January Cure 2019: Week 5

Halfway through February already—how did that happen? Between being out of town at the end of January, launching into a fresh onslaught at work, and knuckling down to work on a side gig, there was just enough time to finish up the end of the January Cure, but not quite enough to get this final check-in done and dusted—until now!

Assignment #19: Do a Pantry Cleanout

A freestanding pantry shelf unit with a hodgepodge of boxes, jars, and food storage containers

Before

A freestanding pantry shelf unit neatly organized into groups of condiments, breakfast foods, grains and pastas, and sweet and salty snacks

After

Instead of the embarrassing anecdote I was going to share, I’m just going to write a note here that says “use things up before you go on a spree buying new ingredients for new recipes, otherwise you will be forced to cook every meal as though it’s an episode of Chopped.”

Assignment #20: Set Up a “Landing Strip” by the Door

Since we moved in, we’ve had a low bookcase and an armchair along the wall by our front door. The bookcase used to hold a bunch of music and game CDs, then we had a reckoning and got rid of about 50% of them; the two empty shelves now hold our most-worn pairs of shoes.  I never liked having the chair where it is—it’s too far from the couch and at an awkward angle to watch TV, but we thought it was too narrow and deep to use in the L-shaped seating arrangement I really want.

On balance, we decided that it would be smart to test the layout to see if we even like it before we spring for new furniture, so we moved the chair even though it’s not ideal. That freed up space to add a new shallow console where the chair used to be.

A shallow, two-drawer console table with brass pulls, topped by a short lamp, a gold lacquer box, and a leather-look key tray

This is the Hafley Two Drawer Console Table in Oxford Blue from the Project 62 collection at Target. The leather-look key tray is also from Target (same style in black), and the gold lacquer box, which holds blank thank-you cards, is from the Container Store.

I’m debating moving the paper shredder from the office to the entryway, since I do most of my shredding immediately after bringing in the mail. I’m also hoping to thrift a stool that I can reupholster and tuck under the table, but so far all of my searching has yielded no success. When the weather warms up, I’ll try the Raleigh flea market.

Assignment #21: Empty the Outbox & Reset the Living Room

We haven’t emptied the outbox yet. On our drive back from Virginia we were talking about some of our collections and realized that we had both independently arrived at the conclusion that we have things we need to let go of to make room for new additions to our hobbies. We already need to make multiple trips to handle what’s in the outbox, so we’re holding off until we can go through those collections we talked about and make some decisions together.

If the January Cure were scored, I don’t think I’d do very well. I never did work on my big project, and the parts of my house that weren’t part of the Cure are still overrun with disorganized stuff. Still, I feel really good about the experience. Having a handful of spaces, even small ones, that are tidy (and easy to reset when they get untidy) is like an oasis in the dessert. Our bedroom in particular is a respite: no matter how stressful the day, I feel like I can crawl into bed and relax now that I’m not surrounded by my own clutter. As far as participation trophies go, that doesn’t suck. 😀

I’m going to try to keep tackling small areas at a time over the rest of the winter and into spring. But first, I’d like to squeeze in a little sewing. I haven’t pulled out my machine since November, and I’m itching to make something before the season changes!

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