This Two-Step Routine Will Make You Feel Great About Your Space Again

published Jan 7, 2022
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Apartment Therapy’s January Cure is a free 20-day program all about loving on your home and preparing yourself and your space for the new year. Sign up now to get daily lessons sent straight to your inbox!

Whenever you’re feeling down about the state of your home (or, actually, when you’re feeling down about anything), I’d like you to keep this tool in your pocket: The clean and treat. Clean something — anything — and then enjoy a treat.

Maybe that means clearing off the dining table and enjoying a cookie. Maybe it’s washing the dishes and settling in for a movie. Maybe it’s consolidating your paper piles and pouring yourself a drink. Whatever your flavor, I’ve found that the combination of checking something off your list and then giving yourself permission to stop and enjoy the feeling is an incredible way to turn your mood around.

I’ve learned that from doing the Cure all these years. You see, each week, our Friday assignment is a clean and treat: First I’ll tell you one room or zone we’ll deep clean that weekend, then I’ll insist that when you’re done, you treat yourself to flowers. It’s a decades-long tradition of the Cure, and I hope it inspires you to make the clean-and-treat a habit.

Today, let’s start on the first of our four Fridays together!

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Day 5: Clean the floors and treat yourself to flowers.

First, clean the floors throughout your home. Vacuum or beat your rugs and sweep and mop all the floors, moving things out of the way as needed as you go to get a truly thorough clean. You know how to clean your floors to your satisfaction, all I need from you today is a commitment to get it all done by the end of the weekend and set up a clean foundation — literally — for the rest of the Cure.

This weekend, you should also get yourself some flowers, and place them in a prominent spot where you’ll notice them again and again. You can buy your flowers from a market or pick them from your garden — or opt for a houseplant, cut branches, or a bowl of fruit if that better suits your lifestyle. The goal is adding something a little special and beautiful to your home that fills the room with signs of life and keeps you committed to your journey.

I’ll see you all back here on Monday. Congratulations on finishing week one!

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More Ways to Participate in the January Cure: