New Year, Time For a Cure

I have followed along sort of mindlessly with the Apartment Therapy January Cure in the past. But I haven’t really ever participated, mostly because I didn’t want to put the effort into a home that wasn’t truly mine.

This year, however, I have signed up! I know it is a little late to the game being six days into the cure, but we are only on assignment two, so if you are interested in curing your home, click over here to sign up. They will send you the assignments via email throughout the month of January and by the time we have finished the month, your home will be in better shape for the year ahead.

I don’t know about you, but I’m so excited to get curing! I think that being involved in design, and working so hard on everyone else’s spaces (which I love so much), it is sometimes hard to bring that home. At the same time though I want the same peaceful and organized home that I preach the benefits of to my clients. Truthfully I don’t think we are that far off, but what I like about the cure is that you start at the ground (literally) and work your way through your space.

You can tackle the whole home or one specific problem area depending on the size of your place and what feels like it needs the most attention. Either way… I think it is definitely worth take a look at.

Friday was the first assignment, and though I started on Sunday, I still managed to get it done. If you get going today, you should definitely be able to catch up.

This weekend we tackled floors. The assignment was to give your floors a healthy cleaning. And being the way that I am, I left no piece of wood un-scrubbed. I found some good wood floor cleaner, got my supplies ready and then methodically worked through each space. I started with the vacuum and vacuumed up what was there. then I removed all the layers (furniture, area rugs, etc.), vacuumed again, ran the Swiffer over the floors, then got on my hands and knees with the wood cleaner and really got down to business.

I used Method Wood Floor Cleaner, a hard-bristle scrub brush (the kind you scrub your grout with) for the corners of the rooms and where the baseboard meets the floor, and a soft rag for the main areas. While going around the edges, I noticed that we had some old dried sealing around the edges of the living room and the bedroom, so instead of just noting it and moving on, I got out my putty knife and new sealant and scoured away the old, cleaned beneath what was there and re-sealed the edges.

I have to say that it was hard work to clean all the floors, especially scraping and resealing the edges. But, I feel so much better already. The condo just feels like it is in better shape already! And after all, that is the whole point. This little detail that I’ve never paid much attention to before, has been tackled and I feel like I am being a good homeowner taking good care of my investment.

Part two of the assignment was to pick up some flowers for your home. Having just preached about this on Friday, you might be surprised to learn that I failed to accomplish this part of the task. I can make all sorts of excuses for why it didn’t get done, but really the last time I was at the market, none of the flowers spoke to me and we are going out of town soon, so I passed this weekend, and I will pick some up next time.

Time to start working on the second assignment! Who’s with me?

5 Habits at Home to Kick-Start a Better Year

I want to share with you five easy habits that help me stay happy and reduce my stress level within my home.

1.Make your bed.

Everyday, the easiest thing you can do is make your bed. Getting ready for bed, and being able to just snuggle in and get cozy is so nice. It will make your room look and feel cleaner and cozier, and you will just feel better.

2. Wipe down your kitchen surfaces.

After dinner every night, the food is cleaned up and put away, the dishwasher is quietly humming in the background. Just grab your cleaning wipe of choice and run over the counter tops. I’m a bit crazy about doing this, but I do the counters and then the stove top with and without the burners on. When I turn the light off and walk away, the kitchen is closed for the day, and when I come in first thing in the morning for coffee, I don’t feel the chaos of crumbs on everything. If you let it sit, it only gets harder.

3. When you’re done, put it away.

Simple as it might be, I’m sure you’ve been known to use something and then walk away without putting it back, maybe it’s your toothbrush, you use it and leave it on the counter, maybe it’s a book you were referencing… it can be any number of things. But when you are done, put it back on the shelf, in the closet, in its holder, wherever it may belong, put it there. With everything living in its rightful home, you won’t go crazy trying to find things the next time you need them. For us, in our small space, it helps things stay organized, which helps me feel calm. But even in the largest of homes, if things don’t get put away, piles can build and chaos will ensue.

4. Deal with junk mail immediately.

There is no sense in keeping a pile of anything. If it’s junk, toss it. Don’t let it take up your surface space or your piece of mind. Do it when you bring in it, save yourself time later so you don’t have to sift through it again, and just put it immediately into the recycle bin.

5. Buy yourself flowers.

If you are new around here you may not be aware of my love of fresh flowers, now you know. I think this is so worth the $5+/- at the market when you are picking up your groceries and it adds such an impact to your day to day life. I like to alternate which vase I use depending on the flowers, and then I try to put them where I will enjoy them. So pick a place where you spend a lot of time, whether it’s your desk, kitchen counters or coffee table, let them be seen. They will make you smile as you pass, because really who doesn’t enjoy seeing a little floral beauty as a part of their day?

These five things are key for me, and I hope they help you. Sometimes they don’t get done every day or every week, but try to keep it consistent and it will become second nature. You will start to notice your mood and stress levels all changing for the better.