The January Cure, Part Deux

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Last year, viagra I decided to participate in Apartment Therapy’s month-long January Cure, more about which focuses on achieving a manageable level of organizational zen and trying to give your house some love. While the month of January was fairly productive for me, I definitely didn’t follow the calendar religiously. At the end of last January, I still had a bunch of things on my list that I really wanted to get done and was disappointed when I didn’t follow through. Hey, at least they’re my OWN unrealistic expectations.

When I headed back to my parents’ house in Kansas City for the holidays, I stumbled on my original January Cure list while I was on the plane. I realized there, 30,000 feet in the air, that I had actually gotten a lot of things checked off the list last year – even more than I thought! A lot of the tasks didn’t get accomplished in January (ugh, I still have framed art EVERYWHERE), but I think the conscious intention of those tasks helped me keep them in mind over the whole year. As I look forward to my second January Cure (which starts today!), I thought I’d share my list from last year as well as a few photos of the progress. Starting in on my new list this weekend — kitchen, you’re next.

If you’d like to participate, sign up here and let me know! Would love to hear about your progress.

January Cure // 2014

Living Room:
— Find a home for all unhung art
— Organize film archive
— Give a permanent home to books [new shelves!]
— New Stendig calendar
Dining Room:
— Donate clothes
— Organize magazines
— Go through sideboard + organize
— Donate armchairs
— Donate old surround sound system
Vestibule:
— Go through shoe bins and donate
— Donate coats, scarves, gloves
— Hang peace print
— Implement new mail system
— Clean windows / front door
Kitchen:
— Install door magnets / latches
— Install baskets in base cabinets
— Donate extra dishes + utensils
— Paint and hang doors on cabinets
— Finish countertop + install
— Figure out backsplash
Bathroom:
— Caulk everything!
— Hang artwork
— Organize bathroom closet
— Install a hand towel hook
— Buy new towels
— New lighting in hall
Master Bedroom:
— New duvet & sheets
— Hang poster over bed
— Figure out bed linen storage
— Buy floor-length mirror
— Install wardrobe handles
— Plan and install Elfa closet organizer
— Find a home for all posters / art
Guest Bedroom:
— Organize file cabinet & papers
— Plan and install closet organizer
— Purge + donate closet contents
— Hang artwork
Zach’s Office:
— Try not to have a panic attack every time you go in there

More Fun: Progress Photos!

Favorite part of last year’s cure: SEXXXY NEW CLOSET. Can’t wait to do this in the guest bedroom too!
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Donating old gnarly furniture made space for new FLOR rugs and super comfortable Eames shells for the dining room.
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An organized vestibule is a happy way to come home, and a nice perch for Kitten! (He is a total camera hog.)
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Is there anything you’re hoping to get done in January? Would love to hear about it!

I’ve been traveling a lot lately.

It’s been pretty hard to get much done at home this summer because of all the airplanes. HOWEVER — I’ve been doing some planning for months now and finally got a chance over the last couple of weekends to finally get all my books and cameras under control. YAY!

I’m totally in love with these shelves from CB2 and how much storage they provide. I’m sure I’ll completely rearrange all of the shelves a bunch more times (The Art of Doing Stuff has such good tips and I hope to achieve Karen’s shelf zen one day), shop but am feeling so inspired at the moment.

I reorganized two closets, side effects too! I’m going to buy myself a trophy.

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new shelves-4new shelves

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new shelves-2new shelves-3

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The January Cure

Yay! Happy 2014! I am so glad 2013 is done with and the new year is here. Zach and I both spent the holidays down and out with good ol’ H1N1, price and to celebrate being back on our feet, order I’m excited to share a few plans I have for January. I’ve never done anything like this before, but the other day I saw a link to a post on Apartment Therapy encouraging people to sign up for their January Cure. I guess the site has been doing an annual get-organized program in January to kickstart the new year, and I decided I seriously need a kick in the pants. Sign me up!

The general idea of the Cure is to make a realistic project wish list, and then follow through with it every day in small, manageable chunks of work. I do this every day at work for clients – I should be able to do it at home for myself, right?! It *SOUNDS* so reasonable. They’ve even published a calendar of assignments and send a daily email to encourage you about the task of the day. No Excuses! The first day’s assignment was to create a project list, and I’m sharing mine below. I’m excited to knock out a lot of the projects this month — the hardest part is not trying to do everything all at once and getting burned out!!

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There are a few themes that emerged from the list-making exercise: 1) I have a TON of stuff to donate and get out of my house. 2) I have accumulated a lot of art and it’s sad that it’s not up on the walls yet. 3) All my closets upstairs need a ton of planning and TLC. Even though we re-plastered the closets and did a lot of repair work when we did our main renovation, none of them have any interior hardware. Annual Elfa sale, here I come.

This weekend, the assignment is Flowers & Floors, and I’m excited to go check out Park Delicatessen tomorrow to pick out an arrangement. Maybe after breakfast tacos. Mmmm, breakfast tacos.

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If you’re interested in joining the Cure, you can still sign up to participate here. I’d love to know if you’re doing it and what you have planned. Good luck! Can’t wait to share my progress as the month continues.

On Garden Time

Exactly one year ago, ampoule I posted about how well my front garden was filling out after all our meticulous planning. Last summer we put a lot of effort into growing tomatoes and nurturing flowers and diligently picking tiny strawberries to enjoy for months and months. Year three? Not so much. Between the barely-winter winter and the fact that zero of my plants died back during the winter, cure I have the craziest garden ever this year. My travel schedule for work has prevented me from doing much maintenance so far this year – and thanks to the amount of rain we’ve had this year, prostate I’m really disinclined to do much regular weeding in fear of my mosquito pals. I haven’t even bothered with tomatoes or an herb garden yet this year because I know that I don’t really have the time and attention required to give them a fighting chance. Pathetic, I know.

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To my original design’s credit, parts of the garden are looking great this year despite my every attempt to completely neglect it. The sunny woodland patch look I was going for on one side of the garden? Well, that vision has been realized… and then some. Yarrow flowers bend down to the sidewalk, their hot pink flowers full of bees. Salvia spikes have reseeded in several colors, scenting the sidewalk in their sage-y smell. The left side of the garden has grown big and unruly – and as my neighbor kindly put it – it’s got that cagey wild vibe going.

So, basically it’s exactly like my hair these days. Thanks, July heat and humidity.

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The right side of the garden – the side nearest the stoop – is equally as wild and out of control. The acid green creeping jenny has started to drip down the bricks. All the various sedum I planted have exploded in crazy textures – and they’re threatening to take over the entire garden. The sweet baby lavender plants have grown into massive overbearing clumps with purple fronds covering half the steps. And don’t even get me started on the oregano. I’ve already cut it back twice this year. The only thing not doing well on this side of the garden is the thyme. All the other plants are so humongous, the poor thyme can’t catch a break and get enough sunlight to survive. Tough luck, thyme. Natural selection is real.

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The other day, I came home after work and realized I was locked out of the house. I had a set of keys, but I couldn’t unlock the deadbolt. So to make good use of the time I spent waiting for Zach to get home, I decided to do a little work weeding, which gave me some excess time to spend thinking about the garden. See, while the garden has just happened to (unintentionally) grow to look (intentionally) wild on either side and is kind of beautiful, the whole middle section is balding. Once I got done weeding, the whole middle section was down to the bare dirt.

My garden has male pattern baldness.

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A little story on how the baldness came to be: over the last couple of years, I became irritated with the random giant chrysanthemums that used to be in center of the garden. Planted by the previous owner of the house, I gather that their original purpose was to cover up the stump of a big weed-tree that used to sit square in the center of the garden. From what I hear in talking with the neighbors, the thing was massive and reached the second floor of the house. ANYWAY. I know that gardening is supposed to be meditative and a demonstration of patience and all that shiz, but I just ripped those chrysanthemums out in cold blood.

As a result, the garden looks a bit silly and I cringe just a little every time I step out the front door. The empty space makes no visual sense, and it’s yet another friendly reminder of my inability to fully complete projects. We’re finally having someone come take a look at the stump this week, so my hope is that we’ll be able to get it removed and get on with our lives.

I just want to get it planted and looking halfway decent again, so I can concentrate on other ongoing house projects these days. Really trying to stay positive and use it as motivation. Time to shop for new plants!

P.S. All images in the post were shot on iPhone and edited with the new VSCO CAM app! I’m in love! Have you downloaded it yet?