that) and most of the drawers in our master bathroom and in the guest bathroom, so I’m not feeling too bad about the drawer situation. I need to reorganize one drawer in our master bathroom, and I should go through the drawers in the guest bathroom and declutter/reorganize/maybe add some drawer dividers for toiletries, but they really aren’t bad right now.

Day 2 / Make a list of projects

I having a running list of things to buy for our house on my phone, and I started a list of projects in my head, but haven’t started writing them down yet. My goal for this weekend is to get them on paper. Most of my projects involve organization and buying finishing touches, like rugs and other decor. We just discovered that the cats tore into holes under our bed’s box spring and spend time in there, so we’ll have to figure out how to close those holes so they don’t rip the whole thing! Adding it to the list…

Day 3 / Clean the bedroom + treat yourself to flowers

This was the first weekend-long assignment, and it involved everything: tidying, clearing the surfaces, washing the sheets, flipping the mattress, washing the curtains, cleaning the windows and mirrors, dusting surfaces, cleaning the floors…and treating yourself to flowers. I didn’t buy flowers because Sybil would eat them. I only ended up doing a little bit of surface tidying before feeling completely overwhelmed. We flipped the mattress a couple of months ago, but I did wash our sheets and remake the bed. A couple of days before this assignment, Korri cleared out most of his side of the room, so at least that was done. We still have a lot more work to do in here, but it was still nice to crawl into fresh sheets on Sunday night!

Day 4 / Set up an outbox

I currently have three boxes sitting in various spots around the house collecting items to donate. I will likely end up donating at least three more boxes of things once I go through everything of mine. Now I just need to actually finish going through everything and then DONATE those boxes!

Day 5 / Take a mini-meditation

This assignment involves sitting in a room with no distractions or sounds and looking around, noticing everything from a different angle / seeing it from a new perspective. I didn’t do this one, and this one is on the back burner as far as the assignments go.

Day 6 / Do a 30-minute closet cleanout

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but, shocker: I didn’t do it. I was planning to tackle the upstairs coat closet (that also houses our vacuums), but there’s a bunch of Korri’s stuff in there that I knew I wouldn’t know what to do with. This goes back to my comment from Day 1’s assignment: it’s hard to declutter when half of the clutter is your partner’s clutter. I’m thinking I will need him to commit to doing the Cure with me in the future, and that’s not easy for me to convince him to do.

Day 7 / Refresh your living room

This assignment involves walking around your living room and grabbing extra items (“visual clutter”) to store out of sight for a few weeks. The idea is to downsize the visual clutter in your space and revisit it later in the Cure. I might tackle this assignment after taking care of the Christmas decorations, but this will likely be another one that ends up on the back burner.

Day 8 / Clean the kitchen + treat yourself to flowers

This is the assignment for this upcoming weekend, so I’ll have to report back in my next update. You are to choose either the “outside” track (decluttering and cleaning every surface, including appliances) or the “inside” track (declutter the drawers and empty the fridge of expired items). I think I might tackle the outside track with Korri’s help. I cleared out our fridge a few weeks ago and it’s still in pretty good condition, and our cabinets aren’t overflowing with items (though some could be reorganized).

I’m at around a 2.5/7 as of today (not including the kitchen assignment), so…not good. LOL. I’m hoping motivation will kick in soon so I don’t drag this on for the rest of the year. (I’m totally the type of person to do that.) I think one thing is clear, though: it’s really difficult to declutter a shared space when your partner isn’t decluttering with you and when you’re not sure what to do with your partner’s clutter! I may have to just create a box for Korri and stick stuff in it, lol. I’m not sure how he’d feel about that! Do you have any tips as to decluttering with a less-than-interested significant other?

My favorite drawer & cabinet organizers: