Sunny San Diego

Posted by Rebecca

Last weekend I was able to spend 4 sunny days in beautiful San Diego.  I visited my dear friend, Tammy.  We shopped, lunched, visited with other friends – new and old, took a walk on the pier at Ocean Beach, and just hung out.  It was great.  Here are some highlights.  And in case you didn’t notice, palm trees are my FAVORITE!

Thank you, Tammy, for the best weekend get-away!  Love you and your sweet family.  🙂

Rebecca Knabe

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The Eight-Step Home Cure – Week 5

Posted by Rebecca

I hope everyone is safe and sound, and out of the effects of Hurricane Sandy.  If you need a bit of a mental distraction from the storm, and something to keep you busy, here’s the list for this week:

Week Five:

Take care of repairs this week.  Even if it’s just a small one, like replacing a lightbulb, you will be happy to cross something off your to-do list.

Clean office area and related closets.  Thoroughly dust your computer, printer, and other office machines.  Move objects and clean under them.  Empty drawers and wipe them out.  Make note of changes you would like to make in the set-up and/or organizing of your office.

Vacuum, dust, and mop throughout.  Continue the habit of doing these chores every one to two weeks to keep your home clean and low on allergens.

Declutter files.  Tackle that paperwork that endlessly builds up in our home offices.  Here is a good rule of thumb for what to keep and what to shred (yes, shred; don’t just toss in the garbage):
~ Keep permanently – Personal letters and tax returns.
~ Keep for 7 years – Credit card statements, mortgage statements, bank statements, investment statements, deductible business receipts, and deductible business bills.
~ Keep for 3 years – Insurance policies.
~ Keep for the life of product – Warranties and user guides.
~ Shred – Personal cards, non-deductible utility bills, rent receipts, and non-deductible receipts or bills.

Tackle the cord octopus.  The cords we use to power our computers, phones, printers, electronics, etc. can get crazy over time.  Take this week to straighten these out.  Use twist-ties or zip-ties to bound long cords into shorter lengths if possible.  Mark tags to place on or next to plugs on a power strip so you know which plug goes to what thingy.  Go wireless where you can.

Try a one-day media fast.  Since the goal of the eight-week cure is to reclaim your home and reduce the pressures and stimulation of the outside world, another culprit to be aware of is the ubiquitous media – TV, radio, newspaper.  So for one day this week, try turning off all media in your home, including the computer and music.  Pay attention to the sights and sounds of the day, and enjoy activities that don’t involve the TV, stereo, or computer.  I’ve done this before, and it feels a little uncomfortable at first.  But give it a try.  You never know – you might like it!

Buy fresh flowers.  Try to stay in the habit of replacing your fresh flowers every week or two.  It’s a small, inexpensive luxury that will make your home feel more lively, fresh, and happy.

Choose at least one soft thing to add or subtract.  Consider adding or removing a pillow, rug, or set of curtains to accomplish the 50/50 hard/soft surface ratio, that promises to make your room functional yet cozy.

Cook three meals at home this week.  You’ve heard this one before.  Maybe this week you can get a little creative, or try a new recipe.

Go to bed early and read before sleep.  Attempt to get a full eight hours of sleep at least a couple of times this week.  Spend a few minutes reading a good book before you shut your eyes for the night.

Okie dokie.  This week is a little busier than last week, but do what you can.  And please stay safe and dry!

Rebecca Knabe

P.S. All the directions for The Eight-Step Home Cure are taken from the Apartment Therapy book by the same name. And you can get your very own copy here…. Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure

The Eight-Step Home Cure – The End of Week 4

Posted by Rebecca

Sorry I didn’t get this out last night – my internet was down.  So without further ado, here we go….

Week Four:

Clean up living room and related closets.  This was an easy task, as my livingroom is small, doesn’t have too many surfaces, and has no related closets.

Aim to do another repair this week.  This week I completed an inexpensive and quick repair, that could be life saving.  My smoke alarms have been out of commission since I moved into my home 2 1/2 years ago.  The batteries had been low and the alarms would periodically go off for no reason.  After dealing with it during the middle of one night, I took down the alarms, removed the batteries, and went back to bed.  The alarms got put away, never to emerge from the bottom of a drawer again.  Well, until this week, when I dusted them off, replaced the batteries, and reinstalled them.  This small and easy task has greatly decreased the chances of Cassi and I sleeping through the ever-dreaded trailer fire.  Whew, that was close!

Declutter all books and media.  Done.  I don’t have too many books to get rid of – I give away ones I have already read, and typically only keep sentimental or cook books on hand.  I plan on making a trip to a local second-hand book store this week to see if they want to buy my old books and movies.  It’s a great way to make a few extra $$$.

Cancel 75% of the catalogs you receive.  I don’t receive any.  If I have something shipped, it comes to my workplace, along with any follow-up catalogs.  This is convenient, and someone is always “home” to accept the shipment.  The catalogs are discarded before they even make it to my inbox.  Win win.

Empty your Outbox.  I haven’t done this yet, but plan to get it done this week.  I spent half of last week visiting a good friend in San Diego, so I didn’t have enough time for this task.  But stay tuned for an update on this project, and for some photos of beautiful sunny San Diego.  🙂

Confirm what you need to increase or decrease color in each room.  The only room I plan on “color changing” is my bedroom.  A new neutral wall color and curtains are in the making, and I will post before and after photos when I’m done.

Identify what you need to increase or decrease softness in each room. I’m pretty satisfied with the soft/hard ratio in my home, and have decided not to make changes in this area.

Cook three meals at home this week. I always do.

I will stay on schedule for Week 5, so expect to see another post later today. Happy Monday, everyone! 😦

Rebecca Knabe

Trailer Pick of the Day – Sunset

Posted by Rebecca

Here are some photos from the other evening, of the Pink Trailer basking in the glow of the first-pink-then-orange sunset.

Rebecca Knabe

The Eight-Step Home Cure – Week 4

Posted by Rebecca

Week 4!  Half way there.  Don’t be discouraged if you can’t keep up.  You can refer back to these lists and go at whatever pace works for you.  Here is the list for this week:

Week Four:

Clean up living room and related closets.  Give your living room a good, deep, top to bottom clean.  Move furniture, knickknacks, the TV, and clean under everything.  Don’t forget to take books and media off shelves to wipe underneath.  Take this time to go through your possessions and move items to the Outbox if necessary.  Also take note of what you need to get for the room, or need to change.

Aim to do another repair this week.  Even small repairs can make a big difference.  Completing one a week (or every other week – whatever your circumstances allow) will give you a sense of accomplishment and ease the stress of a lengthy to-do list.

Declutter all books and media.  Weed out the clutter and remove items (books, DVDs, CDs) that you don’t use, are damaged, or are no longer favorites.  A good rule of thumb for bookshelves is to leave 10% as open space.  Display everything in sight and neatly.  For CDs, consider downloading your music to hard drives to free up storage.  And DVDs can be taken out of the case and stored in albums designed to hold the individual disks.  Remember, the idea here is to simplify and organize.

Cancel 75% of the catalogs you receive.  If your mailbox is jammed full of unwanted mailings, look for who to contact and take your address off their list.  Usually a quick call to the company’s customer service center will do the trick.

– Empty your Outbox.  Remove any items that have been in the Outbox for at least a week.  If you are happy to continue living without the item, decided what to do with it.  Donate it to a friend or charity, sell it to a consignment store or on craigslist, recycle the item, or throw it away.  For items that you missed, or feel like you should keep, make sure it is useful, beautiful, and you love it before returning it to your home.

Confirm what you need to increase or decrease color in each room.  Carry on with last week’s color assignment – finalize what changes you would like to make with the color in each room.  This is not meant to be a large makeover, but rather a healthy addition or subtraction of color that will enliven your home.  Once you are happy with your decisions, put any items that you need on a shopping list, and plan to purchase it soon.

Super chic trailer artwork is a great way to add a little color to your home. Check out these greeting cards as well as trailer-themed t-shirts, string lights, magnets and jewelry at http://www.coolcampcreations.com
Click on this picture to see for yourself! 🙂

Identify what you need to increase or decrease softness in each room.  Softness or hardness is best balanced 50/50.  Our houses start out as a hard shell, made mostly of some version of stone, steel, and glass.  We make them homes by adding softness in the form of upholstery, rugs, curtains, blankets, pillows, and plants.  If our home is not properly padded, it will lead to underlying discomfort, coldness, and poor acoustics.  If you have too many soft elements, your rooms will quickly feel cluttered and messy.  Take a look around your place.  See if you can determine whether your home is evenly balanced between hard and soft.  See what you could add or remove to balance your home.

Cook three meals at home this week.  Do you see a pattern developing here?  The point is to use your home.  All of it, including the kitchen.  Avoid the expense of eating out regularly, and do it only for socializing or special occasions.  Try some new recipes, or experiment with some new ingredients.  Learn to have fun being creative in the kitchen.  There are zillions of great food blogs and websites that are very inspirational, and can help get your creative juices flowing.

I hope you are getting in touch with your home.  I hope things are starting to feel cleaner and more organized.  And I hope you are having a little fun doing it.

Rebecca Knabe

P.S. All the directions for The Eight-Step Home Cure are taken from the Apartment Therapy book by the same name. And you can get your very own copy here…. Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure

The Eight-Step Home Cure – The End of Week 3

Posted by Rebecca

How did it go this week?  Were you able to complete any or all of the tasks?  My week went like this:

Week Three:

Vacuum, dust and mop your home.  Done!

Clean your entrance and any related closets.  Also done.  And a little rearranging too.

Arrange to have all repairs taken care of in the next three weeks.  As I said earlier, this is an unrealistic goal for me.  But I would like to get in the habit of one repair a week.  This week I replaced the refrigerator light bulb.  Yes, it seems menial, but it has been out for well over a year.  And I never seem to remember to pick up a new one.  Well, I finally remembered!  And the bulbs only came in a 4 pack.  So now I have enough refrigerator light to last a lifetime.  🙂  Do you have any idea what a delight it is to have illuminated food every time you open the fridge door??  It’s like a surprise party just for me, several times a day.  I should have done this ages ago!

Move all old mail, catalogs, and magazines to the outbox.  I’m good at sorting through my mail and throwing out the unwanted stuff immediately, so this one was a piece of cake.

Look into what you would need to create a “Landing Strip.”  I have done this project before, so my landing strip was established.  But it needed to be cleaned out and streamlined, and now it is.  Yay!

Cancel any unused subscriptions.  I only have one subscription – Glamour magazine.  I’ve had it for about 13 years, and it isn’t going anywhere.

Identify cool and warm rooms.  My kitchen and bathroom are definitely cool.  My livingroom is primarily warm.  My bedroom seems to be a mix of the two.  And I’m going to make a few changes in curtains and wall color to make it a cool room, and hopefully a very relaxing, sleep-inducing space.

Apply the 80/20 color rule.  My living room is closer to 50/50.  I really like the bright color in my rug, throw pillows, and file boxes, and will likely keep the bright color.  I think this rule is a good general idea, but if another ratio makes you happy, go for it!  My kitchen and bathroom seem to follow the 80/20 ratio, but my bedroom has a little more color than I would like.  This will be resolved with the change in my curtains.

Cook two meals at home this week.  Always.  I usually have homemade dinner at home several nights a week.

By the way, how’s the fall foliage looking in your area?  This is a photo I took today in Reno.  Such a beautiful time of year!

Posted by Rebecca