So, without further ado, here are some tips and tricks from the vintage housewife that will help you get your home life in tip-top shape:
1. Meal Plan
Instead of racing to the store an hour before dinner (or, worse, picking up takeout far too often), set aside one evening each week to meal plan for the week ahead. Skim through cookbooks, select your recipes, and compose a grocery list with all of the necessary ingredients. Not only will this make grocery shopping a total breeze, but it will also allow for calmer evenings as you won’t have to scramble to put dinner on the table. Bonus: You’ll be more likely to try new, tasty dishes if you have planned ahead for them!
2. Make Extra To Save for Later
When you’re meal planning, don’t forget to think about those days down the road when you might just need to pull a meal out of the freezer. On some slower nights, be sure to cook extra so that you can pop it in an airtight container and slide it into the freezer for a night when you simply don’t have time to stand over the stove.
3. Create a Family Calendar
Trying to juggle several different schedules without some sense of order will ultimately lead to conflicts. Jane has dance class at 6pm on Wednesday, Jack has basketball practice that ends at 6:30pm, and you signed up to bring a meal to the new family down the street. A family calendar can keep things straight (and you less frenzied). If you really want to be a pro, color code it so that it’s easier to read.
4. Assign Chores
While you’re at it with the family calendar, assign chores to each day of the week (and each family member). Instead of loading up your Saturday with all of the house cleaning and lawn care, divvy the tasks up throughout the week. Monday can be for laundry, Tuesday for cleaning the bathroom, Wednesday for mopping, and so on.
5. Wipe Down Frequently Used Appliances
We can too easily forget to clean the things that are right under our nose and used every day (looking at you, coffee pot). Pick one day a week to give all of these appliances a good cleaning so that you aren’t stuck with seriously grimy refrigerator shelves at the end of the month.
6. Weed out Your Belongings
Less is most definitely more! It’s easier to keep things clean and tidy when you don’t have clutter everywhere. At the end of each month, go through your cabinets, closets, and shelves and box up items to donate. Clear your desk and countertops of papers, shredding what needs to be shredded and filing the rest. While you're at it, clean out the pantry as well. Don’t leave the purging to that once-a-year spring cleaning!
7. Air out the Beds Every Morning
Making your bed is so important, but did you know that you should air it out before you pull up the sheets? Tossing back the bed covers while you go about your morning routine will ensure that any moisture evaporates so that dust mites, mold, and other icky things don’t have a chance to grow and multiply. The thought of that alone should be enough to make you start this good habit.
8. Tidy up Every Evening
Don’t go to bed without putting things in order. Spending 5-10 minutes tidying up in the evening will allow for more restful sleep (as your mind won’t be distracted by the mess) and a more peaceful morning. No one wants to wake up to a house that looks like it got hit by a tornado, and no one wants to clean a house that looks like it got hit by a tornado first thing in the morning.
9. Don’t Forget To Dust
Pay attention to the details because that’s what makes all the difference. While dusting may seem like a mundane and even futile task, it’s worth the effort as it will make your house sparkle with a truly cared-for look. Add some fun to the chore by turning on good music and dancing around from mantle to bookshelf to coffee table.
10. Let in Natural Light
Natural is best, especially when it comes to light. It reduces your electric bill, improves your mood, and brightens your home in a clean and cheerful way. So, switch off those overhead lights and toss back the curtains. If the weather is pleasant, open up the windows to let in a breeze and the sound of birds chirping. The mood of your entire household will instantly be lifted.
11. And, Last, but Certainly Not Least, Wear an Apron
As you go about your house chores, tie on an apron to keep your outfit clean. If it has pockets (highly recommended), it will also be helpful for holding this and that as you move about the house. And, yes, it will look super cute.
The duties of a housewife can seem daunting at times, but, if you pull from the wisdom of ages past and add a few simple tricks to your routine, your chores will always seem like a piece of cake!