I'm going to go ahead and say I cheated a bit this week on The Cure - the first assignment I'm happy to say I completed way back in October. My problem spot - the bane of my existence in fact, was this corner of my living/dining room.
This IKEA media stand was a hand-me-down from my sister-in-law, and while I appreciated the storage possibilities (not to mention the fact that it was free), it had quickly become a junk collector. Stacks of papers, random toys, and other such paraphernalia were strewn at random on its shelves and the chaos of it all drove me batty. I can see the shelves from both my sofa and dining table, so it pretty much bothered me every minute that I was in my home.
While I wanted the shelves to remain functional and not just for show, I still wanted them to look pretty. So I found a few underused baskets to hide the un-pretty items (bibs and toys) and used the other shelves as storage for my lovely but homeless collection of House Beautiful magazines and cookbooks. Other useful table items like our salt and pepper shakers and candlesticks also made the cut. Now I'm happy to say I can actually enjoy our main living space and no longer sit around thinking about what I could do to fix it!
On Day 5 of The Cure I really wanted to finish painting my kitchen cabinets, but being six months pregnant with a toddler running around I knew I most likely wouldn't finish. So instead I settled for cleaning out my overflowing desk drawers. I got two shoeboxes - one for items to take in to my work desk and one for items to find another place for in our house, plus a bag for trash. Then I set to work pulling everything out and sorting it. Here are the before and afters:
We had ridiculous quantities of pens and pencils, scissors that were so dull they couldn't slice through tissue paper, and quite a few items that we haven't used in years (reinforcements, dated business cards, and old camera accessories). I also used a small plastic box with a lot of little compartments to organize paper clips, rubber bands, safety pins, and the like. Now I can actually find a working pen or pencil when needed and don't feel stressed out when I open a drawer.
When day six rolled around I really wanted to purchase some new art for our home, but we're currently trying to save up so that I can stay home for a while with baby number two. So I decided instead to repurpose a piece of artwork from my first daughter's nursery. She's now in her 'big girl room,' and I'm not planning to use this particular print in the new nursery design. I hated to get rid of it entirely, so I decided to use it in the one room in our home that is very much lacking in artwork - our kitchen.
We haven't done much with the kitchen as it is going to be one of the more expensive and time-consuming projects in our home, so I just never really bothered to hang anything on the walls. It's now been seven years and our kitchen has seen very little love. Well no longer! We used an existing sad little nail to hang the print and hung an IKEA RIBBA shelf below. Our kitchen now feels a little more loved and it helped me enjoy day 8's assignment all the more.
While I didn't quite get as extensive with the kitchen cleaning and organization as I was supposed to (again, six months pregnant with an energetic two-year-old), I did manage to get some fresh flowers in vases (clippings from the garden and a pink primrose from the grocery store) and made sure that everything was at least tidy. I'm lucky enough to enjoy daily meals from my husband who is an excellent cook, so that part was easy!
I have to say that in spite of cheating a bit this week, I'm feeling pretty good about my progress and happy to get these things out of the way before the arrival of baby number two. How are things going for all of you? Kudos if you managed to complete everything! I promise I'll try to cheat a little less next week...
(Images: Lauren Hufnagl)