The Most Effective Thing You Can Do For Your Home Has Nothing to Do With Decluttering

published Jan 15, 2020
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The January Cure is a long-standing Apartment Therapy tradition, helping you clean and declutter your home for the year ahead. We tackle one assignment each weekday throughout the entire month. Sign up now if you want to join. (It’s free!)

I talk to people about their homes quite a lot (it comes with the territory of being an Apartment Therapy editor), and the thing most people tell me they want to work on is decluttering and getting organized.

But here’s the thing about clutter: It always comes back. Decluttering is never going to be something you can check off a list and say “I’m done forever and now my home is perfect!” Tidying is still good and important, but it just doesn’t have a permanent impact. It’s something you have to constantly work on, and build good habits and useful storage foundations (that’s why we do the Cure every year!).

But you know what does pay long-lasting dividends in making your home a happier place to be? Hanging just one piece of artwork that makes you smile.

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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Today’s Assignment: Find and frame some art you love.

Find something you’d like to display in your home, then get it framed and hung up.

The art you choose is totally up to you—the only qualification is that it should be something that will make you happy. It can be a piece you’ve had a loved for a while, but have put off the actual hang-it-up part until now. Or it can be something you acquire brand new for this assignment, like a print from an illustrator you love, a treasured object like a ticket stub or scarf.

Once you’ve found your art, the next part is to take whatever steps you need to get it hung up. If you want a frame, measure the piece and find or order a suitable frame. If you like the non-framed look, or just want to check this task off the list as soon as possible, there are plenty of solutions for hanging unframed art in just minutes using stuff you already have at home.

If you’re the type of decorator who starts frames-first, and you have empty frames on the wall waiting for artwork, feel free to turn the order of this task around.

This assignment is just about surrounding yourself with things that make you happy, and making your four walls feel like home.

Credit: Apartment Therapy

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It’s not too late! Here are a few ways to participate in the Cure:

The Cure doesn’t just happen in January. If you want to take your efforts to the next level, any time of year, pick up a copy of Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure book.