Wednesday, December 1, 2010
When I first got married, I didn't know a thing about homemaking, cooking (except a basic quiche, boxed brownies, and scrambled eggs), household chores, entertaining, or being a mom! I feel I was kind of thrown into it all pretty fast! Tad and I were married in between our Junior and Senior years at Moody Bible Institute, got pregnant 4 months later, graduated at 6 months pregnant, and I became a stay at home mom. With a newborn baby and all this extra time on my hands, I didn't know what to do! I felt bored. Lonely. Is this what being a stay at home mom is like?? I might go crazy!! Well, little did I know, that slow, "boring" time wouldn't last long. And part of the boring was because I didn't know how to properly take care of my house! I don't even think I scrubbed our first apartment bathroom until we moved out of there! I didn't know I was suppose to! Pretty pathetic!
Some different resources have helped me in my little domestic journey, and I have found myself really loving being a homemaker, and wanting to do it better and more efficiently! Watching other people and asking questions is invaluable. People who have done this for years, gotten a system down, and know what they're doing!
A website that really helped me learn how to clean is Flylady. She walks you step by step through learning how to clean the nooks and crannies of your house, declutter the different rooms of your house, and feel like a more organized and whole person! Love this website!! Because of her I have completely scrubbed and washed out my sink, started a Control Journal (basically a huge binder with all your important household thingies), decluttered my "hot spots," and learned to go to bed with a clean kitchen and shining sink!!
Lately, I have gotten on the Blog train and have been overwhelmed with the wealth of knowledge, creativity, efficiency, and practical tips I have found from different homemaking blogs. I love it!! Things I have never even thought of before. New recipes, different ways to clean, new things to try, ways to be more frugal, ways to stretch a whole chicken!, meal plans, and so many more fun ideas! Here are some of my favorites:
A Wife Loved Like the Church
Elm Street Life
Another way I'm developing in this area of homemaking is just plain. old. experience. Over time you just have to figure things out for yourself!! You can't follow just one plan, one person, one book, you have to see what works best for your family and how to incorporate the ideas that will be most effective, efficient, and practical for you!! If all the blogs say that you have to create a month long menu plan, but you don't have time, don't want to do it, or don't have enough ideas for the whole month at once, then that's not practical for you! It's all about finding balance and trial and error.
Some things that I have found that do work for me:
1. Cleaning up every night after the kids go to bed.
I used to go to bed regularly without cleaning the kitchen or living room because I was just too tired. Well, I haven't gotten any more energy but I can relax so much more after I clean, and it starts my day off so good to wake up to a clean house!
2. Control Journal (or Home Binder, or whatever you want to call it!)
This helped me so much to not have papers flying everywhere, losing important things, and stuffing loads of papers into our desk. I have about 12 different folders where I keep things related to planning, homeschooling, finances, blogging, weight loss, moving, entertaining, etc. Helps keep me organized!
3. Morning Routine
I know I have shared this about a million times, but I just can't emphasize enough how getting up early has revolutionized my day! I get refreshed in the Word, get my exercise in, and get my day planned before my kids are up! My planning routine is as follows:
Finances (balance checkbook, check account online, pay bills if need be)
Homeschooling (look at lesson plan for that day, prepare as needed)
Meal (confirm meal and look over recipe)
Planner (look over planner, confirm scheduled events, make sure not forgetting anything!)
I then write out a to-do list that includes three things to accomplish. It's amazing how hard it is to get those 3 things done with 2 little ones and school!
4. Unload dishwasher in the morning
I have found that if I don't unload the dishwasher in the morning, I will not find time in my day to do it until at night after the kids go to bed. And with the kitchen and living room a mess too, I don't want to have to unload the dishwasher as well! So I really try to get this done in the morning.
5. Chore Chart
This is one of those things that I'm convinced will help my cleaning if I could just stick to it! After we move and get settled into our own place eventually, I really want to stick to this. Awhile back, I made a chore chart detailing 2 or 3 chores for each day, dividing up all my main tasks, and then 2 areas to tidy up every day. So for instance, Monday might be grocery shopping, watering my plants, and vacuuming, and I would tidy our bedroom and bathroom. Not deep clean, just pick up stuff, put things where they go, tidy. That way my house would stay in general working order and areas wouldn't get a chance to get to the point of disaster zone. I have not yet mastered this though!
So that's just a rough run through of some things that work for me, and where I'm at on my journey through homemaking. I have so much more to share, and I can't wait to share on the area of entertaining, my favorite!!
What are some things you've learned along the way in homemaking? Routines? Schedules? Ways to get things done with little kiddos running around destroying all your efforts?? I'd love to hear from you!