Apartment Therapy Week Two: Breath

I feel like that has been the theme for the past month: breath.  The beginning of the year has been challenging for me.  Challenging physically, emotionally, professionally.  All of it.  And all I can really do to keep my head from exploding is to keep breathing. 

This week’s tasks for breath were more hand’s on than planning:

  • Run your hands over every wall in your house.  I thought this exercise was a little hokey to be honest with you.  Seriously?  Run my hands all over the walls-well, okay…I started in the living room and worked my way around the house, feeling the walls like a big, living breathing animal.  What I found was some walls, like in my kitchen and living room were on the warm side.  The wall surrounding my kitchen window was the warmest since the sun comes through there most of the day.  The cats love it.  The coldest wall was in my bedroom, especially around the window.  I know this is because my windows are on the older side and need to be replaced more than anything.  Of course, the odds of that happening are slim to none, so I beef them up with curtains so the warm air stays in my house.  I noticed imperfections in the walls, but noticed where I had taken care of them as well, where I had plastered and sanded, where I have touched up the paint.  As silly as it sounds, I noticed things about my house I am always too busy to notice.  It was a pretty sweet exercise. 
  • Clear space for an Outbox.  I cheated a little and started my Outbox last week.  The Outbox works as a place to store things that are on the way out of the house.  The old school way of decluttering is you see something that doesn’t fit in your home anymore, so you throw it out, sell it, or give it away immediately.  Yeah, but what if that item has some special meaning to you like a coffee mug from a friend or an inherited piece if furniture.  You can’t just throw those things out willy nilly.  Sometimes you need to think about it. And then it winds up in your apartment for years, just collecting dust. That’s what the Outbox is for.  It gives you time for emotional separation, and if after a week you can actually find a spot for the item in your home, go on and keep it. However, if after a week you have made peace with giving up the item, then you can choose where it goes: into storage, the trash, as a gift, in the donation pile, or to be sold.  This helps you avoid the pack rat mentality by giving you ample time to emotionally disconnect from that item and efficiently find a spot for it or get rid of it.

DSCN2245My Outbox is filling up nicely.  Since the guest room is the only space in the house where I can store stuff away without having to look at the mess constantly, this is where my Outbox is going to hang until I decide what to do with everything.  Yes, that is a piano in there.  No, I never really learned how to play. 

  • Clear one surface and use the Outbox.  This was easy, because I have been itching to declutter my bar area for quite a while.  I had a growing wine glass collection and tons of left over booze from parties I had years ago.  Seriously, years ago.  I cleared out quite a bit of glassware I’m never going to use and poured out some 7 bottles of old zingers down the drain and put them away in recycling.

420052_10150501628906120_616066119_9530179_128109972_nYep, like that.  I dusted and reset the shelves so that the light would flow better into the bar area and this was the final result of my hard work.

DSCN2244I kept 8 wine glasses, 2 champagne flutes (for a special occasion) and the Cheers glasses my parents brought back to me from Boston.  I also kept a few commemorative shot glasses from fun trips I have taken.  But the rest is now in the Outbox.  It’s now starting to look like a bar and not just a place where alcohol goes to die. 

Not bad at all.  So, let me know what your Outboxes are starting to look like.  I want to see photos!  Follow the Apartment Therapy Chronicles in the Apartment Therapy Challenge 2014 Category for your step by step to a better home.  Want to really get into it?  You can order Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan’s book here. 


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