Posted by Rebecca
Week 4! Half way there. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t keep up. You can refer back to these lists and go at whatever pace works for you. Here is the list for this week:
– Clean up living room and related closets. Give your living room a good, deep, top to bottom clean. Move furniture, knickknacks, the TV, and clean under everything. Don’t forget to take books and media off shelves to wipe underneath. Take this time to go through your possessions and move items to the Outbox if necessary. Also take note of what you need to get for the room, or need to change.
– Aim to do another repair this week. Even small repairs can make a big difference. Completing one a week (or every other week – whatever your circumstances allow) will give you a sense of accomplishment and ease the stress of a lengthy to-do list.
– Declutter all books and media. Weed out the clutter and remove items (books, DVDs, CDs) that you don’t use, are damaged, or are no longer favorites. A good rule of thumb for bookshelves is to leave 10% as open space. Display everything in sight and neatly. For CDs, consider downloading your music to hard drives to free up storage. And DVDs can be taken out of the case and stored in albums designed to hold the individual disks. Remember, the idea here is to simplify and organize.
– Cancel 75% of the catalogs you receive. If your mailbox is jammed full of unwanted mailings, look for who to contact and take your address off their list. Usually a quick call to the company’s customer service center will do the trick.
– Empty your Outbox. Remove any items that have been in the Outbox for at least a week. If you are happy to continue living without the item, decided what to do with it. Donate it to a friend or charity, sell it to a consignment store or on craigslist, recycle the item, or throw it away. For items that you missed, or feel like you should keep, make sure it is useful, beautiful, and you love it before returning it to your home.
– Confirm what you need to increase or decrease color in each room. Carry on with last week’s color assignment – finalize what changes you would like to make with the color in each room. This is not meant to be a large makeover, but rather a healthy addition or subtraction of color that will enliven your home. Once you are happy with your decisions, put any items that you need on a shopping list, and plan to purchase it soon.– Identify what you need to increase or decrease softness in each room. Softness or hardness is best balanced 50/50. Our houses start out as a hard shell, made mostly of some version of stone, steel, and glass. We make them homes by adding softness in the form of upholstery, rugs, curtains, blankets, pillows, and plants. If our home is not properly padded, it will lead to underlying discomfort, coldness, and poor acoustics. If you have too many soft elements, your rooms will quickly feel cluttered and messy. Take a look around your place. See if you can determine whether your home is evenly balanced between hard and soft. See what you could add or remove to balance your home.
– Cook three meals at home this week. Do you see a pattern developing here? The point is to use your home. All of it, including the kitchen. Avoid the expense of eating out regularly, and do it only for socializing or special occasions. Try some new recipes, or experiment with some new ingredients. Learn to have fun being creative in the kitchen. There are zillions of great food blogs and websites that are very inspirational, and can help get your creative juices flowing.
I hope you are getting in touch with your home. I hope things are starting to feel cleaner and more organized. And I hope you are having a little fun doing it.
P.S. All the directions for The Eight-Step Home Cure are taken from the Apartment Therapy book by the same name. And you can get your very own copy here…. Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure