Day 4: Monday, January 7
Assignment: Find a spot in your home that you rarely sit in that gives you a view on a room or area that you feel is especially problematic and spend 10 quiet minutes there.
After a busy weekend of work on your Cure, we're starting off this week with something that is quiet, mindful and, you'll be happy to know, very quick. Ten minutes is all we need to spend on today's assignment, but the benefits are many and learning this process will definitely help you throughout the rest of the Cure.
In The Eight Step Home Cure, Maxwell explains the reason to take the time for this simple, yet vital step well. He writes: Most of us develop flow patterns within our apartments that are so strong that after some time we rarely stray from them. If not for cleaning, we might never set foot in many corners of our own home or see it from any other perspective. The lovely, fresh objectivity that you had on the day you moved in easily gets lost as furniture arrives and life moves on.
Let's gain some of that fresh perspective back!
Find a spot in your home that you rarely (maybe never!) sit in that gives you a view on a room or area that you feel is especially problematic. Take a seat on a chair (or the floor) and just observe for ten minutes. Turn off TV, radio, music and your phone - this is a quiet exercise and is most effective with focus and concentration.
1. Look around the room and try to imagine what it would look like empty. Recall what it was like when you moved in.
2. Once you have done that, focus on whatever part of the room that you feel is the most problematic and imagine removing the "stuff" from that area - furniture, belongings, everything. Now, start rebuilding that area, adding back in only what feels right and looks good in your minds eye.
3. Make note of what changes you envision and move forward with some additional clarity about how you truly want your home to be; what you need and what you can move forward without.
More from the book: Problems often loom large but are caused by very specific, small elements. This exercise is not intended to make your interior problems disappear, but it will allow you to begin to isolate specific changes that you want to make and steer past the anxiety of feeling a whole room needs to be changed.
Think of this as a great diagnostic tool for helping to cure any area of your home that needs attention. Repeat as needed in different rooms of your home as you move forward - no need to overdo it tonight, but consider doing this exercise again at any time throughout the Cure process when you are unsure of what to do next to help improve a room, what you might want to add to your outbox or what needs cleaning and repair.
Liveblogging the January Cure:
• Day 4: 10 Minutes Critiquing my Living Room
Go to January Cure Main Page for links to all the posts so far.
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Get the Book: Apartment Therapy's The Eight Step Home Cure by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan
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(Image:Cate West Zahl)