Week 5: Getting Into The Thick Of It

Week 5: Getting Into The Thick Of It

Abby Stone
Apr 15, 2009
Cure Clock: 3.5 weeks remaining • Assignment: Read Chapter 8, Pages 154-184    • Finalizing Color    • Sunday Night 101Curees: 870 and counting... >> New Flickr Group: AT Home Cure >> Submit your photos directly to AT

There's a lot going on in my apartment complex. Two people have moved out and so there are painters and electricians and plumbers and floor refinishers coming in and out of the building at all hours of the day. While I've been planning to paint my living room (moving from yellow back to the white), I've got a few things to do before that happens (new rug, fabricate a Nakashima-inspired coffee table, Craigslist the unwanted furniture, find new lamps). But I've taken advantage of this entourage of people to get some niggling repairs taken care of...

The goal is fewer wires but it's always surprising to me how many wires "wireless" technology demands. All that stuff has to be plugged in somewhere at some point. The Container Store is a good resource for different type of cord wranglers from cable turtles to boxes to hide everything in. Check this postfrom Unpluggd, our sister site, for an in-depth look at some options
The bathroom sink has been snaked, pictures have been hung and my front door is being painted black (apparently a good move for my Feng Shui). The three day weekend also gave me the opportunity to go through my precarious stack of books to read; I've decided that many of them will be donated to the library and checked out as I get around to them (this will also net me a tax deduction for next year). I no longer buy cds. Last year I took a few hours while I was cleaning to upload all of my music to my computer and then sold my cds at Amoeba Records in Hollywood. And, with Apple's Airport Express, my computer, speakers and printer are all wireless. Which, by the way, doesn't mean I have no wires, just fewer wires.
Don't take everything out at once; just what you can handle in an hour and work in alternating fifteen minute segments: fifteen minutes of going thru stuff, followed by a fifteen minute break
After media, paper is the biggest challenge in my house. There are magazines and magazine clippings; photos; old letters and cards; story notes and first drafts; bills, receipts and tax items
  • Magazines & clippings: I try to go through magazines as soon as they come, pull the clippings that interest me or that might form the nucleus of an article or story. The clippings go into a box or sometimes into a folder that I can cart around, the magazines go on a rack and stay until the next issue arrives (of course, magazines I keep, like old Dominos, have a special place on a shelf).
  • Photos: My latest project is to scan in all of my photos into my computer and then distribute the originals, organized into books, among friends and family.
  • Old letters and cards: This can be a challenge for me as I'm very sentimental. Usually I find if I put stuff aside in a box I can go back to it in a few months and quickly separate the stuff to keep from the junk.
  • Bills, receipts and tax items: I get a new one of these expanding briefcase files from Office Depot each year to file everything, divided into categories that correspond to the deductions I take: research, house, etc. It comes in cute colours and it's portable which means that I can take it with me to the accountant at the end of the year!
sometimes all it takes is a little planning to go from chaos to calm.

Because I'm doing so much work around the house, a media fast is a natural. If you really want to go cold turkey, listen to music with no words or music sung in a language you don't understand.

Music for a media fast:


  • Catastrophe and the Cure - Explosions in the Sky
  • Welcome, Ghosts - Explosions in the Sky
  • Je T'aime Moi Non Plus - Serge Gainsbourg
  • Sabali - Amadou et Mariam
  • If - Etienne Daho & Charlotte Gainsbourg
  • Vieni via con me - Paolo Conte
  • Boum! - Charles Trenet
  • Les Temps Ont Change - Amadou et Mariam
  • Desert Eagle - Ratatat
  • Aganju - Bebel Gilberto
  • Downtempo - Jeanne Moreau
  • Alone In Kyoto - Air

Laure here, wanted to add some more inspiration for paperwork and home offices. As I've mentioned my 'office' keeps changing. And sometimes paperwork and filing and 'getting organized' can sound so terrible that I need to remind myself why I'm doing it. Because at the end of the day, my home office or roving file box or dining room table (whatever my home office actually is at the moment) is going to feel so much better. It might even look like this, this or this. So a reminder to keep your ultimate vision in mind, it will really help! And if you need more support, here are some posts that inspire me:

I also wanted to mention how much I love the little bonus insert in chapter 8 on Sunday Night 101. As a person who thrives on schedules and order, it's alarmingly easy for me to get out of the habit of picking up groceries, getting to bed on time and having a book I love next to the bed. But when I make those things a priority, I'm amazed at how much better my whole life feels. It's not that birds are singing and I see rainbows everyday but I'm feeding myself in ways that can get overlooked and it can affect my whole outlook and attitude making me feel more alive and more grateful for the small things. Try it out: make an evening out of cooking a meal, set a bedtime, find a book you love and take a bath or hot shower before bed. See if you don't feel great the next morning!

[images: AT reader Anna*Lysse; AT User Kiki Clark; AT User JennDavid 1000; AT User Wig3000 from the AT LA Home Cure Flickr page]

- POST INDEX SPRING 2009
Week 4 - Show & Tell
Week 4 - Tips & Tricks
Week 4 - Intro
Week 3 - Show and Tell
Week 3 - Tips & Tricks
Week 3 - Intro
Week 2 - Show and Tell
Week 2 - Tips & Tricks
Week 2 - Intro
Week 1 - Show and Tell
Week 1 - Tips & Tricks
Week 1 - Intro

- CURE INFO

>> Main Cure Page - Spring 2009
>> About The Book
>> Excerpt from Chapter I

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