Thursday, March 6, 2008

Why I'm doing 'The Cure'...

We've been in our apartment less than four months, and we moved in quickly. Everyone who sees it is amazed that we've been here such a short time. I'm surprised that they're suprised, but then, this is the fourth time I've set up home (the second with my wife). I find it easy to imagine spaces, and I think a lot about what works where. We have furniture here that came with me from London four years ago, and lots more that came with us from Washington, DC five months ago. Each time we move we edit and keep the best pieces - this time we left behind almost all the Ikea chipboard we bought when we had very little money.

So when we moved in we bought a fair amount of stuff very quickly, we'd left behind some major things like a guest bed, and this place is bigger than our last. It was hard for me not to want to complete things; the move was planned and happy, but it was also stressful and I needed to feel 'at home' fast. Getting set up has been almost all-consuming for the last couple of months and I've had to slow down and consider if I really need something else new - if I decide we need a clock I'm restless until we have the right one. I find it hard to spend a lot of money on one thing, but it has all added up. However, I'm very happy with almost everything, I'm confident about my taste, and I don't think it looks 'matchy' at all, most of it isn't new or from the same places.

But now I need to stop buying stuff. I have several unfinished projects (chairs that need repair, a mirrored bar left unpainted), and equally bad, our home isn't really clean! It had been cleaned before we moved in (not all that well) and while I planned to deep clean, it just didn't happen. Since then we've entertained a lot and done what needed to be done to make the place look good, and we've cleaned up the mess from each week on Saturday or Sunday, but it's all been superficial. We have an en-suite that's never really been cleaned (no one sees it), windows that have never been washed, kitchen cabinets that have never been cleaned out.

On top of that, our many built in cupboards are a mess. One of the main reasons we chose this place was the amazing original storage in every room - huge closets everywhere! The closets aren't full (we purged when we moved out of our DC place, and again when we moved in here), but they are barely organized at all, we didn't plan what would go where, and it just kind of evolved. We keep buying duplicate toiletries because I can't see what we have. And I like to rotate things like lamps, art, and small pieces of furniture in and out, so I need real, organized storage for them, as well as to get rid of the ones I'm never going to rotate out again.

So my cure is going to be about deep cleaning, organizing storage, another purge, and finally feeling really at home. I'm skeptical about some of the fluffier elements of 'The Cure' (warm and cool rooms?), I'm not really trying to define my style, and I'm going to try to buy hardly anything, but I still think it'll be useful for us to follow a structured program. I'm also going to use the cure to think about why home and style stuff is as important to me as it is, and to start blogging. I hope the blog will allow me to share and appreciate new stuff I find without having to buy it, and I hope it will get me writing and taking pictures again - two things I rarely do now that I have a wife who is much better at them than me!

So we'll see how this goes...

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