Today’s assignment is to make a list of all problem areas, large and small in the entire house. From burned out lightbulbs and loose doorknobs to jammed full closets, disorganized cabinets to repairs and improvements.

This is my third year participating in this Cure and each year this list has made huge improvements in my house. Every year this list makes me tackle those dark places that groan in the night.. no wait, that’s the voice in my head that groans when I think about them.

Don’t get put off by all the things that are on your list. I’ve had some huge and daunting tasks on my master list, from my laundry room hell to the pit of despair that was my husband’s office which became the place where everything went we didn’t know what else to do with. While we did manage a nearly complete redo of the double closet in the laundry room, there was no way to handle the office of doom during the Cure. This was something we simply kept working at a bit at a time because we needed to make it work as an office, a craft room and a guest room. This required many measurements, much planning and a lot of building.

Our big project for the Cure in 2015 was the laundry room. It is a tiny room. Barely wide enough to fit the washer and dryer on one wall. On the opposing wall there was a shallow closet hidden by double sliding doors where everything got stuffed and hidden. The room is so small it wasn’t as long as those sliding doors we removed. We found this fact when my son was taking the doors out of the house one at a time and left one leaning against the laundry side of the door to the kitchen. I peeked in to see how he was progressing, knocked the door over where it wedged itself between the door to the kitchen and the door to the garage. I tried to save the situation by reaching through to catch the door before it fell, missed and my arm got pinned in the door.  It was funny as hell actually so don’t gasp. In spite of all the gasps, giggles and cursing, we got it done and it made for some amusing and impressive blog posts.


The Cure shows that everything can be done in small bits so that it doesn’t overwhelm and yet leads toward a clean and functional home.

During last year’s Cure the office where everything got stuffed was our big project.  This is what it looked like on January 10.



This is what the office looked like at the end of the 2016 Cure



And this is what it looked like later last spring when we got it finished and working to suit our needs.



One messy drawer here, one cluttered cabinet there, one loose doorknob a week, one dark corner a month, your master list is there to keep the problem areas in focus.  Some large areas like our office/guest room/craft room, might take several months of planning, some hard tasks like our laundry room might take a month in small bits and pieces. The thing is to slowly keep chipping away at them and not worry about the time it takes. Every clean shelf in those seriously problematic places makes a huge difference in the appearance of the room and, therefore, your outlook on the task at hand.

So, here is my list for January 2017:

Loose doorknobs: Master bedroom door, Laundry door

Light fixtures: Clean and replace bulbs

Cabinet under sink: Clean and organize

Spice cabinet: ugh, just do something to make it work

Long term: Guest room closet: Jeeeez just DO it.

Cord jumble behind TV.

Clear out trunks to store china. Get rid of china cabinets.

Wash Windows, Mirrors and Door glass

Straighten Laundry Room and wipe down washer and dryer and add another bin for the Kraken’s Chow

Paint doors

Choose new paint for den

Stain and replace hound chewed baseboard in guest bathroom.

Wash guest bath curtain

Sew fresh curtains for Den

Clean book/plant shelf in den

Either sell or give away piano or sign us both up for piano lessons.

Organize drawers under TV.

Big Project: Walk in closets in Master Bedroom: Go through clothes and send 3/4 to charity. Rip out carpet and ready floors for tile. Remove closet doors and switch them to open outward. (I see some cussing coming here.) Stain and install shelving (I see a mess and more cussing coming here.)

So, ready your master list! Start small on the big projects by aiming to clear one shelf or one corner a day. Just one 30 minute task at a time. A bulb or doorknob a day your way to a better home.