The Spring Cure: Clearing the Path

The Spring Cure: Clearing the Path

Leah Moss
Mar 25, 2009

3-15-Cure.gifCure Clock: 6.5 weeks remaining
Assignment: Chapter 2
Curees: 750 and counting..... This is where the rubber meets the road! After absorbing Abby and Laure's tips last week, you're probably ready to roll up your sleeves and start turning your creative vision into your home's reality. More often than not, when I get on an organizing kick my first thought is about what type of cool storage devices I need to buy, but it's always more overwhelming than helpful to bring in something new before dealing with what you already have. So, whether you're doing the deep treatment beginning with the kitchen or the one-room remedy, a big part of this week's Cure is about good prep work, which always makes for a more rewarding and more permanent end result.

Deep Treatment

The Kitchen
Tackling the kitchen can be a daunting task, but the result is sweet and savory for sure. Having a cleaning plan (and good music) makes the work more of a breeze.

The Plan:

1. A clean work space will help to keep you from becoming overwhelmed, so before you begin tackling the cabinets do a mini-clean: wash and put away dirty dishes, wipe of the counters, and empty the trash.

2. Pick one major area to begin (the food pantry, the dish cabinet, the fridge, etc.) and remove all of its contents to begin cleaning it inside and out. If you focus on one area/appliance per night, you should be cooking a delicious meal in your sparkling clean kitchen by Saturday!

-remove and wash your shelf liners. I love this sturdy ribbed shelf liner that doesn't require an adhesive to stay in place. It's easy to remove and wipe down, and the ribs prevent moisture from being trapped inside down-turned dishes that haven't been fully dried.

-as you empty your cabinets/fridge/pantry to clean, sort items into 3 categories: to keep (ie- food staples, favorite and frequently used dishes), to throw out (ie- expired food items, damaged dishes, old carry out menus), to relocate or reconsider (items that don't belong in the kitchen but have found their way there, rarely used utensils).

-after giving the area a deep clean inside and out, put back the "to keep" items, pitch the "to throw out" items, and place the "to relocate/reconsider" items to your outbox. (The outbox is where you keep items in limbo, letting them sit out of the way for a period of time—a one week minimum&mdash while you detach from them and decide how essential they are for your life. After a week without an outbox item you may realize you prefer the freed up space to the item itself.)

3. As you're working to refresh your kitchen you'll need some refreshment too, so invest in a good water filter. There are many great and affordable options available, but I'm in love with Brita's Ultramax which doesn't require you to refill it after every glass. If it's on hand, I'm more likely to drink more.


Pick a Recipe!
After your kitchen is pared down and clutter-free, it'll be begging to for a delicious mess. There are plenty of tasty, easy to follow recipes at the Kitchn, our sister site, like this Sauted Shrimp with Tomatoes and Lemon Couscous that's making my mouth water already. Creating a delicious meal is the perfect way to re-fall in love with your kitchen.

One Room Remedy
This spring, a lot of our curees are focusing on their home offices and living rooms—typical clutter zones that often get lost in seas of paper and miscellaneous items.
Tips for the Office:
Ample Desk Surface. When mapping out your home office, make sure you allow for enough clean desk space as possible. It's easy to get hung up on interesting desktop storage options while forgetting to leave a large enough surface to do your work. The type of work we do will vary and so will the amount of space we need, but the minimum for most people is enough room for a computer and 1 sheet of paper side by side. I love West Elm's classic parsons desk. Wall mounted storage is also key for a small-space office. Like kitchen counters, desks should be kept as clear as possible or they inevitably become catch-alls for clutter.

Tips for the Living Room:
Create a social focal point. In most of our homes, the living room wears many hats: the social spot, the media room, the napping place, etc. However, when we're thinking about how to lay out our furniture, it's important to have some sort of circular seating arrangement so that people don't have to strain to see each other when they're hanging out and talking.

Keeping these tips in mind, you're ready to map out your floor plan.

-begin by using a pencil and graph paper to sketch a birds-eye view of the room you're rearranging.

-then take the measurements of the walls, windows, doors, and fixed features (ie- radiators), and jot the dimensions into your graph paper sketch.

-next take the measurements of all the furniture you already have in the room.

-drawing on your vision for how you'd ideally like the space to be used (ie- a living room that will double function as a home gym) pencil in only the furniture that you deem essential for achieving that vision. You may realize that you don't need a sofa AND a love seat AND a big chair.

-if you're having trouble envisioning how the rearranged furniture will look in the actual room, use blue painter's tape to lay out an outline of the furniture dimensions on the floor where you'd like them to be placed. Once the outlines are in place, walk through the spaces around the blue tape to see if there is the right kind of flow. This will save you the energy of arranging and re-arranging heavy furniture multiple times.

A Spring Cure Floor Plan Dilemma:
This is from Spring Curee, Rowan, who is focusing on reworking the floor plan to create a better flow. We simply cannot figure out a good flow pattern. I realized when I read the book today that I only sit in one place in the house, the sofa. I think it has to do with the fact that growing up my favorite seat in the house, the swing, faced this way with the windows to my right. We're very lucky to have such a large apartment that faces South with plenty of sun...we're ready to move furniture around and edit pieces. -Rowan
The before pictures:
This is a great space. To create visual flow, you might want to consider finding a smaller, shorter TV stand since the large dense one is the first thing you see from the entrance hallway. Also, adding two chairs with slim silhouettes on either side of the coffee table will create a conversation zone, and help to avoid the movie theater syndrome. Or a set up similar to this one from an upcoming house tour with a similar layout might workwell instead: 3-35-stefans-living-room.jpg In this apartment, the TV is present and easy to view, but it's not the focal point. Also, the heavy couch is balanced by two visually light chairs.

What other suggestions do you have for creating flow?

(Images: 1: Cottage Living, 2: Apartment Therapy, 3: Country Living, 4: Living Etc, 5: Domino)




Week 1.5 - Show & Tell
Week 1 - Tips & Tricks
Week 1.5 - Intro


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


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