This Quiet, Distraction-Free Routine is the Cure for “Home Blindness”

published Jan 13, 2020
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Credit: Sylvie Li

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!)

As much time as we spend worrying about how our homes look, we sure do go blind to our spaces sometimes. Think about it: If you’ve ever woken up in the dark middle of the night and still expertly navigated yourself around the bed and into the kitchen to grab a glass of water, you know that you don’t need to see your home to experience it. The chair is just… well, it is where it is.

Even in the light of day, there’s probably a lot about your home you’re not really seeing any more. Today, we’ll walk through a routine that helps you begin to view your home with a fresh gaze.

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Credit: Samara Vise

Today’s Assignment: Take a mini-meditation and reflect on your home, then choose a project from your to-do list.

Take some time tonight—at least 10 minutes, but it can be up to an hour or more—to really see your space without the usual distractions. Then, use that fresh perspective to choose a project from your list.

The first part of this assignment—the mini-meditation—can take as long or as short as you want it to take, but there are a few important aspects:

  • Choose your favorite room, or the one you spend the most time in, and sit in a place in that room you don’t usually sit. Or sit on the floor if you need to get a fresh perspective.
  • Turn off the television, silence and hide your phone, and just stay in that spot for as long as you’re able. You can listen to music or enjoy a drink—just don’t engage in any activities that might prevent you from focusing on the room.
  • From your perch, think about your space. You can employ the five senses, if it helps. How does the air smell? How does the lighting look? How does your seat feel? Try an envision things changing: What would the room look like with nothing in it? What would be the first thing you’d bring back in?

The goal is to get in tune with your space, and to begin to see it in a fresh light. If you have time (and the space), you might want to move around to the other rooms in your home. Spend time standing in doorways and picturing what each of your rooms look like to somebody stepping into them for the first time.

Credit: Lana Kenney

Once you feel like your mini-meditation has run its course, part two of today’s assignment involves revisiting your to-do list from last week’s work. I want you to choose one project that you want to complete during this January Cure.

A good choice is one that will fit these criteria:

  • A project that can be completed this month, in a few hours. Remember, you’ll be busy with the rest of your Cure assignments, so don’t get overly ambitious in your choice—stay mindful of the time commitment required.
  • A project that will make a noticeable difference in either how you use your home (organizing, flow), how something works (repairs), or how things look (decluttering, cleaning, decorating).

Once you know what it is, highlight it or circle it and make a commitment to getting it done.

Remember that your to-do list is a roadmap to many satisfying projects you’ll do for your home in the coming year—right now you just need to choose one small-ish thing to bite off and chew during the Cure. You can work on your chosen project anytime, of course, but we’ve built in time during the Cure specifically for you to spend on this task, so don’t worry about getting it done immediately.

One exception: If you’ll need special materials or tools that you don’t have, consider taking the time to order them or shop for them this week. But that’s all you have to do for now!

Credit: Apartment Therapy

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Feel free to subscribe to our other emails.

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.