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The January cure

Words cannot even describe...

Words cannot even describe…

Happy slightly belated New Year everybody.

The world didn’t end on December 21st and we are now forced to reckon with our realities for yet another year. Usually, by this time in January, I have made a long list of resolutions attacking every failing I have ever had in my life, determined to change the way I eat, work, spend, relate, create, exercise, etc in the space of one year. It never works.

This year, I have decided to be more realistic. I have two resolutions that I figure are enough to keep me busy all year. And if I finish them early, I can always add new ones. But at least, if I keep it simple, I may actually have a shot of accomplishing them. Not that they are easy, but at least they are not numerous.

First off, I am determined to become more mature about the way I deal with money. Enough said. This one is private, so I’m done talking about it here. Just wish me luck, because I’m going to need it.

Secondly (and here’s where the blog comes in because you are going to hear all about this one– sorry!) I am determined to clean up my office. Because I am currently giving the Collyer brothers a run for their money, and it’s only getting worse (see photo above for proof.)

This is how I plan to begin. I am not going to go my usual route of coming up with my own plan. Instead I am consulting the experts. Apartment Therapy, the wonderful home design online universe, (started by my high school friend Maxwell Gilligham-Ryan) has a thing they call the January Cure which, if followed, will result in you having a cleaner, clearer more organized home in just 31 days. I’m taking it down a notch, and just concentrating on one room. My office-from-hell.

Now of course, I’m starting the whole thing late, and as such, have several days worth of chores to get done in order to catch up, but I’m going to give it a go. And hopefully, by the end of the month, there will be a much improved version of the above panorama (taken with the wonderful app Photosynth, which you should all get, by the way) at the top of my post.

Click below if you want to hear about the first couple days worth of tasks.

Ok so this first week of tasks has been crammed into a couple of days in a desperate attempt to catch up to the rest of the folks who are faithfully completing their assignments in a more timely fashion.

First up, The List of Projects. We are to go through the house (or in my case, the room) and ID trouble spots. My list is absurd and includes something about every inch of my office. Ugh. I then am to take that list and pick 3 to 5 specific tasks that will make a big difference in the way I experience the space. I picked two, that are probably too big and will have to be broken down further, but at least I’ve committed to them in writing.

I’m going to clean my desk and then clear up (most of) the floor space. Right now, there is barely room for my desk chair to push back. You may hold your applause till the end of the month.

We then are instructed to Create an Outbox (a brilliant concept.) This is a place in our house where we put the stuff that we think we want to get rid of. It’s a kind of limbo. If, in a week, we still don’t want it, it goes. Mine is in our entry and already includes the birthday sign I made and used for my kid’s past two birthdays and the advent calender I made in 2011 that is now falling apart. Obvious choices, maybe, but you have to start somewhere.

Next we are supposed to clean and vaccum/mop, but I can’t do that because the room is TOO MESSY. Oh and buy flowers, which I’ll totally do– I swear– when I finally get out of the house today.

Next up, get a fresh perspective on your space by sitting in some kind of new spot and taking in the fresh view, visualizing the room empty and then mentally rebuilding it from scratch. This shit is hard, and the only reason I’m going to actually do it is so that I’m not caught lying about it here on this blog.

10 minutes later…

Staring at the mountain of clutter for 10 minutes straight was daunting, but I discovered a couple of great things. I have a Monopoly game here already, so I don’t have to go buy one. Also, I have a huge box of thermal fax paper from the nineties that I can totally get rid of, instantly freeing up shelf space. Who knew?

Ok taking a break now. I promise to keep you all posted as the saga continues. I know you are thrilled.

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