Sunday, October 28, 2007

Major Progress!

I've really been trying to get a lot accomplished in these last weeks of the Cure.

Here's the progress on my living room:

The brown sissal rug replaces the orange rug. The orange rug was in violation of the co-op rules (which require most of my floor to be covered with rugs) plus it wasn't very practical with a black cat who sheds profusely. Despite the fact that I vacuum frequently, the rug always had a greyish sheen from cat hair. The new rug is more practical and I like it! The orange chair and loveseat were Craigslist finds. They need a little bit of wood refinishing work. I have new orange pillows from

Other major progress this weekend! I have almost finished refreshing the paint in my hallway. The white hallway paint was EXTREMELY scuffed up and ugly looking. I taped off my red stripe (since it doesn't need repainting and I want to keep it) and I repainted. The reason it was possible to paint? Because I've gotten rid of most of the crap I keep in my hallway! Hooray!
The hallway is cleared out!
Picture taken prior to prepping for painting.

I really want to do a little bit more on the hallway. I'd love to get some track lighting because the hallway has terrible lighting. I know I can get an 8-foot track that would light most of the hallway. Trouble is, I haven't been able to find any track lighting that accommodates energy-efficient light bulbs. Right now nearly every light in my apartment is compact-fluorescent and I don't want to break the trend.

Other thoughts: I found a long skinny (horizontally-oriented) shelf at Ikea. It is very glossy white. I think I could install it right up against the ceiling (it is approximately 10 inches high, 10 inches deep and maybe 70 inches long). I think it would go really well with the linear theme of my hallway, without making the hallway seem closed-off or cluttered.

Also, I am replacing my cheap plastic hallway mirror. I haven't purchased one yet, but I have been looking.

Now if I can just get my cat litter bench finished my hallway would really be coming together. Hopefully I can talk my sister into sending me the bench soon!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

More Progress!

Some images showing progress this week! The first photo might not look like much, but look, there's nothing there where a bookcase used to be. I sold the bookcase on Craigslist today. I still need to figure out the best way to store my cds and a few other items. I ordered a fancy Russel and Hazel binder for storing my recipes and takeout menus.

The second photo shows my new bulletin board. It's on the inside of my kitchen cabinet door, and I'm loving it.

Other progress this week:
Really thoroughly cleaned the entire apartment (including floors)
Bought nice new bathroom soap (Olive soap!)
Emptied portions of outbox
Listed 3 items on Craigslist, so far 1 item has sold
Continued sorting through all my cupboards/closets, weeding out unnecessary possessions
Started applying spackle on areas of the hallway that I will be repainting
My boyfriend got in on the action: he removed all my vents and grates. He's taking them to his house and hopes to strip the messy old paint from them. (He's really tall and apparently they have always driven him nuts. I'm a lot shorter, so I never really noticed what a mess they are.)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Working through frustration

I've worked every evening this week as I really want to get rid of my hall bookshelf. I found myself very frustrated because no solution seemed to be the right one, and so many solutions are necessary (need a way to store cds, need a way to store a bunch of assorted crap, such as my owners manuals, maps, etc, need a way to store my recipes, and even need to figure out a way to store my pencils!) I started feeling disheartened. But I didn't let that happen for long, I took action. I took everything off the bookshelf and just put it somewhere, even on a temporary basis. Now I have an empty bookshelf that I plan to list on Craiglist this weekend. I know I'll find storage solutions.

Some items on my done list from this week:
Started emptying outbox
Hung hooks in my closet for purses (unfortunately hung them too low, will fix that soon)
Emptied hall bookshelf
Hung Cork inside my kitchen cabinet door to serve as a hidden bulletin board
Cleaned/sorted through my office supplies and media
Put my recipes into plastic sleeves that will be inserted into a binder when I find one that I like (anyone know of any pretty binders???)

Monday, October 15, 2007

An evening's worth of progress

I'm a little behind due to several intensely busy weeks. I am determined to catch up and so I got a good bit accomplished this evening.

Tonight I went through much of what I have stored on my living room bookshelf and I moved a lot to my outbox. I also went through my hall bookshelf (shown in the photo to the left) and weeded out detritus. All that stuff surrounding the bookcase? That's my outbox, all of it.

I REALLY want to get rid of this bookshelf completely and am trying to figure out how to do so as part of this process. The problem is figuring how to store this stuff or having a willingness to just get rid of it. I plan to find a more compact way to store cd's but am looking for ideas to do so attractively. Anyone, anyone?

This weekend I did make some good progress despite a houseguest that kept me busy much of the time. I have a degree in Landscape Architecture and this weekend I photographed all of my now-very-old work from my graduate program. Then I crumpled up the originals and recycled them. It was hard to get rid of the originals, but I really will never use them again, even for a portfolio. Plus I took photos, so in a way they are still with me...

A Yummy Meal

Here's one of my home-cooked meals from last week. I made it with vegetables from my CSA: lentils, stir-fried turnip greens with hot pepper and garlic, and roasted root vegetables with fresh rosemary (notice the gorgeous purple potatoes). It was a very tasty meal. This is a "green" cure, so I will note that the meal is vegetarian and so am I.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I'm still here

I haven't posted in a while, but I'm still here and I'm still curing. I've had a house guest all weekend, so I'll be doing some catching up starting tomorrow!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Green Festival Washington DC

Tomorrow I'm volunteering at (and then attending) the Washington, D.C. Green Festival. I look forward to seeing if I can find some good Green Products to use during the remainder of my Cure. So far I've attended every Green Festival in D.C., and I have been very impressed with all that I've learned.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Week 4: Meal #1

Week 4 specifies that I cook 3 meals at home. That's going to be a challenge this week due to some work related travel, but now I at least have one meal crossed off my list.

I made a vegetarian stew. I got a bunch of vegetables on Saturday from my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and I chopped a bunch of them, put them in a pot, and let them simmer. No recipe, just veggies, stock, water, and seasonings. I'm actually surprised at how good it is. The best part is: I did dishes AND installed my new landing strip in the time it took the stew to simmer.

Landing Strip Progress

I just installed a new portion of my landing strip. I can't wait for the next time I get to come home and land.

I've had the key box since my last apartment, but I just finished installing the red wall organizer underneath (I took "strip" literally and ordered the The Magnetic Pocket Strip by Three by Three Seattle).

The door to the left is my entry closet, so that's where coats and shoes go when I get home. Mail and keys will go to the key box and pocket strip. Not sure what I'll do with purse/wallet/cellphone, but I'll get this figured out.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Entry Closet

A (poorly panorama-ed) photo of my progress in decluttering my entry closet... I'll be doing some additional work to figure out how to most efficiently store my winter scarves and purses.

Week 3 Done List

  • Vacuumed, dusted, and mopped.
  • Cleaned my entrance (although there still is more to do here)
  • Started thinking about how to accomplish my needed repairs (and made one of them, too!)

  • Decluttered my entrance (again, still a little to do here) but I did get rid of the old mattress that has been cluttering my entrance for over a month!
  • Ordered a landing strip (due to be delivered tomorrow!)
  • Decided not to renew my magazine subscriptions (the internet is a suitable substitute)

  • Thought about cool and warm rooms
  • Thought about the 80/20 rule (will post more on this later)

  • Uh oh, nothing to put here this week. I was out of town on business this week, so no home cooked meals or housewarming invitations yet. But given that I was in another state for much of the week, I feel great about what I have accomplished.

Repair Number One

I made my first repair this weekend (well despite my best intentions, my friend did most of the work and I watched). When I installed my murphy bed three years ago I had to remove the trim between the floor and the walls. Until today I never repaired the few inches of trim on each side of the murphy bed cabinet. Which also means I was storing the long lengths of trim this whole time too. Now it's all repaired and I've disposed of the extra trim. Ahh, the sense of accomplishment...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Week 2 Done List

I'm a little behind this week but here's my done list so far:

Cleaned kitchen/Threw away old food
Using a brita filter (pitcher)

Cleared space for an outbox
Put lots of stuff in the outbox!

Bought fresh flowers (put the ones from last week in the bathroom, they still have some life in them!)
Style: organic modern

Cooked a couple of meals at home.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ideas for Greening the Cure

I've been thinking about ways to keep my Cure green. I've come up with some ideas, but would love to hear some other suggestions.

Reducing Waste
  • Donating/Selling the contents of my Outbox.
    • Craigslist.
    • Freecycle.
    • I just learned that my local animal shelter will take my old ratty towels.
  • Recycling items that nobody will want.
Lightening my Demand for New Resources
  • Buying used.
  • Buying products made of recycled materials.
  • Really asking myself whether I need something before bringing it into my home.
Indoor Air Quality/Toxins
  • Not allowing toxic items into my home.
  • I recently bought a new mattress and did a lot of research to make sure that I was getting one that wouldn't release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's). (I settled on a natural latex mattress.)
  • I'm currently trying to find a rug pad that won't off-gas toxic fumes.
Supporting Local Economies
  • I'll be cooking my homemade meals for during the cure with produce from a local farm (I joined the CSA, Community Supported Agriculture, this year.)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Starting in on Week 2

Week 2 includes a very thorough cleaning of the kitchen. I have a lot of stuff in my kitchen. Way too much stuff.

This evening I had some extra time so I removed EVERYTHING from the pantry, cleaned it all, and then selectively put things back in. The first image shows the mess in a portion of my pantry before I started this evening. The second photo is of the items from my pantry that I will be moving to my outbox. The third picture is my pantry after I cleaned it. I still think my pantry could make more efficient use of space, but this is certainly a start. Later this week I'll tackle the rest of the kitchen.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Week One: Done List

Here are my accomplishments for week one of the Cure (Deep Treatment):

Made a list of repairs (see previous post)
Cleaned the floors

Removed tea kettle from my apartment (gave it away). No matter how hard I try to clean it, it always looks dirty and since it sits on top of my stove that's no good. I can easily use my saucepans to boil water.

Bought fresh flowers from the farmer's market

Sat for ten minutes in my hallway.
Earth friendly cleaning products: I didn't do any additional research on these, as currently I use baking soda and vinegar for just about everything, and I am very pleased with the results.

Repair List

Living Room:
Repair plaster under window
Install missing trim
Fix murphy bed so that shelves hang plumb
Refinish wood on chair and loveseat
Refinish wood on storage box

Fix/Repaint to fix scuffed walls
Repair holes in wall

Remove stains on counter
Fix scuffs on pantry door
Fix scuffs on floor

Work toward remodel!

The Interview

According to the book, "Apartment Therapy" by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, an interview is a good way to start the Cure. It is a good way to learn about me, my favorite things, my style, and the problems I am having with my apartment.


Actress: Film noir femme fatales

Actor: Roberto Benigni

Artist: Magritte, Rothko, Alcocer

Books: Anna Karenina, Short stories by Dorothy Parker, Catch 22, Blindness, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, hard boiled detective stories

Music: 1920's crooners, 1930's jazz and blues, 1940's bluegrass, 1950's R&B, 1960's phsychedelic and garage rock, 1970's glitter and soul, 1980's new wave and punk, current indie and miscellaneous.

Restaurant: Java Green

Automobile: My bicycle!

Television Shows: Lost, Twin Peaks

Clothing: Vintage, Ann Taylor Loft

How would you describe your style?
1. Colorful
2. Modern
3. Simple

Personal History
Where were you born: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Where you grew up: Grand Rapids
Where you lived as an adult: Ann Arbor, Michigan; Seattle, Washington; Washington, D.C.

Whom would you consider a role model? The Dalia Lama

What three adjectives describe the qualities that you admire in this person?
1. Happy
2. Generous
3. Simple

What is the problem with your apartment?
1. Hard to keep neat
2. Not a good place for everything
3. No outdoor space

If your apartment could speak, what would it say is the problem?
You say you like me when I'm neat, and yet you never put anything away. (It isn't easy enough to put things away, the places some things belong are too difficult to reach.)

What one thing would you like to do more of in your apartment?
Entertain spontaneously.

Eight weeks from now, when this project is done, if friends came to visit, how would you like them to describe your home?
1. Cozy
2. Spacious
3. Colorful

The Cure: Introduction

During the next eight weeks, my apartment and I will join in with the Apartment Therapy community to undergo some intense therapy, including (but not limited to) performing much-needed and long-overlooked repairs, and purging clutter. I will attempt to keep my cure green by doing what I can to limit negative impacts on the environment and I will post my progress here.

To learn more about the Cure, visit the Apartment Therapy website.