Regina's January Cure: My First Week

January Cure Diaries

Starting the new year in an 80-year-old house with a busy toddler and lots of open-ended projects hanging over my head, I knew I'd need a little help getting off to a good start. So I jumped headlong into the January Cure! As a longtime Apartment Therapy contributor, I've been through the process a few times, but never while living in anything larger than a 400-square-foot apartment. As I worked my way through Day 1's list of projects, it grew more and more evident that my home was due for a little curing. One might think that creating a two-page list of basic fixes in your home would feel cumbersome, but it's quite the opposite. Each of the things I came across was something that lingered in the back of my mind, nagging me to get it done. But with the fixes written down in black and white, my mind was freed of them, assured that each issue will (eventually) be addressed. As an architect, I'm accustomed to punch lists that are written up with all of the little fixes for the contractor to take care of at the end of a project's construction. Working my way through a similar list for my own home's maintenance is immensely satisfying. Here's what I highlighted in my list:

Master Bedroom
- hang shade at front window (It's purchased - just awaiting installation!)
- patch ceiling at fan
- patch/paint window casing at south window

Oakley's Bedroom
- replace closet light fixture
- remove curtain hardware, patch/paint holes
- put comforter inside of cover on big bed

Bath
- patch/paint where door seal used to be
- paint door edge
- clean calcium deposits from sink faucet

Hall/Stair
- test/replace smoke & CO detector
- clean light fixtures

Entry
- secure mail slot door
- remove tape from ceiling (left from decorations for a baby shower I hosted months ago)
- adjust light fixture

Kitchen
- find and install good under-sink waste basket
- organize base cabinets
- install base molding at corner near new base cabinets
- tack down quarter round next to stove
- organize user manuals

Living Room
- remove fireplace doors
- clean insides of windows
- organize cabinets

Dining Room
- remove tape from ceiling (That baby shower sure had a lot of decorations!)
- install glides on chairs where missing

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Whew. After all of that listing, it felt good to glide through the relatively easy Day 2 assignment of setting up an outbox. I've set up a small canvas bin just inside the front door (in a corner of the dining room) for most items. I must admit, though, that there are larger things (like a rack full of clothing) that I plan to rid our home of, too, and that I'll be using the guest room for a larger outbox in those cases. I haven't included the guest room in this cure, as it's a project unto itself (maybe next time I'll cure just the guest room).
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The weekend's assignment given on Day 3 was a lot of fun. Clean floors always feel so good, and the assignment of really paying attention to the floors gave me good reason to really get in there and clean more deeply than my usual clean-up-after-a-two-year-old-with-the-first-mop-like-thing-in-sight version. Finally, I readied my green cleaning products and treated myself (and my home) to a bunch of fragrant paperwhites that are such a treat during these cold days.

How's the cure going for you? I can say for myself that I'm excited. Cleaning has never taken more of a backseat in my home than it does now that I'm a mother, so I'm looking forward to working my way through The Cure from that new perspective in contrast to my days of living in an adults-only studio apartment!

(Images: Regina Yunghans)

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Main, Homekeeping, The January Cure

Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and son in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.

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