Sunday, January 26, 2014

AT's January Cure: Living room refresh

Alright, can I ask you something? Am I the only one who's had  30-seconds tasks on her to do list for five years? Seriously. Today we finished something that took 30 seconds. And we've been meaning to do that ever since we moved here, actually I think we meant to do it in the old house. 

So, yeah, I'm still working on AT's January Cure. In fact, we've been tackling so many of the little things, and the larger projects we just didn't get around to.  Or didn't do because, frankly, sitting on the couch with some cookies and hot tea is way more fun after a long week than causing a giant mess in your house by cleaning, purging and rearranging.

And it does make a mess. Funny, but for me cleaning and purging always makes a mess. Yes, technically there is the outbox for that, but somehow stuff just ends up all over the house, waiting to be returned to its original place, waiting to be found a home for or waiting to be dealt with in some other way.

Like that huge white drawer full of DVDs that has been sitting in my living room since last week -  removed from the TV chest that we've removed and waiting for us to digitalize the DVDs. Or the stuff from the outbox that we've been putting up for sale. Not to mention the two large laundry baskets full of magazines that I am slowly making my way through.

I hate that. Isn't organizing meant to make your house nice and clean? Sigh. Guess it'll take another couple of days until the last things are put away / recycled / sold.

But let's look at what we did get done:

8. Keep Yourself on Track: Get a Get-Together Together

Uhm, well. Not really doing this one. We have a birthday coming up at the end of the month, and while we did use the Cure last year to prep for a party, this year we've decided to just send the kids off to the grandparents and enjoy a nice weekend for two. Much better reward for all that hard work if you ask me!

9. The Clutter Filter: Create a Landing Strip

Still working on this one. We've rearranged a few things in the hallway and I did add a wooden bowl we had to throw in keys and such, but I need to take a trip to Ikea to buy some wall organizer I can use for storing brushes, lipstick and other accessories for getting out the door quickly in the morning.

10. Unplug for an Evening: Try a Media Fast

Instead of getting out my laptop, I went through stacks of old magazines last week. The result? A big stack of magazines ready to be recycled and not much done in terms of blogging, editing photos or starting the 2014 edition of my annual photo book. Not sure I like this. I think I do need the time when the kids are in bed to be creative - well, as creative as my brain allows me to once it's half-asleep from a long workday. But you know what I mean. What I did find is that it actually makes sense to close the laptop once I find myself mindlessly browsing Pinterest or worse, shopping for things we do not really need might urgently need at some point in the future. Once my brain refuses to wake up, I might just as well go to bed. Revolutionary, I know.

11. The Halfway Point!: Project Progress

Not the most productive of days, but I did some prep work for the big living room rearranging all week, so maybe that counts... ahem. 

12. Weekend Chores: Flowers, Bedroom Cleaning & Wardrobe Organizing

Lots of progress over the weekend. Not on the bedroom though, mind you. But hey, if you can get your significant other to help you with that goal project you've been meaning to do, you're not gonna go and clean out your closet instead, are you? Didn't think so. Besides, my closet will get it's semi-annual clean-out when it gets a tad warmer and I can pull my Spring wardrobe out and sell all things I am not delighted to see again plus all things that didn't get worn all winter long. 

Only bedroom progress was cleaning out my sock drawer and doing the regular weekly dusting / vacuuming / mopping. 

But, folks, we did go from this:

To this:

And all just with rearranging and purging. We got rid of a ton of things, including the already mentioned magazines, lots of technical equipment, DVDs, CDs and countless other things that were just there because they had a place.

Do you have that, too? Things that live in your house simply for no other reason than that there is space on the shelf for them and they are still good? We had plenty of these things.

Now, we have a lot more space and only those things left that we really need. The only things we bought were two guitar holders and a large canvas of one of my photos. Everything else we already had somewhere (such as the lampshade and lamp or the four white ramekins that from the kitchen clean out the week before). Sunday we went for a walk with the kids and got some branches that sit in a vase and yesterday we put up the canvas that came in the mail. 

I'm still sitting here with a big grin, happy over the fact that we got it done. Looks so much nicer now, I have no idea why we didn't do it in the first place.

13. Less Mess & Stress: Getting Your Paperwork & Files Organized

Ugh. That was my otherwise free Monday morning. It was ugly. And I don't really want to talk about it. Still some things left to organize, but overall just surprised that something you do regularly can take so much longer if you decide to really do it, I mean, not just putting all the new papers on top of the old ones (which are neatly organized, mind you), but really go through ALL of it and decide if you really, really need to save it.

14. Worth It: Clear Up Cord Clutter

Busy workweek. Still had it from Monday. So. No. Didn't clean up any cord clutter whatsoever. Although, not true, stuck one visible extension cord back where it belongs. I did, however, remind my dearest that there are still cord-related things on his to do list... ahem. 

15. Declutter & Organize: Bathroom Cabinets Cleanout

That took half an hour while dinner was cooking and it was so good to get done. I should've taken a photo of what I tossed, some really amusing things in there. Heart-shaped hair clips, anyone? Elastics that no longer have any relation to their name anymore? Self-tanning body lotion from I-have-no-recollection-of-ever-buying-let-alone-using-that? Ahhh, that is the Cure at it's best. Quick decisions, easy disposal (hello, garbage bin) and instant gratification. Check!

Medicine? Well, that doesn't live in my bathroom, because really, medicine shouldn't live in bathrooms. There are two wall-mounted cabinets with locks for that, one for kids, one for adults with the contents sorted by illness. Yeah, could've sorted through that, too. But really, it was time for dinner and as I said, it doesn't live in my bathroom... ahem.

16. Lightening Up: Declutter Media Collections

Does tossing all those magazines and CDs over the weekend count here? 

17. Weekend Chores: Flowers, Outbox, Living Room & Lighting

With last weekend, we don't really have much left to do here. I already did add a table lamp, and while I would love to replace the floor lamp by my couch that makes me squint at magazines trying to decipher text, it's not in the budget right now and also will depend on the new couch I'll eventually get (been saying that for two years now.). So for now, it stays. Emptying the outbox is always my least favorite part, it seems to take forever and requires so may trips to drop off things, ugh. But this time I am really going to face it and get all things out of the house by  next week!

My favorite part is the energy the Cure sets free. I find myself constantly decluttering things and sorting as I go, no matter if they are assignments or not, on my list or not. And I am still hopeful that this year I can really sort through most parts of the house before Summer comes. 

So that was it for me - how has it been going for you? What's your most favorite part and what parts do you loathe?

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