Day 10: Work on Your Goal Project. I was looking forward to this assignment, so I jumped in with ill-advised gusto. My project is finding a way to arrange my 45-percent-full bookshelves. I have accumulated some bookshelf inspiration, but have not yet settled on a styling plan for myself. I started by taking everything off the bookshelves and giving them a good clean. As soon as I unloaded the shelves, I realized I was out of paper towels. I went to get paper towels, and paper towels turned into groceries, which turned into making a big fancy dinner. You know how this story ends, right? Now my shelves are 100-percent empty, and I have a giant book heap on the floor.
Day 11: Try a Media Fast. I'm particularly attached to my Internet, but I was able to kill a few media-free hours by sewing. Normally I have Netflix on for background noise while I sew, but this time I left it off. I missed the sound, but probably sewed more quickly. However, I also learned that I can't tell how much time is passing while I'm working without the TV on (I know that every time I hear the theme song, an hour has passed). When I finished sewing, I decided my media fast was over and went to check my email and saw that seven hours had passed. Day 12: Declutter Books & Media. This one was essentially a rest day for me. The last time I moved I went on a manic book-culling rampage and got rid of about 85 percent of all our books and media. The magazines are gone, the DVDs are gone, and all those old VHS tapes are finally gone, too. At this point all our media is digital, so there wasn't really anything to clean up. Perhaps I should have used Day 12 to dismantle the book fort and return the books to the shelves, but I still haven't settled on an arrangement scheme for them.
Day 13: Weekend Chores: Flowers and Bedroom Cleaning. I was excited to see that the bedroom was on this week's list, because I gave it a pretty deep clean about two weeks ago and figured this one would leave me some time to fix up the bedroom more nicely. (We have no closets, so there were no closets to organize.) I opened the window to air out the room (a bad idea for reasons that will soon become clear) and went off to make myself a bed skirt. I put the bed up on risers a few weeks ago, so I figured I'd just make my own extra-long bed skirt by sewing two regular bed skirts together. When I unpacked them, I realized they wouldn't work on my bed because of the posts on the end, so I had to alter both bed skirts and sew them together to make one extra-long one. That took me 15 seconds to write, but all afternoon to do. Did I seriously just spend a whole day making clothes for my bed? When I got back into the bedroom, there was a lovely snowstorm coming in through the window. Wrestling the snow-covered mattress off the bed took some effort, and while putting on the bed skirt I somehow managed to dismantle the entire bed. (It's IKEA.) Once the bed was reassembled and the skirt was on, I was pleased with the results. The skirt seemed to give the bed more mass in the center of the room. (The extra pillows help.) And now the under-bed area can be used for shoes, which will be a huge relief and free up space in the apartment's only closet. I still really wish I had bedside tables and lamps, and something on the wall over the bed. (Also curtains and a fancier, more functional vanity mirror.) I didn't manage to get out and get flowers this weekend, but I'm calling this one a win because one of my plants came back to life:
Now I have a Frankenplant and don't know what to do with it. I feel sort of bad throwing away a plant that isn't actually dead, but this one lone sprout doesn't do much for the décor. It's supposed to be a basil plant. Should I just eat him and use the pot for something else? I can't be the only one who had a rough third week, can I? How are your Cures going? MORE OF ELIZABETH'S JANUARY CURE: • Week One • Week Two (Images: Elizabeth Licata)