Many of my earliest memories are of “playing house”, a child’s version of homemaking. I loved nothing better than to set up a corner of my grandmother’s den as my “house” and play with my cousin who claimed another corner as hers. We “cooked” and played with our dolls and visited one another. My childhood was mostly spent playing house or reading. Come to think of it, that’s not too much different from much of my adult life.
I’ll never forget how happy I was to set up the first home David and I shared. It was a tiny, one-bedroom apartment and we had very little with which to begin housekeeping. But I didn’t care. I was just so happy to be married and to finally have a home of my own. We may not have had a sofa but I could serve dinner on our pretty wedding china.
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In the years since, we have lived in four more places, including our current home. Each one has been vastly different but in each I’ve done my best to create a home.
Over the past few years other pursuits have taken up much of my time. Volunteer work, music promotion, blog-related work…I truly enjoy all these things but I must admit that I miss the time I used to spend on homemaking.
My house is clean…enough. I keep up with the laundry and prepare nice meals. Truly, it’s all…fine. I guess.
But I miss puttering about, rearranging decorative items, organizing closets and cupboards, and polishing furniture until it gleams. I miss baking bread regularly and making homemade yogurt. I miss reading books about homemaking.
How I Plan to Make Homemaking a Priority Again:
1. Better time management
This probably speaks for itself. In order to have time to really get into my homemaking groove I need to do a better job managing my time. This is something I’ve been working on for quite sometime. I just need to continue my efforts.
2. Less time on social media
Facebook and other forms of social media can be a huge time suck. This one is challenging for me, largely because I have legitimate reasons to be on social media. Not only do I use it to promote this blog but I also manage pages and groups for other entities. For instance, I am a page administrator for our local volunteer fire department, homeless services organization, a local restaurant, and our music promotion foundation. I also operate a very busy Facebook group for local events.
The challenge is to handle my duties on my pages and groups without getting sucked into reading the newsfeed. One thing I’ve done recently is remove the Facebook app from my phone. I have the Pages and Group apps so I can still handle those duties from my phone but it removes the option of just mindlessly scrolling the feed. I also have created lists for family and close friends so that I can keep up with those closest to me without wading through the vast wasteland of the general newsfeed.
3. Scheduled times for homemaking
I’ve been in the habit of focusing on my work first and leaving homemaking tasks until later in the day or trying to fit them into small breaks in my day. That leaves me feeling rushed and doesn’t allow time to actually enjoy what I’m doing. I know not everyone enjoys cleaning or other homemaking tasks but the truth is I actually do. When I have time, that is.
I’m still working out the details but I’m going to make scheduled homemaking times a regular part of my day. And I’ll make them long enough that I can include some of the fun parts like redecorating a table or arranging a bouquet of flowers.
4. Adjust my attitude
I think homemaking is like anything else…it’s largely a matter of attitude. You can view it as something distasteful and rush through to get it done or you can learn to embrace each task as part of an overall desire to make home a pleasant place to be. One of my issues with The FlyLady is the emphasis on hurrying through tasks so quickly that there isn’t time to enjoy the process.
I also think it helps to do more than the absolute, bare minimum. And that’s where spending MORE time on it can make a difference. Consider the task of dusting. Now, I’m going to be honest here and admit that this is probably my least favorite chore. It was one of my jobs as a kid and dusting was no quick and easy task in our house. I’ve mentioned previously that my mom was/is no minimalist. Every flat surface in our house was liberally decorated. And a quick dusting around the edges was not an option. No, I had to take off every item and dust thoroughly.
In my own home I make use of a high quality feather duster and don’t remove every item from every surface every week. Considering the size of our house and my own non-minimalist tendencies this is a reasonable choice. But there’s something about taking the time to remove everything from our large coffee table, polish it with my favorite lavender-scented beeswax furniture polish, and then perhaps rearrange the items or redecorate for a new season.
5. Seek inspiration
I’ve shared some of my favorite homemaking books in this post. I’ve read all of these numerous times. I think I need some new inspiration. Here are some I am considering:
More Homemaking Inspiration
I’m a longtime fan of Brocante Home. It’s time for me to re-read some old favorites and download some new ones.
This list would not be complete without Alexandra Stoddard’s books. I have most of them and always find such inspiration within their pages.
Finally, I’m going to be seeking out some cosy, home-based fiction. I adore Rosamunde Pilcher novels for that very reason. Reading a Pilcher novel makes me long for an Aga stove (totally impractical in Oklahoma) on which to always have a tea kettle ready to boil. If you have any similar books to recommend please leave me a comment. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about homemaking. Do you enjoy it? If so, why? If not, is there something that would make it more pleasurable for you?
And now I’m going to go start dinner and bake some homemade chocolate chip cookies. Because nothing makes a home quite so welcoming as the smell of something delicious in the oven.
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