The first week of the Fall Home Cure is about putting aside the "I wishes, I wants and the Maybe Somedays." Finding a concrete vision for the direction you'd like to take your spaces and making them reflect you and your family isn't easy. Follow along for some inspiration, tips and tricks on how to get started!
Let's Start At The Very Beginning
During the Home Cures we're given the chance as Apartment Therapy Editors, to step outside of the "royal we" and speak with passion and our own hands on experience about creating spaces that grant us a happy and healthier life.
Susie (from Apartment Therapy San Francisco) and I (Sarah Rae from Apartment Therapy Chicago) will do our best each week to arm you with the tools needed to accomplish the tasks at hand and help you focus on making things happen!
My goal this week is to help you analyze the hundreds of images we take in daily and decide which pieces of information apply to you. Home decor is so widely published and viewed in all forms of media that it's easy to become overwhelmed and overloaded. We'll start at the beginning and learn to shed the past, while embracing the future to create a place you not only want to come home to at night, but truly want to live in.
Getting A Feel
It's easy to get into a routine in your home of sitting in the same spot on the sofa, or picking the same chair at meal time. To help identify which parts of your home have extra bulk, lack flow or purpose and need a little refreshing, try changing it up.
Sit in a new spot, even if just for a few minutes to see how different your space looks from a new angle. Try sitting on the floor, against a wall or in a corner. While you're there, look around and start making a list of all the things that need to be fixed in the space. Your list can include big and small things, need new paint or have a door that sticks? Write it down! Is your space missing something? Do you need a larger side table to hold your remotes and a beverage or a snack? Make sure that ends up on the list too. Getting everything out on paper can help keep you on track with The Cure and can also help eliminate the stress, keeping it all inside, can create.
Finding The Ideal Vision For Your Home
Start with the basics. Tear out pages from magazines, newspapers and save online photos that catch your eye. Make sure when you save things you name them with what caught your eye about them in the first place. "greentable" "omgamazingfireplace" It will help you when sorting back through all the things you've saved. Don't forget to look at spaces that resemble yours architecturally; solutions for the basics like lighting, window treatments and layout will often be the same.
Create a Style Tray with all your images and inspiration. This can be something tangible like an office style paper tray, basket, or a folder on your computer. Whatever method you chose, make sure to keep it organized! Try paperclipping like items together (bathroom ideas with bathroom ideas etc.).
Above is a small glimpse into what my own style tray currently looks like. I might possibly scare you if I showed you the entire contents. Although I like to keep my possessions to a minimum, I like to surround myself with tons of virtual inspiration! I'll also duplicate any picture I feel fits into more than one category. I don't want to have to remember that I liked the pink wall in a bathroom, even though I put the photo into the window covering folder. It's ok to duplicate as long as it's organized!
Making Cleaning Less Of A Chore
Even the people that claim to really love cleaning, get sidetracked. Here's a few tips to staying on target and tackling what you can in the time your schedule allows:
• Set A Timer: Only have 10 minutes to tackle a project? You'd be surprised what you can clean in a small amount of time. Set a timer to help you keep track. When it goes off, switch to something else, or head out the door if you have plans. 3-10 minute breaks during a day is a solid half hour's worth of time!
• Music Music Music: Its far easier to get lost in your work when you're singing along to your favorite record. If you're short on time, only clean for a few songs or one side of a record!
• Clean One Surface At A Time: Often we feel like we aren't making any progress when we clean. Tackle one surface at a time. That way, even if you take a break and sit back, you can feel victorious that you at least uncovered the coffee table.
• Work Clockwise: Don't get distracted or bogged down by the unshelved books in the corner, or the pile of clean laundry waiting to be put away. Pick one spot in your room and work clockwise from there. It will make it easy to pick back up if you have to stop to answer the phone or take the dog for a walk.
• Make "Other Room" Piles: Economy of motion can cut back on the amount of time you spend cleaning. Chances are that the clutter plaguing your spaces comes from many of the same places. Make small piles of things to go other places. Don't leave the space your working on until it's 100% done—then visit other places to put away goods where they belong. Don't leave them in piles inside the doorways either, having to touch things twice only makes double work.
If you're looking for some places to find really great spaces to fill your style trays, try some of the links below. They all provide a great variety of fantastic spaces!
• Apartment Therapy Home Tour Archives
• Metropolitan Home & Elle Decor Archives
• Martha Stewart Archives
• Country Home Archives
Share Your Progress
Don't forget to participate in sharing your space. The Fall Home Cure is all about showing the love and that doesn't mean just to us. We invite you to send us updates on your space and you're also welcome to check out the Home Cure Flickr Pool for more peer to peer feedback on your progress and design qualms. There's also links below to the regional discussion boards below to help you find tips and sources for the area nearest you!
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