Carolyn's January Cure: My Third Week

January Cure Diaries

This was a giant week for my progress with the January Cure, and while not everything on the list got tackled, I still feel really good about all the things that did get accomplished: the credenza problem is solved, the TV mounted, some furniture moved, and yes, there's even a gratuitous chinchilla photo below. •January 14—Create a landing strip Our condo has two entrances, and we already had two semi-functioning landing strips at each end of the hall, but I took this opportunity to make them both a bit more functional. On one end, we hung up some hooks that were lurking in box in the closet, providing much needed coat storage. There was already a shoe cabinet, a calendar, and a bowl for keys.
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On the other end of the hallway, I bought a letter organizing box and made some labels: one for new mail, one for bills (action), and one for each of us to keep documents and letters we need to respond to or file away. This is also where we keep the chalk and magnets for our entry wall and a small piggy bank for extra change.

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January 15— Work on Your Goal Project
First, we rearranged some furniture from other rooms, moving a bookshelf and a red file cabinet from IKEA into the living room. Then, we hacksawed the brass bookshelf down to a more appropriate size.

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Most of the projects this month have been my undertaking, but this is where Ed's DIY-savvy came in incredibly handy, and it's hats-off to him for the rest of the project, I'll be the first to admit.

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But now we have a super sassy TV setup, and we're able to swivel the TV toward the living room and toward the kitchen, a fact that makes Ed incredibly happy when football is on. Now I've got some cord management issues to tackle later in the month.These are already underway, since the cardboard box on the bottom shelf holds the power strips and the extra length of cords, and I'm planning on recovering it with decorative paper or fabric sometime soon.

January 16— Try a Media Fast
This was a surprisingly easy task to accomplish, primarily because the day was jam-packed with non-internet activities. In the morning, I had a house tour to shoot (stay posted!), in the afternoon, I prepared for the two classes that I teach each Tuesday and Thursday, and in the evening, Ed and I celebrated our anniversary by going to the place where we had our first date. It almost feels like cheating since I didn't even have to resist the siren song of the internet or television today, so I might try my hand at this later in the month.

January 17— Declutter Books & Media
I generally keep a stack of books that I'm planning to get rid of, and twice a year, I take a bunch to my local use book shop. I teach European history, and as a result, publishers like to send me desk copies of books. In some ways it's lovely, but in others it feels kind of wasteful, and really, who needs three copies of Augustine's City of God? I think I'll pass those on to a college student in need.

In terms of media, Ed and I have our DVDs in binders right now, but they are pretty unattractive, and pretty massive (an understatement if ever there was one), and they can be difficult to wrangle. I've decided to rehouse the DVDs in simple hardback binders outfitted with CD sleeves from The Container Store, but this is a project that I need to save a bit more money to tackle. So for now, the ugly behemoths live on.

January 18, 19, and 20— Flowers, Bedroom Organization, & Cleaning
I got a head start on the flowers this week, opting for a small rosemary plant when I went the grocery store. More generally, the bedroom assignment got put on hold because I was out of town this weekend, but I vow to get back to it on that catch-up day that's coming up. Our closet is in pretty good shape, as you can see below, so that has me feeling like things aren't too dire.

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And here's your weekly dose of Chibi (back by popular demand). Time for a dust bath.

(Images: Carolyn Purnell)

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Main, Homekeeping, The January Cure

Carolyn is a freelance writer and photographer, as well as a lover of all things colorful and quirky. She grew up in Texas and settled in Chicago by way of L.A., England and Paris. Currently, she is a professor at Illinois Institute of Technology.

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