This third week of The January Cure, things really started to feel lighter around my house. It is typical for me to feel encumbered by an unorganized mess of mental lists about housekeeping. Piles of mail on countertops beckon for attention. Clothing on the bed needs to be put away before turning in for the night. Not so much anymore, though. Not to say that all is perfect and clean and stylin' at all times. But I have a grasp on things!
Day 9: Create a Landing Strip There's an old built-in telephone niche in our dining room (adjacent to the main entry) that I've long imagined as a landing strip in our 1930's house. I've made lame (and failed) attempts to put mail there, or to throw my keys onto its small shelf when coming home. But now I've actually set it up to function for my household and it's going great. Top shelf: outgoing mail in a slender wooden box. Bottom shelf: incoming important mail to be dealt with. A key hook hangs in the niche for my husband (my keys stay in my purse, which is in the coat closet) and the sign I post on our front door during naptime (a simple Post-It stating "No doorbell, please!") is at the ready. We've found this system to work well for us, especially since our outbox is right below the landing strip and can catch any junk mailers or magazines that try to make their way onto our once-piled countertops. A future addition I'd love to make (I've added it to my list of projects!) is to create a small trash bin in the door below the niche. Wouldn't that be handy?
Day 10: Work on Your Goal Project Our local Home Depot didn't have matching base trim for my goal project of repairing the base in the kitchen. So, I scoured a bit around town and found that McCray Lumber, a local lumber supplier, can get it for me (A perfect match to what's in our kitchen is the one on the far right). Since I don't have the baseboard in-hand yet, I spent some time carefully removing everything that needs to be removed. I pulled off the baseboard and quarter round and cleaned it up, removing any protruding finish nails for my son's safety. Now, I will just need to cut two lengths of trim down to size, install it, then prime and paint it. I think that once we have the base trim die into the new cabinetry, it will look like it's always been here.
Day 11: Try a Media Fast We limit my son's "screen time" but definitely not our own. Once he's in bed for the night, it's usually straight to our computers for me and my husband, catching up on work and correspondence. Only late at night do I make an attempt to crack open a book, but I generally fall asleep within minutes. Tonight I read instead of worked on the computer, which I enjoyed because I was able to really make some headway in the memoir I'm reading without falling asleep! Note to self: Do this more often!!
Day 12: Declutter Books & Media We have two large built-in bookshelves in our living room. They house a lot of books, but also become a catch-all for papers, DVDs, and dust. We had strung a string of twinkle lights over them for the holidays and they desperately needed to come down. So I took this as an opportunity to clean up these shelves, editing out a few stacks of magazines and a handful of books in the process. Plus, the holiday lights finally came down!
Day 13: Weekend Chores - Flowers & Bedroom Our bedroom is a really empty room in the house. That is partly by choice: In our previous, small apartment we preferred an extremely stripped down sleeping area with a bed only, just for sleeping, because things were cramped otherwise. But our home now a large bedroom that begs for a bench, a lounge chair and table, and definitely some art. I have lots of ideas, but a pretty tight budget, which I've opted to spend in more public areas of the house. Little stools stand in as our bedside tables and an old '80s radio alarm clock wakes us up in the mornings. I once sat the desk up for actual work, but didn't like that function in the bedroom at all so now it's just empty.
So, please excuse the spareness, but know that I am overjoyed to have a well-scrubbed bedroom that's been dusted, all clothes and bedding washed, and walls wiped down (There were a couple of cobwebs I would always forget about when doing quick cleanings and I'd only remember them right as I laid down to go to sleep, which I seriously think harmed my quality of sleep. Those. Are. GONE!)
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.
Read more from Regina »