Showing posts with label Homemaking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Homemaking. Show all posts

Hospitality: Creating a Welcoming Home

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

There are a lot of details that go into homemaking. It's much more nuanced that people first believe and about more than the practical. Relational homemaking is just as important as clean counters and homemade dinners. Because it can be too easy to overlook the relational aspect, but all relationships take constant work. That's why hospitality is such an important part of being a homemaker. I talked all about creating regular happy hours as a form of hospitality. And about making our home feel cozy by adding finishing touches. But those are just parts of creating a welcoming atmosphere, one that extends to guest and the home's inhabitants alike. Aside from clearing the clutter and making sure the hand soap is stocked, how can you create a feeling that says 'you are always welcome here'?

Living on One Income

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

In talking about the switch from full-time, outside of the home career to full-time homemaker, I would be remiss if I brushed over the fact that we are now living on one income. John brings home the paycheck and I find ways to make our budget stretch. It's always an adjustment to live on less, but since we've always saved most of my paycheck, it hasn't been a huge change. Still, I've been finding new ways to save and thrive on a single income.

Finishing Touches: Creating a Cozy Home

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

I've always thought of my home as a place of rest and grounding. Numerology supports this, our house is a four. But as a minimalist, it wasn't feeling quite as cozy or 'finished' as I would like. Just not totally lived in, if that makes sense. I'm very particular not only about what fills a space, but how much. So I'm not ever going to load a room with wall hangings and throw pillows and oversized chairs, no matter how cozy it may appear in a photo. All that clutter would be stress to me, not quiet contentment. Instead, I needed to take my time and carefully choose a few key ways to make each room reflect that cozy, restful, peaceful vibe I was looking for. The finishing touches.

Let’s Chat about Fulfillment in Life, Even as a Homemaker

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

I wanted to take a post to have a chat about fulfillment in life. Mainly, to dispel the notion that a person can't find fulfillment being a homemaker. Through various other posts about my schedule, I think I've answered the 'what do you do all day' question in terms of household tasks. But I think there's an underlying thought that comes with that question. People don't just mean 'what fills your hours' but 'how do you possibly find those things fulfilling? Without a career, isn't there an empty portion of your life? Are you meeting your potential?'

Timeless and Sustainable Wardrobe on a Budget

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Even though the time frame started in May, you know I've been checking things off the 101 in 1001 list. It seems like a lot but those 1001 days go by quicker than you think! And I particularly wanted to make a game plan for some of the items that would take longer or potentially cost more money. Two that stuck out are to completely update my wardrobe and accessories. Needs change as you get older and I haven't updated my closet in years. At the same time, I don't want to go out and purchase all new items without a second thought, as it would be a waste of money and resources. I knew I needed a better game plan for choosing quality.

Because I don't want to wear things once and throw it away - I hate that I did that in my college years, what a waste those Forever 21 shirts were that fell apart after two nights out at a bar. I want quality, long lasting items. I want to be able to mix and match everything in my closet, everything should fit my daily lifestyle, and it should feel like 'me.' And every single item should bring me joy. I'm still working on acquiring everything I want to for my own closet, but at least I know what I'm looking out for. Here's my system, in case you want to build your own timeless and sustainable wardrobe on a budget:

Raspberry Muffins and a Kitchen Update

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

I've been doing yearly home tours since we moved in in May 2016, but we haven't had any major updates since the last one, when I shared the deck. But we did recently make some changes in the kitchen that I've really been enjoying, so I thought I would share what it looks like now. And of course that should come with a recipe so I'm also sharing the raspberry muffins I love making this time of year.

The Joy in Everyday Homemaking, Even When You're Burnt Out

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

I've posted a lot lately about routines and the things we need to get done every day - getting dressed, morning and evening routines, cleaning, laundry, cooking dinner every night. It can start to seem not only overwhelming, but exhaustingly reminiscent of Groundhog's Day. Because those are the daily living tasks that just don't end. Even when you finally get all the laundry done, you still have to wear clothes and there will be another load tomorrow. The dishwasher is finally empty, but you have to drink your coffee out of something. You did all the grocery shopping and cooked all the meals but an empty fridge will stare back at you again next week. It's repetitive and mundane and can easily leave you asking 'why even bother?'

I hear you. I've been there myself. Still am there, some days. Yes, the rhythm of life reminds us that we're alive. It's good to sit back and remember that we get to do all these daily tasks because we're alive. But even when I'm being grateful for that fact, there are still a few things I do to bring back the joy in homemaking, even when I'm a little burnt out.

Proper Clothing Care and Why I Care for the Things Around Me

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

I like getting dressed every day. In an actual dress, like I mentioned. And though I love finding deals and living frugally, dresses aren't cheap and building a quality wardrobe still takes time and money. So once an item makes it into my closet and life, I'm going to do everything I can to care for it properly to extend it's life. Today, I'm sharing some of that clothing care knowledge with you. I know it may not seem like it 'matters', but stick with me until the end, it'll make a lot more sense. But first, clothing care tips and tricks.

My One Day and Everyday Cleaning Routine

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

I know that title seems confusing - how can my cleaning routine be a one day routine but also an everyday routine? But it's actually pretty straightforward. I can either spend 4+ hours one day and deep clean everything on the list and then not touch anything again for awhile. Or I can do this routine every single day on a surface level, because if you clean every day it never piles up to require that deep clean day. And cleaning is an essential part of my homemaker life.

Slow Living Homemaker Morning and Evening Routines

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

I've posted about my morning and evening routines before, but they always focused around working outside the home for 8+ hours a day. I had to accomplish certain tasks by a certain time each morning and set things up every night to ensure I was prepared for the next day. Life looks quite different now, so my routines needed to adjust. I still enjoy having some sort of plan to count on, simple as it may be, even though I now have the whole day at home during which I can get tasks done. I need something to signal to my brain when it's time to start getting things done and when it's time to relax and sleep. Making over these routines, slowing them down and simplifying them, has been a fun task to cross off my 101 in 1001 list.

I plan on posting about my cleaning routine and what a typical day in the life of a homemaker looks like, but it seemed simpler to break it up and first dedicate a post to these bookends of my day.

Getting Dressed Everyday (and My Current Skincare, Makeup, and Hair Routine)

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

This post has been written and scheduled for awhile. I was going to put a disclaimer here about the frivolity of it but I changed my mind. I suppose this still is a disclaimer, but in a different way - this space and its content, regardless of the state of the world, has always been a place of frivolity since 2012 and that isn't going to change. That's something I need for myself as a creative, escapist outlet. I alone have the power over both the content I consume and what I create and where I choose to share any of it. And who I choose to share my feelings with, including when, and how. I understand if you don't like that stance, and see it as some sort of privilege of opting out. Maybe it is, but since you don't know anything I do or say in the rest of my life, I have no intention of debating that idea here. So you may want to read a different blog - there are plenty out there for you that are incredibly intelligent and well-written. Lord knows I have unfollowed many, many people across many platforms this weekend so there are no hard feelings if you'd like to do the same. And that's all I have to say on that.

Wow, June. I know quarantine made this year kind of a wash so I shouldn't be surprised that we're already in June but the idea that it's already summer is just crazy to me. My life is so very different than it was a mere 4, even 3 months ago. As I'm sure yours is as well. Homemaking is unlike any other job or time in my life; my days are entirely unscheduled. For one thing, I don't have to get dressed every day the same way I did in my office job. Honestly, it's been both a respite and a burden - my work clothes were pretty restricting and I'm happy to not be tied to those anymore, but staying in pajamas all day is a recipe for laziness and generally not feeling great about myself. I know, because I spent the first month of lockdown in some form of pjs.

So when I thought about proper self care, I knew getting dressed everyday would need to be top of the list. (Well, along with making dinner but we've mastered that.) It's an essential part of personal homemaking. Everyone is different so I don't think you have to get dressed every day if it doesn't appeal to you but I truly believe that it's hard to feel like the day has started without getting 'ready'. It makes me feel like it's a sick day or holiday and although being a homemaker has it's perks, there is still work to be done every single day. The home is not the same lounge space as when I worked outside of it, but that's how I was treating it in April rather than seeing it as my new work place.

Cooking Dinner ... Every Night?

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Are you cooking more or less during quarantine? Unless you're already out, of course, some places are opening up. We've got until June 1, and then we'll see, but I know John and I still won't be hitting up any restaurants for the foreseeable future. And that's actually something I don't mind - we've been steadily making all our meals at home and generally enjoying the process. Most things we make are way better than the restaurant version anyway, and it undoubtedly saves us money. And quarantine or not, cooking meals at home is an essential part of homemaking and living on one income.

Investing in Myself: Is Self Care a Lost Art?

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The irony is not lost on me, writing this post about self care (including a note about reclaiming your sleep schedule) midweek at 12:30 in the morning. But that's perhaps why I feel the need to put this out into the universe: I need to invest in myself. Self care is such a buzzword lately, and I'm completely on board for it, but so much of what's touted as care is actually self-soothing and self-indulgence. There's a time and place for both of those things, of course, but they shouldn't be mistaken for actually taking proper care of yourself.

My New 101 in 1001 List

Monday, April 20, 2020

I know what you're thinking - another list? Didn't the last one just start? Not exactly. But the 1001 days aren't quite up yet, so I understand the confusion. The end date for the 3rd 101 goals in 1001 days list is the end of this year but I'm about done. With the whole list. And I love having goals to work on so I decided to move up the start date of this 4th list. It might seem strange to start a new goals list in the midst of all this uncertainty but I almost think that's why I want to start. There are so many things on my list I can start working on right now that will not only improve my life and home, but will also give me something to control in an otherwise uncontrollable situation. That deeply appeals to my enneagram type 1 self.

What is Homemaking?

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

I'm switching gears today off the topic of slow living and onto the other topic I feel like I suddenly have a lot to say about - homemaking.

Simple Clean Home Habits

Monday, February 3, 2020

This post may contain affiliate links.

I try to make sure our house is always clean.  Not deep clean like everything is freshly scrubbed and sanitized, but clean in that everything is always in it's place and there's no mess that couldn't be straightened up in two minutes.  I like that people could stop by on a whim and I don't feel like I have to do power cleaning in the few minutes before they arrive - that kind of life is too stressful for me.  In order to keep a simple and clean home, all the time, I've adopted a few habits that keep everything in line with ease:

Remove the excess.  It's much harder to clean if the things you own don't fit in the space you have them.  Everything needs room to breathe, and putting items away shouldn't be like playing tetris.  I started years ago with major decluttering but now I just keep an eye out and remove things that shouldn't be in a particular room or shouldn't be in the home at all because they aren't being used and loved.

Organize what you have.  There's no point in organizing clutter, but once I'm down to the things that I know I'm keeping, I make sure to organize them.  I keep like items together so I know how much I have and where it is and I always make sure that every item has a place to be returned to.  It's much easier to keep a space clean when you know where to put everything away.

If it takes one minute, just do it.  I don't let small tasks pile up.  If something is going to take just a minute or two, I get it done.  Sorting the mail, emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash - if I let all of those things pile up all week, I would spend all of Sunday trying to get it cleaned up, and at that point the house is a disaster.  By getting small projects done as I see them, I spend far less time overall on completing them.

Make the bed.  A classic for a reason.  Making the bed makes the entire room look more clean and put together, regardless of what else is going on in there in terms of clutter.  There are some days it just doesn't happen and some days that Hawkeye completely unmakes it right after I finish, but I at least try to do it daily because it makes a real difference in our bedroom.  Which is right off the kitchen so it's always highly visible.

Open windows.  Opening windows purifies the air and instantly freshens a space.  Everything in the home just seems like it has new life when I open the windows.

Hang clothes and coats, and put shoes away.  I don't know about you, but I do not wash everything I wear after only one time of wearing it.  I work a desk job in an office, my clothing is not dirty.  Rather than just put everything in the hamper or piled on a chair in the bedroom, I take the extra second to properly hang anything I plan on wearing again before washing.  We do the same with coats.  The area where coats and shoes get left is obviously the first area people see when they come in the house.  Instead of tossing coats over chairs or couches, just hang them up.  Likewise, get a tray or rack stationed right by the door so it's super easy to put the shoes away when you take them off.

Take shoes off at the door.  Shoes track dirt and shoe prints all over the house.  Your cleaning routine will be instantly made easier by just stopping the problem before it even starts by removing shoes at the door.  I really don't enforce this with guests because some people are more comfortable with leaving their shoes on, which is fine - I'd rather my guest be comfortable and I can clean later.  But for me and John, the rule is shoes off at the door.

Keep the sink clear.  Keeping the sink clear is the kitchen version of 'make the bed.'  Whatever else you do, the kitchen will look better if you have an empty and clean sink.  I make sure to do this once in the morning after we make breakfast and once in the evening after dinner.  Waking up to a clean sink is worth it's weight in gold.

Focus on clear surfaces.  Our eyes go straight to surface clutter so if you can make sure that counter and table tops stay clear, it goes a long way towards making the whole house seem clean.  Clutter also attracts more clutter so if you set one thing down, 10 more will come join it.  It's the law, I think.

Keep the necessary tools close at hand.  I have a cleaning caddy in the laundry room that houses most things, but since that's in the basement, it would be too annoying to grab the tools out to wipe down the main level bathroom every day.  Instead, I keep a few microfiber cloths and the cleaning spray in the bathroom itself, under the sink.  Since it's always close at hand, it takes me no more than 30 seconds to wipe down the bathroom counter and mirror everyday, which helps the dirt not to pile up and create a huge weekend project for me.

Get a stick vacuum.  We have a long stick vacuum but a small handheld would have the same effect - in a pinch or with a small mess, it's too big of a pain to lug out the full size vacuum.  Get something that's small and cordless for those moments when things just need a quick clean.

Clean as you go during cooking.  I cannot tell you what a time saver this is.  Start with an empty dishwasher, and just load it up as you're cooking.  This stops the pile of dishes in the sink.  If you make any messes while cooking, clean them immediately.  It's so much easier to wipe up a fresh mess than it is to come back to it when it's dried and caked on.

Do it right the first time.  Put the stain remover on.  Rinse the dish and put it in the dishwasher.  Hang the coat instead of draping it on the chair.  If you don't do it right the first time, you're only making twice as much work for yourself because you have to come back and do it again anyway.

Don't leave rooms empty handed.  I always check to see what I can take with me when I leave a room that doesn't belong in there.  I return pens to the office area and mugs to the dishwasher and clothing to the laundry room.  I never leave a room empty handed because otherwise I'd just have to come back and clean it later.  Again, do it right the first time.

Tidy at the end of every evening.  If you do a quick 5 or 10 minute tidy of the house before bed, you won't need to spend hours doing it on the weekend.  Just quickly sweep through the main living spaces and put things away and straighten up blankets, chairs, pillows, etc.

Make it a team effort.  If you're not the only one making the mess, you shouldn't be the only one cleaning it.  Delegate responsibilities and make sure people are responsible for their own messes.

What habits do you stick to to make sure your home remains clean most of the time?

Full Home Inventory (Plus a House Tour)

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

This post may contain affiliate links. 

The question I get most often when I post anything about my Project 3000 progress is 'do you even have 3,000 items in your home?!'  Short answer, no.  Long answer is that I created an inventory of every item in our home, with the caveat being that I didn't include most consumable items because they aren't permanent (duh.)

I really started this project as a way to track valuables for home insurance purposes but also to track the number of my own items that were permanent fixtures.  (I'm already working my way through all my consumables, I hope to decrease these and then count only what's always in my collection, like I always have 1 mascara.)

So the full home inventory (because yes, I created a spreadsheet) can be found here You can really checkout all the details about things like how many spoons we have.  But I figured it would be nice to do a home tour along with, since I do one ever year and share the little changes we make along the way.  Although I guess two big changes you'll see are the 82 inch monster TV and a brand new deck in the backyard.


Living Room

Dining Room

Kitchen and Sunroom


Our Bedroom

John's Bathroom


Guest Room

Halloween Closet. Literally. All Halloween decor.

My Bathroom

Laundry Room


And that's it!  Well, I did forget to photograph the extra bedroom where we have the treadmill, and I'm too lazy to go back and add it now, but I did inventory it.  I think you can clearly see where we have more work to do (attic, laundry room) and which big changes we've made (flooring, sunroom, deck.)  Making the inventory was a great exercise!  Going forward, I'll probably continue to not track things like John's clothing because it changes so often, and continue to track new 'stuff' that becomes permanent, like any wall decor or furniture pieces.  I'm also going to watch my personal care items because I think I have more than I use and could benefit from decreasing the stash and adopting a one in, one out rule for more makeup.

Hope you enjoyed seeing all our updates and checking out the home inventory.  I am as minimalist as you thought?  How many things do you think you have in your home?