The January Cure is an ideal wake up call in the new year. I blogged my experience last year, too, and can say that the process is not just a physical one for your home but an emotional one for your own well-being. What better way to prep yourself for the journey than with a list? As I made my way through the house listing both big and little projects to address in each room, I felt like I was making new year's resolutions for my home.
When you walk into certain areas of my home, you might find yourself wondering if the place is vacant. This is the effect of moving from a 400sf NYC apartment to a full-fledged house on a professor's salary. We haven't acquired a lot of stuff (and we plan to continue doing so slowly), but I'd love to warm up key areas of the house like the stairway (which is your first view when you enter the front door) and our bedroom. Much of this relies on getting the bones primed so we're layering on solid ground (not over scuffs or bad paint jobs).
Even with a sparely-furnished home, I find we don't efficiently use the storage pieces we do have. Odds and ends accumulate on surfaces and floors. It seems to be more of the result of bad habits than need for more storage, so that's definitely something I want to become more aware of throughout the Cure.
The other aspect of home life that's tops right now is keeping up with my growing son and his spaces. This means turning some focus to a playroom (by transforming the little-used guest bedroom) and designing personal storage space for him in such a way that he can use it independently. He has what could be a good closet in his bedroom, but it leads to a seemingly-endless eave space that runs the length of the house - I'm uncomfortable with him exploring it on his own just yet. It's got great potential as a fun hideaway, but could also be closed off with an access panel for use as deep storage. Either way, the closet and its spooky "bonus" space need to be addressed before being used in any meaningful way.
All of this said, my list is a combination of mundane, small details and large, aspirational goals. It's a good mix, though, that leaves me feeling inspired and invigorated (if not a little overwhelmed):
- fix backsplash tiles
- replace window shades
- alternative to catch-all tray
- clean stair riser scuffs
- touch up paint on stair risers and trim at front door
- darken house numbers painted on transom
- fix mail slot so it stays closed (left over from last year's January Cure)
- get a base for large potted plant
- patch two small holes in ceiling
- mount TV
- improve storage in cabinets
- change cabinet knobs/repair hinge
- source nightstands, rugs
- consider curtains
- clothing purge and storage
- headboard or art
- set up twin bed, source frame
- prep closet for use, add second, low hanging bar
- make or buy curtain tie-back
- design shelving and build or order
- finish painting dark gray trim
- hang art/maps
- move guest bed to basement (extra room with bathroom that we determined will work better for a guest bedroom)
- replace shade
- clean grout
- escutcheon for sink drain at wall
(Image credits: Regina Yunghans)