Tag Archives: organizing

Apartment Therapy January Cure: Day 1

When my friend Lindsay introduced me to Apartment Therapy in college, I fell in love. The two of us would sit around looking at pictures of beautiful houses and apartments, imagining what our places would look like when we weren’t so gross and college-like. It was like moving out of Worcester would magically make us cleaner and more organized and better at life. Yeah. Right.

Okay, so I guess it worked a little bit. When we bought our house, I was OBSESSED with AT, oogling house tours, picking paint colors, planning full-on demolitions of our house. While some of the ideas actually made it into our house (blue dining room! painted chandelier!), most of them were (and still are) pipe dreams. Over the past few months, I’ve become (slightly) more realistic about our space, our budget, and what will and won’t work. I’ve also come to terms with “our style” and how that compares to “what is correct according to interior designers” and “what is popular” (they’re often not the same). But guess what! It’s our house! We’ll do what we want!

I actually read an article on there once about how you shouldn’t put family pictures and personal artifacts on the first floor. Because no one wants to look at pictures of your kids and dogs and family vacations. Funny, because I’m pretty sure that I live in my house and I’ll spend more time there than any guest ever would. And if I want to look at pictures of me and Jesse frolicking through concrete corn fields during our first road trip, then I sure as hell am going to do that.

Other than articles like that, AT is pretty great. This year, I noticed they’re doing this thing called January Cure. From what I gather, it’s a way of getting the year off to a good start, getting your house in order for the upcoming year. Since we’re finally settling in to the house and things are generally where we want them to be, I thought this would be a fun project to tackle. Also, it is winter and I have a really hard time staying motivated in the winter, and every little project helps!

Day 1 of the January Cure is Make a List of Projects! I love lists. I also love lists of things that I will never accomplish. Dishes I want to cook. Cakes I want to make. Places I want to visit. Things that need to be fixed in the house. Things I want to do in the house. Trust me, I am AWESOME at making lists. The best thing about Day 1? They tell you not to do anything! Just make a list! That is totally doable.

To make the list, you are advised to walk through each room in the house, making notes on any trouble spots organized by room. Note each area or item that needs a good cleaning, a de-cluttering or a re-organization. Then, go through the list and pick 3-5 things from each room as main focus points.

That’s it!

Walking through our house produced nothing that was unexpected. Everything on my list are things that I was planning on tackling over the next month or two anyway, so we’re all good!

Here’s my list:


  • Wash floor and windows
  • Remove junk
  • Get a shoe rack
  • Paint it white
  • New front door
  • New light fixture


  • Shelves for over table
  • Organize junk drawer
  • Get trash into a cabinet
  • Organize drawers and cabinets
  • Curtain over sink
  • New light fixtures


  • Paint
  • Find a new mirror
  • Change hardware
  • New light fixture
  • Get a new bathroom rug & shower curtain


  • Build table and benches
  • Shelves
  • Finish curtains
  • Find new shades


  • Paint
  • Rug
  • Ottoman
  • Hang artwork behind couch
  • New shades


  • Paint
  • Hang pictures
  • New light fixtures


  • Rug
  • Chair
  • Curtains/shades
  • Get pictures off of the floor and onto the walls
  • New light fixture


  • Make it more like a bedroom and less like storage
  • New lights


  • New dresser for Jesse
  • Rug
  • Paint
  • Space heater
  • Hang things on walls
  • New sheets
  • New light fixture

The awesome thing about this list is that every item on it is doable, just not in the month of January. These are all things that need to get done, at some point or another. The crossed-out items will have to wait until time, money, and weather allow, but everything else? I think I can do it!

The rooms I’m the most focused on are the living room and the bedroom. The office, if I have to, is completely off the list. Same goes for the spare bedroom (the only person who has been sleeping over is Jess, and she’s all about our couch). Now all I need is a little bit of motivation and a whole bunch of beer.


Little Boxes, On The Hillside

Packing is a bitch.

Packing is a bitch because it never feels done. Ever! How does that work?

Last weekend we made some real, serious progress on packing up the apartment. We have packed:

  • All of the coats
  • Shoes
  • Our closet
  • The junk in the spare bedroom closet
  • All of our books
  • All of our DVDs
  • About 3/4 of Jesse’s CDs All of Jesse’s CDs!

We have also successfully cataloged all of our DVDs and what has been packed of Jesse’s CD collection.

Did I mention that Jesse’s CD collection alone is fifteen boxes? And that the CD count right now is about 2,000?? I think someone has an addiction… Intervention?!

What’s left?

  • Everything hanging on walls
  • Clothes in the dressers
  • The bathroom
  • The kitchen
  • The basement

Not bad! And this time is approximately one million times less stressful than the last time we moved:


Bad picture, but note the tower of furniture and the lack of ceiling above it. We threw away so many bags of stuff. We purged things we would have normally taken but were too frustrated and burnt out to move and things that were too smelly/dusty/gross from all of the water damage in the apartment. We tried our best to organize things while packing, but it was nearly impossible with the chaos of the apartment.

Moving wasn’t any better. The first was on a weekday, and we wanted to be back in our own place so badly. We rented a UHaul and loaded it up while the sun was setting. We made two trips between apartments. We loaded the second trip in the dark. There was no electricity at the old place, so we were finding boxes by flashlight. We had a pizza delivered to the unlit apartment and ate it in the back of the UHaul. It was awful. Better than the time I smashed a pickle jar in the UHaul parking lot at the end of moving day (Worcester, 2009), but still awful.

This time will be different! We have an entire weekend left before we move, and we are moving on a weekend, so we’ll have plenty of time to get everything out. Everything will be packed nicely into organized boxes! We have enlisted people to help (tempted by the promise of pizza and beer)!

However, I look at the apartment, one week before our closing date, and I feel like we have done nothing. I suppose it won’t feel done until we’re out, right??