January Cure: No Cowbell, Just Overachievement

What do normal women do when they’re nine months pregnant and so uncomfortable they cry and complain anytime they have to move even two steps, and get short-winded and sweaty and dizzy just cooking a simple dinner? If you answered “Take on a 30-day challenge to organize their home and home-related projects,” then you are wrong — but it’s apparently totally what I do.

Apartment Therapy has brought back their January Cure this year, and I obviously thought, “Hey! Perfect timing!” And let me explain: It’s because I’m nesting.

I’ve made several goals this year — take a photo every day, read 52 books, journal every night, read a meditation every morning — and really, though Mister Mister thinks I’m fairly insane on all counts, here’s my retort:

  1. It doesn’t have to be a good photo.
  2. If I only read 50 books, or 40, or 30, or 20, or 10, it’s still more than I read last year. I just want to read more (and I was doing great until I chose the 608-page tome about THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF cancer, “The Emperor of All Maladies” as my second book of the year).
  3. I bought the “One Line a Day” five-year journal and that TOTALLY COUNTS.
  4. I have no retort on the meditation, because I haven’t cracked open my meditation book at all, despite putting it on my nightstand and planning to read each day’s entry instead of going back to sleep when I hit snooze.

And my justification for participating in the January Cure at this point in time? If I accomplish even a fraction of what it wants me to do, I’m considering myself successful.

Which also rolls into my everyday resolution, which is to be easier on myself.

We’re 10 days into the cure (which started on Jan. 2), so what have I done so far?

Day 1: Make a list of projects

All you had to do was make a list of things that bug you about each room in your house. Then, highlight no more than three to four projects per room — the ones that will make the BIGGEST difference in the look and feel of that room. These are not projects to complete this month, but rather a rough to-do list for the year.

I love a good list, so here’s mine. I took all these before pictures with no regard for lighting, styling, or good blog photography in general. Partly because I was lazy, partly because what’s a before if you can’t see all the ugliness in all its glory, and partly so my afters will look super awesome.

  • Choose new exterior house color and get it repainted. Right now, it’s a gross, repainted-but-still-peeling peach color with pink underneath, and I’m dreaming of a stony dark greige.


  • Make a plan for landscaping front and back yards. When we first moved in, I’d contacted a landscaping consultant who could look at our property and suggest plants and a plan for about $75/hour. We may not get to finished this year, but I’d like to at least start, because our property is currently 100% bare.
  • Repaint front door. This will likely be part of 1.
  • Spruce up living room wall with TV on it. We need more artwork on this wall. It’s just pathetic.

IMG_3075 copy

  • Buy new white or decorative outlet and light switch covers for the living room. Right now they’re beige, and that’s gross.
  • Buy side table and lamp for other side of couch. I may revise this because I’m thinking instead of doing a wall-mounted mail station/landing strip on the area where the current side table is, in which case I’d just move the current side table/lamp to the other side of the couch.

IMG_3076 copy

Wall-mounted mail station/hooks/umbrella stand here?

IMG_3077 copy

Or a new side table/table lamp for this side (where the floor lamp currently is)?

Dream “entryway” mailstation/landing strip:

dream mail station

  • Buy new lampshade and/or lamp. I’m fairly tired of the lamp, but the lampshade is dingy and hairy and just pretty gross, so at the least, we need a new one.
  • Patch up paint on ceiling and baseboards. We painted this room ourselves. Enough said. I have the paint, I just need the time/energy.
  • Fix loose kitchen faucet. This drives us nuts. It was not grouted to the counter so it swings in its socket every time we move it from basin to basin, or even turn it on. We need somebody with skills to look at this because of the way the underside is set up, and our minimal home knowledge. We fiddle with it and get nowhere. We’re pathetic; this I know.
  • Cut down and refasten loose base piece transitioning between kitchen and dining room floors. It needs to be cut down a tad with a jigsaw to fit flush with the other pieces, and then just glued back down. The previous owners did a really crappy job on the remodel when it came to finish work.
  • Organize pantry. Right now we’ve got food items spilling out onto the countertop — we have no proper cabinet, just an upper and a lower. So we need to toss/donate food and figure out a better way to have our food stored. If counter storage is a must, we need some nice containers or shelving or something.

IMG_3068 copy

IMG_3069 copy

  • Fix peeling paint in reading room. I put an exercise ball up against a not-yet-dry wall. I just need to patch it up.
  • Find home for artwork building up on side of couch in reading room.

IMG_3071 copy

  • Buy end table for reading room.
  • Buy lamp for reading room.
  • Buy and install ceiling fan. There’s no AC vent in this room, so it gets pretty stuffy in there.
  • Purchase and install shelving in garage. This can just be cheap, freestanding shelves from IKEA for now. We just need to get a bunch of stuff up off the floor.
  • Replace hallway light fixture. 

IMG_3080 copy

minaret pendant

Perhaps with something like this?

  • Spruce up office walls. This is probably where most of that artwork from the reading room will go.
  • Find a better solution for the cat litterbox. Like this. So he doesn’t track litter EVERYFRIGGINWHERE.
  • Donate Goodwill items building up in office. This room’s our “outbox” so this is an ongoing goal.
  • Paint un-painted patch of wall in master bedroom. We painted this room ourselves, too, and I obviously got lazy.

IMG_3081 copy

  • Patch up dripped paint on floors/baseboards in master bedroom.
  • Organize/tidy up master bedroom closet. Hint: This is my January project.

IMG_3087 copy

  • Buy bedframe. So our bed isn’t sitting on, you know, the floor.

IMG_3084 copy

  • Buy and install new ceiling fan (since the current one has broken).
  • Get some more storage for master bathroom. It’s small, but all we have in there is a tiny under-the-sink space. It could use a valet or something.

IMG_3097 copy

IMG_3098 copy

  • Throw out gross bath mat in hall bathroom. Easy enough. Yet still not done.

IMG_3078 copy

Tagged , , , , , ,

4 thoughts on “January Cure: No Cowbell, Just Overachievement

  1. Rachel says:

    Ha, I saw the January Cure, thought about doing it for about 3 seconds, then changed my mind. I hope you have more success than I did!

    I have the Mom’s One Line a Day journal, and it’s so easy to just write a line about the day. Some days are super boring, but I love the idea of just writing one thing about the day.

  2. […] far, while participating in the Apartment Therapy January Cure, I’ve made a list of projects to tackle throughout the year, and identified our master bedroom closet as a major area that requires immediate […]

  3. […] of my master project list for the year was better doorside organization — that side table and the space it occupies is so small, […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: