View Full Version : Apartment Therapy

3-29-11, 7:17pm
On advice from someone on the forum (I NEVER remember who - what a dork! Sorry.) I read the book Apartment Therapy. Loved it! I have brought it back to the library now but want to buy it.

So I was thinking just how this book has benefited me so far. The biggest thing I can recall from it is the metaphor for the structure of the house: bones, breath, head and heart. That really spoke to me, especially bones. He talks about how important it is to have everything in your home in good repair and clean - like, really clean. Now having grown up in a home that was miles away from clean, I sometimes don't really appreciate the need for cleanliness. My DH is muuuuch more fastidious about cleaning than I am. But I'm starting to see the wisdom in it. Like, I never really let dust bother me before, but it really does feel better when things are dusted - even under the bed or behind the fridge.

The book actually helped me a lot more in my classroom than at home! Our school is super dusty. I don't know if it's the ventilation system or what, but it is dust bunny central. In fact, I blow my nose all day long, and I'm convinced it's just the dust. Anyway, I cleaned up all the piles and piles of junk I had at work and put it away and organized it. I have lots and lots of counter space and would just pile it full. It's not good for me and it's definitely not good for the kids. So! I got rid of it, set up a crate to organize each class's materials (I have 17! eek!) and am trying to be really disciplined about not letting it build up again. I also got a more conducive file cabinet from some spares sitting around so that will keep crap off the top of my desk. I feel a lot better about my classroom now. That stressor is much reduced.

Here at home we are slowly but surely catching up on all our deep cleaning and will be doing some repairs this spring and summer.

I think also keeping up on the home stuff helps keep the mental clutter clear. No lengthy mental to-do lists of eternally unfinished cleaning or repairs. No sitting on the toilet, forgive the image, several times a day and noticing the cob webs in all the corners of the bathroom that you never do anything about. It's empowering.

Anyone ever done the Apartment Therapy cure, or any part? Read the book? Just want to chime in?

3-29-11, 9:12pm
haven't read it, but it sounds cool! --- could you elaborate more on the breath, head, heart stuff?

Zoe Girl
3-29-11, 9:42pm
I could really use this, I rent a smaller house than I was used to and we are struggling. I would like to totally redo the front room and then I realize most of what I need to do is just clean and declutter. I also realize when I thoroughly clean my car I am more likely to get it repaired and take care of it.

Today my tiny chore was to have my daughter put up tie backs for the front window curtains so we can actually choose to see outside. It is baby steps each time, the paperwork is my nemesis. Also my oldest moved back in temporarily so we are cluttered all over.

Okay I think I am going to make my wish list for things like new chairs and a new couch and a real bed frame. I want to ask my landlord if I could remove these two lamps that are on the wall and don't even have an outlet near them. I need touch up paint to do it but it would be really an improvement

3-31-11, 7:41pm
Yes! That was the best book on fixing up your house. I did try to work through the book, but I mostly read it for inspiration.
I think some people have skipped that book because they live in a house, not an apartment, but the same rules apply to both.
One thing from it always sticks with me: keep your vacuum cleaner in a place where you can get to it easily.
I occasionally check out the website, but everything is very modern - not my style. The book works for any style.

3-31-11, 10:33pm
I am thinking some more about the book! I just ordered it, actually.

Yes, Gardenarian, and he talks about having a vacuum you like, too. I am not in love with ours, but it is ok, especially since my DH does most of the vacuuming. :~)

Zoe Girl, another aspect of the book that is powerful, I think, is the outbox. We do a version of this at our house without knowing it had a name. :) No way am I going to explain it as well as the author, but here goes anyway. So when you have something that is in your way, you move it to the outbox. It doesn't mean you have to get rid of it, but just moving it helps to clarify what to do with it. We move a lot of our stuff to a room upstairs. Some of it moves on quickly, and some of it has lingered up there for a while, but once in a while DH gets in a purging mood and he always starts there. There is a clock I want to leave the house and it is going to move up there soon :) That way he can think about it a little bit more . . . :D

There is a step by step procedure for what to do week by week over eight weeks to whip your place into shape. I would like to try it at some time but not when I'm thinking about starting a business, renewing my workout life, etc. :)

Madsen, I wish I remembered more specifics about what each of the categories really means. Maybe when I get the book I will review. It's worth taking a look at.

4-1-11, 6:22am
Right now I think my whole breakfast area is an "out box". We have constant piles for thrift store donation, for particular friends, for taking to the library to donate, etc. We got rid of the current thrift shop stuff two days ago and a friend picked up their one bag yesterday.

Each time we make a trip past one of the donation sites, we take a pile. Hopefully, the outgos are more than the inflows.

4-1-11, 8:33pm
I'm going to look for that book in my library right now...thanks!


4-1-11, 11:28pm
I followed the blog for several years (only dropped due to increased busyness), and bought the book. I've found it helpful for introducing decorating concepts, and problem-solving strategies. I admit, though, I never have made it all the way through the eight-week reorganizing/decorating process.

4-2-11, 10:07am
Thanks for the inspiration, fidgiegirl! I'm going to start using the term 'outbox' and look for the book in the library! I really believe, as you say, that "keeping up on the home stuff helps keep the mental clutter clear."