AT 8 Week Cure


I’ve been a fan of AT for the past couple of years. Recently, I picked up Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan’s book Apartment Therapy: the Eight Week Home Cure from the library.

apartment therapy

Continue reading “Starting the Cure” »

Over the years, I’ve become interested in natural cleaning products. Care2.com, for example, has a whole section on Healthy Home, with non-toxic cleaning recipes. When the Cure suggested looking into earth-friendly cleaning products, I was interested in integrating this into our lives.

Unfortunately, we have a few challenges on this front.

For one, we inherited a lot of toxic cleaners from the previous owners.

Old products

Continue reading “Week One - Cleaners & Boundaries” »

 Assignment - buy fresh flowers for the house.

Flowers

I set myself a $10 budget per week for 8 weeks, just as a trial.  It is awfully nice to come home to a vase of flowers, especially when the weather has been awful lately.

Assignment: make a complete list of home repairs.

Repair list

No, this is not the complete list.  There’s another section for the building, common areas as well as landscaping.  I would venture to say that an old house’s repairs/renovations list grows faster than, say, the list of an apartment or condo.

My to do list never ends. The previous homeowners had the kitchen redone about 7 years ago. It’s decent, but definitely not our style. We can live with it though. However there was a problem with the tile backsplash. Apparently the installer used grout along where the tile backsplash meets the countertop. Definitely a no-no. Over time, this area expands and contracts, thus cracking along this line. That’s why it’s called an expansion joint. So today I fixed it, and replaced it with silicone caulk.  By the way, fixing something around the house is an AT assignment, but we’re always fixing things around the house.

putty knives for scraping

Continue reading “Touching Up the Kitchen Backsplash” »

One of the first things the Cure recommended was to to vacuum and mop the floors. By vacuuming, the author says, we can tell which parts of the room have bad “flow”. We should be able to easily vacuum around furniture and objects.

This is where I have to confess, we are not very good housekeepers. Gillingham-Ryan that believes that healthy homes are ones which are cleaned and de-cluttered regularly. Dust aggravates allergies, and “its accumulated contributes to stagnation in your own life.” On a gut level, I have to agree with him. Clutter and dirt/grime are symptoms of house “disease”. It’s just that both activities are neither fun nor glamourous for me.

Continue reading “Week One - Deep Cleaning and Flow” »

This past week, we lost three Cure days because of our trip to DC for a friends engagement party. Even with the few extra days, we probably would not be able to finish it. Our kitchen is larger than the average one in New York City. It would take more than a week to clean out every nook and cranny, fitting it around work, house projects and other activities. One of the first things I did was change the butler’s pantry back to dinnerware/glassware storage.

butler's pantry

Continue reading “Week Two: The Butler’s Pantry” »

Our main kitchen drawer was a mess of utensils. We searched for premade organizers, but the cabinet depth is unusually shallow. Tig was determined to make something himself. So he designed and created this organizer.

kitchen drawer organizer

We also made a shopping list of items that would improve our kitchen, such as a magnetic knife rack, a lightweight folding ladder, a much smaller microwave oven (ours is huge) slim undercabinet paper towel holder and some servingware. Now that they’ve been identified, we will purchase them over time for a mini-makeover.

My colleague buys flowers every week from a flower stand in the city. My weekly budget is half of his, but I managed to get an introduction to the florist and a bouquet of roses on Friday.

flowers

After several nights of chaos reorganizing the kitchen, we wrapped up on Saturday. First, the windows got a good washing (I don’t think we’ve ever washed them). Now Tig keeps commenting, “The windows are really clear!”

cleaning the windows

Continue reading “Week Two: Kitchen” »

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