Even though I haven't been posting, I HAVE been DOING. So here's a week worth of Apartment Therapy's January Cure catch-up!
LAST WEEKEND: Flowers and Floors
The folks at Apartment Therapy believe in the ability of flowers and plants to refresh a space, and I completely agree with them. But since one of the goals on my project list is to revitalize my window garden, I decided that I'd buy a live plant instead of cut flowers. Enter this little guy!
The other task was to mop the floors--getting into all the little nooks and crannies. This is a step I skipped last year, but I'm really glad I did it this year. As I was moving furniture and piles of stuff out of the way, I discovered that the piles of stuff really weren't as bad as I thought. That makes the whole month ahead much less daunting!
My mopping supplies:
- any old mop
- paper towels
- unscented dryer sheets
- Beyoncé's new album
A few thoughts about mopping:
- I use a solution of vinegar and water--I'm trying to use less chemicals in the apartment, and the added benefit is that vinegar cuts the smell of any animal accidents, even to their super-noses, so they aren't attracted back to the same spot. We use a spray bottle with 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water for every-day cleaning (including said accidents), and for mopping I just create a bigger batch in the tub (and use it to give the tub a quick scrub afterwards, too!).
- No matter how much we sweep, there's always stray pet hair. And my husband handles most of our sweeping because it aggravates my pet allergies (couldn't live without the little fuzzies, though!). Mopping weighs the hair and dander down, so after scrubbing each section of floor I use a sweeping motion with the mop to gather up the hair, grab it with a paper towel, and toss the soppy fluff ball in the trash (using each paper towel as many times as possible, of course).
- I'd heard lots of good things about cleaning baseboards with dryer sheets via Pinterest, and this is the first time I tried it out. It works great! The sheets grabbed up dust and pet hair with ease, and even lightened some of the scuff marks. I also found it really helpful for cleaning in the corners and in the crack between the baseboard and floor.
- Wear sneakers! I started out barefoot and slipped and sprained my elbow.
MONDAY: Get a Fresh Perspective
I already knew the best spot to do this, from last year: sitting in my husband's chair. It gives me an idea of how he sees the apartment, and the best way to make it function for him--i.e. how to keep stuff from piling up.
But lest it seem like I'm picking on him, the first thing I noticed was the massive pile of papers by my chair. It's mostly unfinished art projects, so I think I need a way to store each thing by project. Before I always thought of it by supply: papers here, thread there, stationery over there. But I think it will work better (and I will be more likely to put it away) if I have a box per project. Hopefully, that will also make me actually work on the projects, since I'll eliminate the excuse of "well, it's too hard to pull all that stuff out!"
The other thing I noticed: we do actually need a rug. Does anyone know what type of rug is pet-proof?
TUESDAY: Set Up an Inbox
The concept of an outbox has already become habit for me: basically, if you set aside the things you might be able to get rid of, and live without them for a little while, it becomes much easier to actually get rid of them. Living in NYC, the first skill you have to learn is purging (well, after navigating the subway, I guess). I think we are pretty good at this, and there's a space by the front door that serves as an outbox. Now we just need to actually get rid of what's in it, so tomorrow I'll take that trip to the Strand!
WEDNESDAY: Pick a Project to Cross Off Your List
Inspiration via Little Green Notebook.I really want this to be completing the bookshelves, but I have a lot going on this month and don't want to commit to more than I can actually achieve. However, I do think that ORGANIZING the bookshelves is achievable, and will make the biggest difference to how we use the space and how it looks. The shelves are where we store all my books and, once those are organized, can be where most of my art supplies and projects are stored too. The ability to access supplies and in-process projects without taking over the apartment's living space is becoming increasingly important, so this is not only about improving our apartment, but also improving my life.
Inspiration and organization tips can be found one of my Pinterest boards, Shelf Life. I've been prepping for this one for a while, now it's time for execution!
THURSDAY: Prep Artwork for Framing and Display
This one is easy. We've got more framed prints than we have wall space for, and they're leaning against the wall ready to be hung. The hanging part isn't so easy, since I'm not sure yet how to arrange them, so I'm glad that comes later this month.
We do have a few pieces of original artwork that need frames, but I'm afraid that right now we can't afford proper frames for them. I'm debating whether temporary frames would be safe or just a waste of money--needs more research.
Stay tuned for this Friday/Weekend's task!