I have a few more obvious tips for you, but only if you are a not-very-good homemaker. If you are a better-than-average homemaker you are probably too busy styling your step-by-step blog on how to make organic cupcakes for your 2 year old's half birthday and won't have time to read this. That's OK. I don't want to waste your time. But for all of you less-thans out there, consider this Festivus for the rest of us who, frankly, are probably in bed balancing our laptops on our stomachs.
Here's the secret to laundry: You just have to do it. All the time. Every day. Well, maybe not every day. There is nothing more to it than that. I read about a lady who had a great system for getting laundry done. She did towels on Monday, sheets on Tuesday, kids' clothes on Wednesday, adult clothes on Thursday and oh my gosh I want to kill myself. You're supposed to wash sheets?
I really don't mind the "clothing" part of feeding and clothing a family. I like to shop for, store, wash, fold, and put away clothes. But I don't like doing any of that with or for food. You might be the same as me or the opposite. Guess what? It doesn't matter either way. You still have to do both. (It sucks to be us. I know, right?) Have TIVO and watch a good show while you fold clothes. Don't let wet clothes sit over night or they will stink. You can do a little every day or all of it in one huge laundry smorgasbord. Whatever you like. Of course, "liking" has nothing to do with it.
Two fancy "foreign" things you should be aware of and buy are Nutella and Babybel cheese. A jar of Nutella is breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Buy Babybel to help defray the cost of toys--My son has been playing with red Babybel wax outerskins for weeks. It's like modeling clay. Gross? Yes well, some of us can't afford salt dough.
If your brown sugar gets hard (and it will if you are not a very good homemaker) put a piece of bread in the bag with it. It will get soft again, should you ever decide to "bake."
If you want to have healthy snacks around [to go with the Nutella] invest in bananas. Bananas are the only fruit I buy except for the occasional apple. I know variety is something to shoot for, but the important thing is that my kids don't have scurvy or rickets. Bananas do you right. You don't have to use expensive peelers to eat them. They are perfect. The best thing about bananas is that you can put them in the freezer--yes, just throw them in--if they get brown. You can't do that with your bags of cantaloupes and kiwis (also known as "good intentions.") When you are relaxed, in the mood, and ready for something a bit more advanced you can make banana bread with those brown bananas. You can do it. I know you can because I can do it. Meanwhile, the bananas will bide their time in the freezer and they won't judge you. Bananas are supportive.
Make instant pudding and call it panna cotta. Why not?
Have a garbage can in every room. Chances are good that you, a not-very-good homemaker, have garbage in every room. Increase your odds of cleaning it up with conveniently-placed receptacles. Maybe we aren't awesome homemakers but WE ARE BETTER THAN THE HOARDERS. HAVE SOME DIGNITY, PEOPLE.
Get Oxiclean Miracle Foam in the pink bottle. It's good to clean your bathroom with and has the perfect clean smell which lingers and inspires. This is NOT A PAID REVIEW.
This might seem counter-intuitive, but get all white everything for your house: sheets, towels, and dishes. It all matches. It all can be bleached. He didn't become Gandalf the Citrus Moderne Dot, did he? White is best because it makes things seem cleaner than they are.
My friend Barbara (you all know Grannybabs, right? She's awesome) suggested this absolute gem on her blog, "Specialization is the key to appearing competent." Memorize that. It's a great homemaking tip. Barbara says she knows how to sew aprons and make homemade mac and cheese, pumpkin cookies, and jam. That's it! But she's really good at those things and people think she's a very snazzy homemaker. Find your four things and live your life. This is a true pearl of wisdom. Thanks Barbara!
And finally, I'd like to share something that I learned only a few years ago which blew my mind. It is this: Interpret things in your favor. I spend a lot of time and energy trying to tease out what people really mean or could have meant or could be thinking or might have meant to imply. I read this advice in a magazine and told Christian about it. He says he does this all the time. He just assumes people mean the very best. I never do that. I always think the worst. And it makes me feel bad. So I don't do that anymore because as a not-very-good homemaker I've got my hands full without worrying what everyone else thinks about me and my store-bought birthday treats.
I hope this helps.