The January Cure. In past years, I've watched others go through this annual organization-fest with a mixed sense of awe and scorn. "What, are they crazy?" I'd think. "It's barely the new year, where is their energy coming from?" What can I say, I prefer a slower start to the year; for me, January is more about the small steps (put the holiday chocolates away, eat some kale, do my taxes) than major home improvements.
This year, however, major changes are afoot, and it feels like the right time to embrace them, using the momentum they create to help me tackle some projects, big and little, around my flat.
Here's the deal: my good friend and landlord, whose spare room in South London I've been renting for nearly two years now, has recently accepted a job offer that will see her moving to Copenhagen. While having a close friend move to one of your favorite cities is ostensibly a good thing (just think of the Euro mini-breaks in my future), it does mean that I'll be getting a new flatmate, and home life will be somewhat upheaved in the short-term.
My friend plans to keep her flat and rent out both rooms while she's living abroad, and is quite keen on me staying put. She'll be leaving the flat furnished, but will be taking some furniture, art, our TV(!) and a lot of kitchen equipment with her, as well as the "extra" linens I rely on for guests, etc. I'm not taking this as bad news: I'll finally get the chance to bring some of the things from my old flat, including books, kitchen stuff and all the art my bedroom walls can't contain, out of storage and into everyday use.
Of course, my flatmate isn't leaving for a few months yet, so this cure for me won't end up being a big switch-out; rather, a mindful tidy-up and inventory-taking of sorts, so I can see what I'll need to acquire, update, or shed from my home. (Oh, and I also need to decide whether I want to move into the larger bedroom once my flatmate moves: I'm thinking yes, thanks to double the closet space. Again, this won't be until after the Cure is complete, however.)
My kitchen has great light but a lack of storage, and a general clutter problem. I swear I did those dishes right after taking this photo.
Today's task is to make a list of issues you might want to address during the Cure. Simple enough; I did a walk-through of all rooms, jottings things down as I went. What wasn't simple was suppressing the urge to tackle these issues immediately, and simply observe and note them. (I may or may not have spent some time changing light bulbs while making this list.)
After it was complete, I dutifully took a highlighter to my list, choosing the important items to focus on. For my Cure, I'll be focusing on three areas: the kitchen, my bedroom, and the multiple storage closets.
- change door swing on fridge/freezer
- put up shelves on far wall for extra storage
- go through two large pots/pans drawers; decide what flatmate will take with her, what I can bring from storage/buy
- go through food cupboards/freezer and clear out old/unusable food
- tackle fridge door/surface clutter
- new ceiling shade
- new lampshades x2
- figure out how to clean antique Handira
- order new photo grid (I update this every January, with photos from the previous year)
- organize large storage closet in preparation for moving to other bedroom; find other places for luggage, etc.
Hall Storage (Downstairs and Upstairs)
- ged rid of all stuff waiting to go to charity shops
- organize cupboard containing paint, etc.
- take inventory for when flatmate moves: what linen, etc. I'll need to get
So, that's what I've got to tackle this month. Deep breaths. How about you?
(Image credits: Eleanor Büsing)