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.

Producing versus Consuming: Active Slow Living

Thursday, June 11, 2020

I think we all just spent a few months experiencing slow living - a stark contrast to most of our lives before any sort of lock down order. People dealt with this in a lot of different ways. It may have started with Netflix binges and 24 hours of pajamas, but then morphed into something different. A lot of banana bread was made, that's for sure. A lot of homes decluttered. But I think that's a natural outcome of a slow living lifestyle. There's suddenly much more time in the day when you're not jamming your schedule with events, and people quickly realize that constant consumption is not all it's cracked up to be.

Because slow living doesn't mean sitting around doing absolutely nothing. When I share about this way of life, people always ask 'well what do you do all day?' Whatever I want, really, and that's the point. I may not be carefully scheduling all the hours in my day like I used to, but that 'lazy slug' feeling of three straight days of movies and take out isn't good either. I didn't drop one extreme for the other, I simply shifted my priorities so I can take the time every day to do the things I love. Life should happen for me, not to me. Or what I like to call 'active slow living.' And it's all about producing and doing instead of consuming.

Do you have a lot of unfinished projects around the house? That's often a sign of hiding behind consumption instead of taking action. I've been guilty of it too. We consume things first as an excuse, instead of becoming the person we want to be, telling ourselves that we absolutely need something in order to get started. We can't start working out without new workout clothes. We can't start decluttering and organizing without buying a bunch of new bins at the Container Store. Can't make that scrapbook without spending $200 on more supplies at the craft store. But it's pretty easy to see, in all of those excuses, that consuming things is distracting you from the life you really want to have.

We all have these projects that were started with good intentions but never finished and these things we 'don't have the time to do'. It's the trap of consuming instead of doing, and there's a lot of emotional baggage that comes with that. It's so easy to hide behind the laziness of consumption. No one likes taking responsibility for the fact that they're the only thing standing in their own way.

But why write off your joy in the present with this over attachment to more, more more? We all write off progress and the lives we're living now, thinking that we'll be a better version of ourselves once we buy this thing, but that just keeps removing ourselves from taking responsibility for actually taking action. You don't need Lululemon pants to workout. You just need to move. There's no need to keep consuming in order to become that better person.

So why would slow living help with any of that? How can I do more if I'm simultaneously slowing down?

Because what I'm really slowing down is distractions, allowing me to be pro-active. To seek out and do more of what matters, instead of just reacting to circumstances. It's a habit I've had to really learn and practice at constantly, but I find it's the best way to live in the present and enjoy each day. No more of that stressed and anxious feeling that comes with being hurried.

What does this look like, in a practical sense? Waking up early each day because I know I function best on a schedule and in the mornings. Cleaning the house daily, before it builds up and becomes incredibly dirty. Creating a budget and saving for big expenses, emergencies or vacations. Walking more and making my own meals instead of resorting to take out and fad diets. Making phone calls, mailing letters, unloading the dishwasher and completing other 5 minute tasks as I think of them instead of perpetually putting them off. Actively sorting out these tasks purposefully before they pile up to that insurmountable mountain of stress. Acting, not reacting. Doing, not just buying something to make the problems go away.

There's just something about doing each of these things by my own hand that helps me stay connected in the moment, no longer feeling like the days are disappearing too fast. And even though I do these thing slowly, I know they're still moving me forward. I fully enjoy the present while I take steps to be that slightly better version of myself that I have in mind. Always a work in progress - but not one that writes off all the progress that's already been made.

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.