Apartment Therapy Week 1

So after reading Finance Gets Personal quite a few months ago, I decided that I needed to do Apartment Therapy. Or at least look into the book. I put a hold on it at the local library and last week I was finally at the top of the queue.

As I flipped through the book I felt very intimidated. You see, they were talking about feng shui and healthy living spaces and simplicity and color schemes. And that shit intimidates me. I may have two X chromosomes, but I can’t decorate for shit.

However, one of the main reasons that I got the book was because I hate my apartment. It is dirty, it is messy, it is generally unpleasant to be in. So I decided that whether the tasks seemed difficult or not, I needed a change.

So here is what I have to do for Week 1:

  • Make a complete list of home repairs and solutions
  • Vacuum and mop the floors
  • Buy fresh flowers
  • Sit for ten minutes in a part of your home that you never sit in
  • Look into earth-friendly cleaning products

Make a complete list of home repairs and solutions

I have a list going in my head of repairs, but I’m going to make it more concrete of a list now:

1) Replace both burnt out bulbs in the bathroom

2) Try to get touch-up paint from the leasing company, or at least the exact color so that I can touch it up

3) Replace batteries in smoke detectors

4) Get the trees trimmed out of my porch by my landlords

Vacuum and mop the floors

As for vacuuming and mopping the floors. Mr. Cousin vacuumed the living room and my rug for me while I took Jack out for a walk. (It was very sweet of him) and I’ll do the mopping/sweeping and vacuuming today and tomorrow evening. (Vacuuming probably tomorrow since Jack hates the vacuum). The mopping I can easily do this evening.

Buy fresh flowers

Buy fresh flowers. I love this. I have NEVER done this for myself, but think it is a brilliant idea. However, one thing I’m concerned about is the animals. So I’ll have to find some flowers that are not poisonous to them. A list of plants that are toxic to animals is here. So I suppose if I just stay away from these plants I’ll be fine.

Sit for ten minutes in a part of your home that you never sit in

As for sitting in an area of the house that I don’t normally sit in, this was actually relatively easy. I sat in a different space of my living room and realized that I did not have it situated very well. My living room is moderately long, but not long enough to separate into two rooms. However, I had my TV pushed up against one wall and my couch up against another and just a big open space in the middle of the room where my rug was. I ended up putting the TV in the corner and putting the couch perpendicular to it in the middle of the room. Surprisingly, it looks GREAT like this. You can get around all sides of the couch, it makes my beautiful green couch a center piece, and I have a nice area by the door for putting my bike and shoes. BTW… this is my beautiful couch below. I also have a matching rug that is the pattern of the accent pillows.

Another thing they asked me to do for the first week was to get rid of someone of value. At first, I didn’t know what I would get rid of. I have such an attachment for most of things in my apartment and getting rid of something of little value seemed to defeat the point.

However, as I was rearranging my living room I knew EXACTLY what to get rid of. I have a surround sound system (5.1 with subwoofer) that is probably 10 years old. I got it from an ex-boyfriend that I haven’t dated since 2005. And he gave it to me after having used it in high school. We were both 25 at the time he gave it to me – so this thing was OLD, very old. And when I moved to the midwest, I had set up the speakers and everything, but I never hooked up the system to my TV. In other words, I had this system sitting in my living room. Collecting dust. Being unused. And it had VALUE. Since the goal of this project wasn’t to make money – I got the entire thing together, including the remote and put it on my porch. I then posted a Craigslist ad offering it for free. Within 3 hours it was gone. And I felt SO GOOD about it not being in my apartment anymore.

Look into earth-friendly cleaning products

As for the earth friendly cleaning products. Sure, I can look into them. But I currently have full containers of cleaning products and don’t have the budget to get more. So I’m perfectly content using them and then when I need to get more products, then looking into it.

However, I do want to spend some time looking at the uses of vinegar and baking soda as cleaning products. I read on a few forums that they can be used to clean clogged drains. I know that Fabulously Broke swears by them. So I need to get those two items at least and then explore how I can use those INSTEAD of regular cleaning products.


6 Responses to Apartment Therapy Week 1

  1. Jessie says:

    I like the idea of taking the time to freshen up the space so that you can really enjoy being there! It’s amazing what fresh flowers and re-arranging a room can do!

  2. TMcImmy says:

    They’re not the cheapest (although they’re not horridly expensive), but 7th Generation is a great brand for cleaning products that are ecofriendly and actually work.

    And yeah, white vinegar, baking soda, and alcohol are all useful household cleaners for when water and elbow grease alone aren’t enough. Really, it’s laundry detergent that is the toughest to find something ecofriendly, inexpensive, and that works well. Our ceramic sink is pretty stubborn too… it’s been scratched up pretty bad and soaks up stains hardcore. The cleaning woman bleached the hell out of it before we moved in and it looked great… for about 2 days.

    We live in a culture that is overly paranoid about germs. Especially for an individual who isn’t liable to be sued, for most purposes hot water is really enough.

  3. Pingback: Earn More September « Small Steps for Big Change

  4. mo says:

    I love this apartment therapy idea!! its sort of hilarious and brilliant at the same time. I must admit to a spot of thorough cleaning as my own personal pick me up. It just makes me feel better! I don’t know why! brilliant. though. therapy. such a dinky notion. love it

  5. Pingback: Apartment Therapy Week 2 « Small Steps for Big Change

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