Weekend Chores: Flowers, Outbox, Living Room & Lighting

January Cure Assignment #17

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Day 17: Friday, January 24....and the weekend of January 25 & 26
Assignments: Bring home some Friday flowers, empty your outbox, clean your living room and take a look at your lighting

Yes! Here we go: the last full (and yes, busy!) weekend of the January Cure. This time next week, we'll be done. This final stretch is when things should start coming together, as you spruce up your living room for your gathering and start the big emptying of the outbox. The time to let go has officially arrived!

This Weekend's Assignments:

Pick up your weekly flowers and enjoy.

Clean your living room. This is the "big clean" of your most public room. Give it a good once over and you'll be ready for your gathering next week (And, don't worry, we've built in time in the schedule next week for a quick spruce up to refresh all of your the hard work you do today.)

  • Pick up and put away all loose belongings
    • Declutter surfaces
    • Use those attachments and give your upholstered pieces a good vacuuming
    • Wipe down and clean all wooden or other non-upholstered furniture
    • Clean the baseboards
    • Thoroughly dust all surfaces - move things, dust, return items
    • Wipe down light switches, lamps and ceiling fan
    • Clean frames, artwork, mirrors and windows
    • Vacuum or dry mop the floors

    Take a look at your living room lighting.
  • Do you rely only on an overhead fixture? If so, a small investment in a table or floor lamp or two, will make a huge difference to your room (possibly the biggest one of the whole Cure - no kidding!). Affordable options abound, both new and used (I've found some favorites at thrift stores). Aside from how much better your space will look when more evenly lit, lighting is a fun addition to the room in other ways, adding color, texture and a bit of individuality to your decor.

  • If you do have multiple lamps already, do you have ability to dim them?If not, this is a great starting point. Installing a dimmer wall switch for overhead or directional lighting is a fairly simple and cheap DIY (here is our step by step tutorial) and any lamp can be made dimmable instantly with a plug in cord dimmer (I use these, from IKEA - easy!).

  • Finally, really consider the quality of the light - is it too cool or warm for you? What about the brightness? There is often no need for super high watt bulbs in the living room. If you don't really love the color temperature or wattage, a simple bulb swap out can do wonders. It's worth a bit of experimentation to find a favorite, especially for the lighting in your living room.

    Finally, last but definitely not least....drumroll, please...

    Empty your outbox(es)!

    I know plenty of you have been emptying as you go (and that is fantastic) but for those of you who've been filling up (and up, and up) since DAY 2, now is the time to let it all go. Take a few hours this weekend to deliver (or make arrangements for) donations, hit the recycling center, put things out on the curb with a "free sign", list 'em on Craigslist, eBay or Freecycle or package goodies up to pass on to a friend.

    To help with the out box emptying, I asked a pro organizer, Amelia Meena of Appleshine, to share her list of great donation centers:

  • Clear Out & Help Out: A Big List of the Best Donation Centers

    And, we have Amelia's one-minute video on the topic, too, below.

    Whatever you need to do to clear it out, go for it - you'll feel great when you are done! (Please announce your outbox plans and celebrate your successful outbox goodbyes in the comments below...)


  • Liveblogging the January Cure:

    January Cure Calendar:
    Download our PDF to see the full upcoming schedule (and print it out if having a hard copy is helpful to you)

    Join The January Cure: Click Here to Sign Up

    January Cure Main Page: Click Here for the assignment posts so far

    Questions? Comments? Pictures? Email us about your progress at januarycure@apartmenttherapy.com
    Follow and Tweet! The January Cure: #januarycure

    (Image credits: Alexis Buryk)

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