You may be wondering how I became skilled in home management and housekeeping and all the rest of the things that come with being a homemaker. Well, the truth is it happened very recently and I’m still not perfect. I used to get pretty fed up with myself, actually, because I would keep up with housekeeping and good habits/routines but then slowly I’d find myself slipping off the rails. I’d be doing really well and then life happened and things like leaving the dishes in the sink overnight didn’t seem so bad. I would get mad at myself for letting house chores get neglected because messiness is shameful; especially since I grew up surrounded by my mother’s immaculate sense of organization, style, and cleanliness – I should know better, shouldn’t I?
My goal in this post (and here on my blog) is to be honest. Not everyone is born with a clean gene, but that doesn’t mean it’s an excuse to let our home turn into a sty. So, when I got married I decided that as a newlywed I need to find a system that actually works. For me to find said system, I needed to do my research and read books and, of course, talk to my mom. After reading numerous books, watching countless YouTube videos, and reading other blogs I realized one thing – none of them were helpful (later I came to realize this was because I was targeting the wrong issues). My mom’s advice, however, was very helpful. Her words to me were: “Lana, you just have too much stuff!”. And there came my eureka moment. I did have too much stuff. That was my biggest problem – it wasn’t that I couldn’t keep organized, it’s that I had too much unnecessary things which made cleaning and organizing seem overbearing and stressful, thus making it difficult to stick with. Finally, I decided to venture out to the bookstore once again and try my hand at some other books. This time, I looked for books catered to people who aren’t already organized (or born with a clean gene). Needless to say, once I narrowed down my search the task of finding books packed with helpful and insightful information became infinitely easier. I gathered my collection of favorite books and got to note-taking.
Before I move on with the post, let me share a list of my favorite books. I found the below mentioned books to be the most relatable, easy to use, and most useful:
- The Complete Book of Clean by Toni Hammersley – This is like my cleaning bible. The photography is beautiful, the illustrations are adorable, and the information is concise and incredibly helpful. There are recipes for making your own cleaning supplies as well as schedules and a plethora of other useful information (in a very cute package).
- The Complete Book of Home Organization by Toni Hammersley – While this book seems like it only works for large scale homes, it actually can be easily adapted for a smaller space. The idea of the book is very similar to The Complete Book of Clean in terms of photography and general style. I love the inspiration it gives me to keep up with everything.
- The Joy of Less by Francine Jay – This is a very positive introduction to minimalism and decluttering your space. It has easy steps to help guide you through the journey.
- How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White – this book is a great start for people who are looking at something super relatable and written with humor. This book is written by a person who didn’t start out her life being organized, so she understands what it feels like to not know where to start- she’s been in those shoes before.
Other helpful resources which continue to inspire me:
- Pinterest. Need I say more? Even the act of simply scrolling through photos of beautifully organized homes is very encouraging. Plus, Pinterest is a great place to get ideas for organizational DIY projects, storage layouts and etcetera.
- At Home With Nikki on YouTube is incredible! She is what I like to call #goals. Her entire home and system is beautiful – she makes organization seem like a breeze and she is the vision of perfection when it comes to home management. Nikki is truly inspiring and every time I watch her videos I get an urge to improve something.
- At Home With Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott. This book was super cute and charming, I love the premise. At first it seems like a silly book (or at least not a terribly helpful one). In reality, though, this book’s message is to embrace being a stay-at-home mom/running a household and there are great nuggets of advice in there. Simply put, this book is a light and uplifting read that challenges you to rethink what it means to be a homemaker.
All in all, it isn’t easy being a homemaker and running a household. When we’re young(er), we think that leaving our laundry on “the chair” in the bedroom is totally fine, having clutter take up precious space doesn’t matter much, leaving empty ramen cups piling up in the sink is acceptable, and dusting doesn’t seem like a real thing people who are under 70 do. But that bubble is popped when someone moves in with you (or you with them) and you’re thrown into picking up after two people, cleaning for two people, managing your job with the chores and having a life outside of that…all the while having your place presentable enough for company. The bubble is further deflated when you realize that you are going to be a parent, which means you have to teach your child right from wrong and how to function in the world – you are their prime example. For me that was a huge push in the direction of changing the entire structure of how I manage the household and organize. It also helped me learn to really declutter. I’m not fully there yet, but I am working on our home bit by bit and on myself as well. That doesn’t mean that you have to find a partner and/or get pregnant in order to turn things around, if you are currently not enjoying your home aesthetic or your current home management system it’s up to you to change it. You have to be happy where you are and how your home feels, that’s the most important motivation.
I hope you enjoyed today’s post! Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of the books I’ve mentioned. Alternatively, feel free to leave a recommendation of a book, blog, or YouTube channel I should check out.