Flickr member Joywich has cleaned her kitchen already, and it's bright and sparkling!
• Cure Clock: 7 weeks to go
• Assignment: Read Week Two: Clearing the Path
• Cure Members: 1,286 (join here)
I find the tasks in Week 2 to be some of the most rewarding of all the assignments, since they mark the beginning of a hands-on relationship with your home. There's nothing major, but that doesn't mean the steps are insignificant. They're all designed to ease you into the heavy duty cleaning up and clearing out that's going to come later. But for this weekend, you just need to focus on cleaning the kitchen, fixing one thing around your home, and, if you're doing a One-Room Remedy, making a floor plan for your room and getting a shopping list in order.
This is one of the prettiest pantries we've ever seen. Swoon.
1. Clean the Kitchen
Everyone has a different relationship to their home: some people are homebodies and spend as much time in their home as possible; other people only use it as a place to sleep. Some entertain every weekend, while others are embarrassed to have anybody inside. Some are avid cooks and use their kitchen religiously, while some just use their fridge... to store their clothes. Whatever your current relationship is to your home — you've just met, you've had a little flirtation for a few months, or you've been in a serious relationship for quite some time — this week you're going to get down on one knee and tell her you're in this for the long haul.
Start with giving your kitchen a cleaning like it's never seen before. Even if you're not much of a cook, this cure is the perfect opportunity to stock up on some nice ingredients that will help motivate you to start. Good food is an affordable luxury and, much like fresh flowers, is a small yet significant step towards creating a better home life. As Maxwell says: "Cooking also 'seasons' the home, literally. The smells of good cooking sink into your home, acting like pheromones and making it a cozier, more comforting place to come home to every day."
Important things to remember when cleaning the kitchen: Take everything out, wipe everything down, and if possible, repackage what you put back to make your pantry and your cupboards neater and prettier.
Via Flickr member elililu
Need some more help? Check out these posts on cleaning the kitchen:
• 5 Things We Never Thing To Clean in the Kitchen
• How To Organize Your Fridge
• What is the Best Way to Clean the Refrigerator?
• The Perfect Sink Cleaning Tip?
• Kitchen Sponges: 5 Tips for Greener Cleaning
• Shine Stainless Steel with Flour
• How To Clean the Microwave
The other thing we'd encourage you to do this week is get and install a water filter. They can be very affordable (depending on the type you get), easy to install, and infinitely better than bottled water (which, if you can believe it, requires even fewer regulations than city tap water). I've had experience with two faucet water filters so far: the PUR Vertical Faucet Mount Filter and the Culligan Faucet Filter. The PUR filter worked great for the first couple months, and then it started leaking and spraying all over... not so great. I've had the Culligan water faucet filter for the last eight months and it's worked well. However, it seems these faucet filters slow down dramatically over time, even before you should have to change the filter. One commenter in this post recommends soaking the filter in vinegar once a month to remove hard water deposits from the casing and screen.
Want something more aesthetically pleasing? Check out Aquaovo's Ovopur Water Filter (left) and the Bichotan Coal Water Purifier (3 for $25)
2. Fix Something Yourself
The point of this is not just to get something fixed; it is to "get your energy into the bones of your home. Participation is like an electric charge, and by taking the time to pay attention and heal one small part of your home, it will be revitalized." So, not only are you taking the time to invest in your home with your own blood, sweat, and tears (although we hope you don't bleed or cry too much), you're also making due with what you have rather than throwing it out and and buying something new.
For help with home fix-it problems, see these posts:
• If It's Broke, Fix It! Easy Home Repairs and Tools
• DIY Fixes for 5 Common Bathroom Issues
• Weekend Project: Fix Those Drafty Windows!
• Yes, You Can! 10 Repairs You Can Do Yourself
• How To Cover Up Dings in Wooden Furniture
• How To Refinish a Butcher Block
• 10 Home Repair Tips & Tricks
• Small Space Checklist: Toolbox Basics
• How To Fix Those Drafty Windows
• How To Fix a Slow Draining Sink
• How To Repair a Broken Dresser Handle
• How To Fix a Broken Toilet Using Zip Ties and a Key Ring
• How To Fix a Sagging Mattress
• 5 Quick Fixes: Easy Door Repair
• How To Repair Bamboo Floors
• Easy Squeaky Stair Repair
• How To Change a Light Fixture
Gregory's cool, efficient home office inspires us.
3. Preparing the Outbox
The Outbox is a good reminder of how easy it is to accumulate stuff. We bring so many things into our homes on a daily basis— gifts, magazines, books, trinkets picked up on our travels— but over time, much of this stuff can lose either its meaning or its functionality or both. And yet it can still be difficult to part with things, whether because they were given to us by loved ones or acquired for a specific and timely purpose. But as you begin to put things into your Outbox, remember these simple things:
- Just because something was a gift doesn't mean you have to keep it.
- Ask yourself: Is this item relevant to the life I have right now?
- Be gentle with yourself. You can always take things out of your Outbox again if you decide you really love or need something.
One Room Remedy
When you start to graph out a floor plan for you room, keep these things in mind:
- Begin by using a pencil and graph paper to sketch a birds-eye view of the room you're rearranging.
- Then take the measurements of the walls, windows, doors, and fixed features (i.e radiators) and jot the dimensions into your graph paper sketch.
- Next take the measurements of all the furniture you already have in the room.
- Drawing on your vision for how you'd ideally like the space to be used (i.e. a living room that will double function as a home gym) pencil in only the furniture that you deem essential for achieving that vision. You may realize that you don't need a sofa AND a love seat AND a big chair.
- If you're having trouble envisioning how the rearranged furniture will look in the actual room, use blue painter's tape to lay out an outline of the furniture dimensions on the floor where you'd like them to be placed. Once the outlines are in place, walk through the spaces around the blue tape to see if there is the right kind of flow. This will save you the energy of arranging and re-arranging heavy furniture multiple times.