Jennifer's January Cure: My First Week

January Cure Diaries

I desperately need this January Cure; I need the structure. To be perfectly honest, I also need the timetable to keep me from trying to do everything in one day and getting overwhelmed. So far, I've been able to slow down, think things through, and follow the plan, which should get me a lot farther than my usual marathon cleaning/organizing binge and inevitable burnout.

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I recently moved into my boyfriend's one-bedroom Hollywood apartment. It's a nice, modern building and a big step up from the drafty, crumbling studio I lived in before. That said, we're dealing with a pretty small space for three (Indy the dog has more possessions than I do).

My goals for the cure involve purging our stuff and organizing what's left, so we can fit our belongings into the very limited storage space. Several things need repairs or maintenance, which really bothers me, but my boyfriend barely notices (probably why they've remained broken for so long). Getting our lives in working order so we can all comfortably exist in this space will go a long way toward making me feel like I really belong here and, I'm sure, also help to smooth out any cohabitating snags that may arise.

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Day 1: Make a list of projects.
This was a breeze; I love making lists! In fact, I had to stop myself from filling several pages. I decided that our to-do list should be like a résumé — it should fit on one page. It felt good just to write down everything I'd been storing in my head for weeks. Narrowing it down further by highlighting what to focus on was torture (since I want to focus on everything), but now I have a solid plan.

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Day 2: Set up an outbox. I'm very friendly with the outbox concept and, since I've just gone through a move, I've been brutally paring down for a while. But I discovered I still had plenty to get rid of. Into the box went fabric scraps, costume jewelry from an old Halloween costume, a straw bag with a broken strap, and a pair of old boots that never really fit me. I listed my printer on Craigslist (now that we have two) and it sold before I even had a chance to take a photo.

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Day 3: Buy flowers, clean floors and buy green cleaners. Here's where I hit a wall — in the form of a terrible cold. Now I needed a different kind of cure. I spent much of the weekend in bed with a humidifier, tea, and a hot water bottle. See the drab bedroom situation? That will also be cured!

So, no flowers. I dropped the ball on that one. I was already pretty well stocked on green cleaners and, by Sunday, I felt a little better and was stir-crazy enough to assess our arsenal of mops and vacuums. The hardwood floors got a cleaning, and I even addressed a few pet stains on the bedroom carpet that had been bugging me for weeks. The carpets need a much deeper cleaning than I had the energy for, so I'll be playing catch-up on that chore, but we're off to a pretty productive start.

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See you next week!

(Images: Jennifer Hunter)