Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Homemaking After A Move

Living in a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 800(ish) square foot apartment might not be a chore for many - and to some it might seem like a luxury. We were definitely thankful to have a roof over our heads and a secure place to live, but the situation just wasn't working out for us as our family grew and our lifestyle changed.

So my husband and I decided to put down roots in our central Arkansas town and buy a house. We were looking for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, with a fenced in back yard, and no major renovations needed. In a town like ours, this was not too hard to find, but we still looked for a few months trying to find "our home."

One day we toured a home in a nice neighborhood and thought it was a great little home, but the kitchen was way too small for my needs. So we continued to search within that neighborhood for an alternative because we knew that they all had the same builder and were within a few years old. Soon we found a for sale by owner and before we knew it, the deal was done - we had the keys, we cleaned it up, we moved in our stuff, and let go of our apartment. It is 1400 square feet with a large yard.

I wasn't sure how I would adjust to homemaking in a new house, especially a bigger house, but I knew I needed to overhaul my routine (or lack there-of). In our apartment, we had too much stuff and no where to put it, so clutter spilled out in every single room. Here, we have massive closets, 2 kids bedrooms, a large pantry, ample kitchen cabinetry, and more square footage for furniture that otherwise was cramped in the apartment.

A few tasks I have added to my daily regimen to keep our house running smoothly have made all the difference:

  • Running 1 load of laundry per day from start to finish
  • Keeping dirty dishes cleaned up
  • Making our bed
  • Cleaning the bathroom counter
After watching a video created by Erin from The Humbled Homemaker about common homemaking ruts we fall in, I realized I had been doing my laundry all wrong. I had been throwing a big load in the washer in the morning and when it was done, put it in the dryer thinking, It's only 10:00 AM, I have plenty of time to do another load! so I would throw in the next load as soon as my first went in the dryer. The next thing I knew, life happened and at 10:00 PM it would occur to me that both the washer and dryer were still full of clothes. 

So, I made a vow to do 1 load of laundry from start to finish before even touching another load. I have 100% stuck to this after over a month of living in this house and have not had a pile up of clean clothes wrinkling in their baskets or needed to rewash a wet load because it got stinky.

And just to let you know what I am working with - this is my laundry room! It is an improvement from my apartment because over there, I just had 2 machines shoved in a closet. I am not, however using a luxurious space with lots of room for sorting and storing, so I do have to stay on top of things to maintain order. We bought these Maytag HE machines brand new (paid cash!) so I am really proud of them as our first big purchases. What I really love having is the sturdy bar across the top. I can hang clothes as they come out of the dryer, or even hang bras up to air dry. (I'll spare you a picture of that!)

On top of the dryer I keep a cute little basket to collect stray socks. We have a lot of those!

I also keep a miniature ironing board and a step ladder tucked against the sides for easy use. 

Directly across from the machines is our pantry and parallel to the machines runs a walkway from the garage into the kitchen. I'm sure this will be great for sports or dirty activities as my kids grow. 

My next priority is keeping the master bathroom cleaned up every day. In our apartment we had 1 sink with a counter top that wrapped just around it, so there was not much room. We also barely had any storage for toiletries, so may of our products sat out on the counter. Here, I have made a point to keep things put away.

I allow hand soaps, toothpaste, tooth brushes, and 1-2 personal items on the sink. Right now I have my body spray and it is usually alone up there, but I did wash a foundation brush and had it drying on the edge of the sink as well.

Wiping down the counter with a disinfectant and making sure all products are in their respective drawers is a priority.

I clean the toilet, floor, mirror, and shower as needed without an official schedule.

                                          I got those pink/coral luminary jars from the $1 spot at Target and used them to frame a decoration I made from a vase, bulk pearl balls, and dried roses from a bouquet my husband gave me. It adds a feminine touch to the space without being overpowering.

Right now we don't have a solid theme for the bathroom, but my plan was to neutralize the feminine accents with navy and white touches.

To the left of the sinks is the entrance to our very large walk in closet. I will no doubt do a post on that one day!

The other bullet points above are pretty straight forward. I put all dirty dishes in the dish washer after meals and at night I run the dish washer and hand wash any large items. In the morning I take out the clean dishes and put them away.

I used to not be a bed maker because it seemed like you just crawled right back in, right? My husband felt the same way. After we got married I desired to make the bed, but with a baby, school, odd schedules, and the fact that our bedroom became an insane catch-all for furniture, books, off-limits-to kids items, etc, we didn't allow anyone to go in our bedroom for it to be seen anyway.

That is changing now. I got a new bed spread that really livens up the space and I am proud of the way my bed looks. It's definitely getting made. Now we just have to stop our 2 year old from smearing whatever was on his hands on the white bed spread before we can stop him. It's happened twice, so we are keeping the local dry cleaner in business.

I hope these simple tips help some of you who are trying to get into a homemaking routine. I'm currently following the lead of Erin, as I mentioned above, and many other homemaking bloggers such as

The Modest Mom
Young Wife's Guide

These ladies are moms and homemakers who share their routines and tutorials. I follow many others but these were the first who came to mind. I would encourage you to find some Mommy bloggers or Homemakers on their Facebook pages to gain insight into how other women make it work. Just a year ago I was drowning in my own clutter, totally unsure of how to manage it, and over time have tackled many projects and learned what does and doesn't work for our family.

For this season, homemaking is my job, and I aim to do it well. Best of luck, and I hope you enjoyed taking a look at a few corners of my home!

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