I Don’t Iron! Plus 5 More Homemaking Confessions From A Good Enough Homemaker

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If you scroll Pinterest in the homemaking category you would think that in order to be an excellent homemaker you need to have a sparkling home from top to bottom, make all your food from scratch, dress like a superstar, and always, always wear a smile. Confession–I have been a successful homemaker for over 20 years now and I don’t do or have any of the above.

Homemakers you are going to want to read this. Homemaking advice at its best.

My homemaking attitude could be described as “good enough”.  A living room is “clean enough” when you can get to the couch without tripping on something and sit down without having to remove items. A dinner is “good enough” for my family when it contains all four food groups and is served at the dinner table where we are all seated together. An outfit is “presentable enough” when it is free of holes, rips and stains, fits well and makes me feel good about myself.

“Good enough” allows me to spend time on what matters most and be okay with letting what doesn’t slide to acceptable standards. Below are a few example “confessions” of what I mean.

I Don’t Iron! Plus 5 More Homemaking Confessions

1. I Don’t Iron

I own an iron and an ironing board and I have used them on rare occasions–extremely rare. I think the last time I ironed a shirt was back when my now 16 year old son was playing a business man in the church Christmas play and needed to look the part. He was probably nine at the time.

Perhaps I might iron more if my husband had a suit and tie style job, but then again I have seen my hubby use the iron and he is pretty good with it so probably not.

Related  confession: I don’t fold the laundry straight out of the drier to avoid wrinkles either. If something I want to wear  seems too wrinkly to be presentable I simply hang it on a hanger while I have my morning shower. If the steam doesn’t release enough of the wrinkles I put it in the drier for a few minutes then hold the garment by the top and give it a good shake or two. But normally I just buy wrinkle resistant fabrics to begin with so I might have to do this trick perhaps once a month, if that.

2. I Don’t Make My Husband’s Lunch

My husband does pack a lunch for work, but I don’t pack it. Considering I always put leftovers into meal size containers and stock the cupboards with grab and go lunch items I don’t really see the point. I mean I don’t know if he feels more like the leftover  crock-pot beef stew or the leftover simple layered taco pie and in the time it takes me to ask him he could have gone to the fridge himself, grabbed what he wanted and put it in his work bag.

A few of my husband’s  favorite grab and go lunch items:

  • Trail mix sleeves–The ones at ALDI are so inexpensive it is hardly worth me making my own, although I did when the budget was tighter.
  • Cubed cheese–I buy a big block of cheese each week and cut it into bite size pieces that he can grab and place in a sandwich bag for work.
  • Nature’s Bakery Bars–These are two fruit filled type cookies in one sleeve. My husband likes them because he can grab one between work tasks and then go back and grab another later. Making it a great after lunch snack for him.
  • Fresh fruit–I buy whatever fruit is in season and unless it is an apple or an orange I cut it up into bite size pieces and place it in a glass container with a lid. My husband simply places what he wants into a smaller, travel friendly container.

Related confession: While we are on the topic of lunches I haven’t made lunches for my kids since the youngest was old enough to assemble a sandwich and I really don’t remember what age that was–six maybe?

I Don't Iron! Plus 5 More Homemaking Confessions From A Good Enough Homemaker

3. I Rarely See The Bottom Of My Laundry Pile

We always have clean underwear and socks, but 95% of the time we also have at least three loads of dirty laundry in the basement. The way I see it the main goal for a homemaker when it comes to laundry is to make sure that their family always has clean clothes available. My family  always has at least several clean outfits in their closets and and at least one clean pair of underwear in their drawers.

Related confession: We all share socks–as in we have around 20 pairs of identical white socks  and 20 pairs of identical black socks and they are all kept in a wicker box near our family room for people to grab as they need. We all wear the same sock size and neither my daughter nor I are into girlie colored socks and none of my boys care for guys fancy dress socks so no show sport socks for the entire family works.

4. I Make Cleaning Routines, But Rarely Follow Them

I have tried several times to follow a cleaning routine that either I made up or one that was made up for me. I usually manage to follow it for a week or so if it is made up by someone else (another blogger, etc.) and perhaps a month or so if I made it up.

A few years back I just stopped following one altogether and guess what happened? My home got cleaner even though I was doing less housework. Yes, you read that right. My home got cleaner even though I am spending less time cleaning. How?  Instead of following a set list  I simply spend a few minutes each morning walking through my entire home and noting what is visibly dirty that day, then I assign much of the work to my kids.

My kids are 15 and up and always looking to make some spending money and we live in a town where jobs for teenagers and young adults are hard to find. I am always looking for more hours in the day for blogging related tasks. So I use some income my blog creates to hire my kids to do chores so I can blog more and therefore earn more. As a bonus my children are learning how to do every task they need to know to be successful homemakers, including how to manage money. The system seems to be a win-win for everyone.

Related confession: In case you think my home is perfectly clean from top to bottom, you need to know that I am not that picky. Bathrooms and the kitchen are always high on my “must be kept clean” list. The other rooms of the house can stay at “could be picked up and company ready within five to 10 minutes” and I am fine with that.

Homemakers you are going to want to read this. Homemaking advice at its best.

5. I Don’t Spring Clean

I don’t spring clean my home from top to bottom as winter thaws into spring. Instead I Christmas clean. I make up a plan the week of Halloween that will help me catch up areas of clutter and dirt within our home between the day after Halloween and American Thanksgiving. If things have gotten really bad, I will make the plan a little longer, going perhaps until two weeks before Christmas.

I find that I am going to rearrange rooms for the Christmas season anyways to put up our decorations so why not deep clean as I am doing it? Plus, I would rather have my home sparkling clean before winter when I spend all my time in it than in the spring when I am starting to spend way more time outside of it. In spring I clean the porches, put out the patio furniture and replant my flower boxes, but that is as close to spring cleaning as I get.

Related confession: I don’t have an annual or monthly chore list I follow. Have you ever read Martha Stewart magazine? If you have, you might have read her monthly calendar in which she lists household tasks that should be done that month like “time to perform the quarterly wiping of the blinds” or “May is the month to rotate your wardrobe”. I don’t do anything like this. If something looks dirty I clean it, or as I confessed above I assign the kids to clean it. I don’t rotate my wardrobe or my decor (except at Christmas) because quite frankly I don’t have that much clothing, nor do I have seasonal decor items.

6. I LOVE Being A Homemaker

Despite being seen by some as a homemaking slacker I really do love homemaking. In fact I don’t see my “good enough” attitude as slacking at all; I see it as essential because it allows me to do my number one homemaking tasks to the best of my ability–and that is to make my husband and my children feel loved and valued. You see, to feel loved and valued my family needs my 100% presence when they are sharing funny stories about their day, disappointments about their week and frustrations with their current tasks. They need hugs more than drawers full of perfectly folded, straight from the drier laundry. They need eye contact more than they need 100% dust free at all times ceiling fans. They need a fully listening ear more than they need ironed clothing.

What is your BIGGEST homemaking confession? Share it in the comment section!

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The Final RV Road Trip Update: And Now We Are Home

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Saturday morning we pulled out of Rapid City, South Dakota and made our way to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The trip only took us about six hours or so. Our original plan was to take two more days traveling six hours or so a day until home, but that isn’t what happened.

You see, our travel trailer’s air conditioning system was experiencing some troubles and we are not that type of family that loves heat and it was HOT. Plus after our last amazing day of exploring we all felt kind of in limbo. We felt like airline passengers waiting to get to our final destination, but stuck in another airport–in our case Sioux Falls.

Our final day of our 22 week RV road trip.

The sunrise we enjoyed on the last day of our trip.

So my husband and I came up with a crazy plan–and I thought for sure we couldn’t pull it off. I even told him so, which seemed to light a fire under him to prove me wrong.  We decided to leave the trailer hitched to the truck and pull out of the campground at 3:30 a.m. and drive the entire 13 hours, not including stops, home to Marion, Indiana.

Even when my husband did indeed wake up to the sound of his alarm at 3:00 a.m.,  I thought for sure we would make it perhaps 2/3 of the way home at most and then call it a day.  That way we could get home by lunch time the next day and have the rest of the day to unpack.

After all, we hadn’t driven more than nine hours with stops the entire 22 weeks of our trip and now we were trying a 13 hour drive and that was without stops. The nine hour day was full of complaints from the entire crew so how could we ever succeed at what would be probably a 15 hour trip.

Fueling up during our last day of our 22 week RV road trip.

We went through a record breaking amount of fuel the last day of the trip.

But my husband was determined and he had a few 5 hour energy shots to help him make it to the finish line, as well as a fair amount of his favorite caffeinated soda.

So I did whatever I could to help him make it through driving that far, which is really very little beyond opening up snacks and cans of soda.

My feet on my sidewalk at the end of our 22 week RV road trip.

My feet on the sidewalk in front of my home for the first time in 22 weeks.

Finally over 16 hours later we pulled up in front of our “conventional” home. The drive was made a bit longer due to some strong headwinds in the first few hours of the trip which also made us burn a lot more fuel per mile. The fuel bill for our last day got so high I just stopped calculating it in fear that my “price ouch heart attack” would make our journey that day much longer than it already was.

We quickly grabbed our clothes, cosmetics, and pillows out of the travel trailer and then called it a day!

The end of our 22 week road trip.

This is about halfway through sorting the mail. We only kept the few pieces you see in front of my hubby.

We did decide that evening to go through a rather large bin of mostly junk mail that arrived while we were away.

Out of this huge mound of mail we kept only what fit in a shoe box! That is how much junk mail we receive in 22 weeks! CRAZY!

Unpacking after a 22 week RV road trip.

My first thoughts after seeing this pile was, “How did all this fit in that tiny trailer?”

The next morning I was up earlier than the rest of the family so I decided to get a jump start on unpacking.

I took everything out of the trailer that needed to go into the house and made sure what was being left in the trailer was cleaned and properly stored.

I couldn’t believe how much stuff we had stored in various areas of the trailer. Guys, this is after we had taken out clothing, pillows and cosmetics. It also doesn’t include the food items I took directly to the kitchen.

Cheap milk and eggs! A winning combo.

My grocery budget is so thankful to be back near an ALDI.

With the trailer emptied I left my husband to clean it (he wanted to…he is weird like that) and my kids to put the stuff away (they didn’t want to–we made them) while I got to work making a menu and then a grocery list of all the items we needed to eat for the week. With a list in hand I headed out to grab groceries and run some errands.

One of my major stops was ALDI. Oh, ALDI, how I missed you! Milk for $00.65 a gallon and eggs for $00.35 a dozen–this is one major reason why we live where we do.

Our hometown might not have beautiful beaches, gorgeous mountain views, breathtaking red cliffs or awe inspiring canyons, but it has $10,000 homes and cheap food! (plus the friendliest people you will ever meet)

First run with my running partner after a 22 week RV road trip.

These feet are running together again and love it !

Our hometown also has my redhead runner and her friendship has meant so much to me during some of the darkest hours of my life so far and some of the happiest as well.

These feet have run beside me while I sorted out my feelings about my mother’s death, both my grandmothers’ deaths and my father’s death. Years of grieving loved ones, one after the other and these feet stayed beside mine the whole way.

These feet are now going to run beside me for the next 27 weeks as we train together for the 2018 Disney World Marathon. And by marathon I mean the 26.2 mile one! No half crazy–we are going full crazy this time.

This plan was born back in the Canadian Rockies, a time during the trip where I really needed a new adventure ahead of me to help me adjust to the thought of  my family’s current adventure coming to an end.

I am thrilled! and a bit scared. I am not in marathon shape at all. I haven’t run more than 30 minutes at one time in ages. Plus I am carrying 15 pounds more on my body than I was when I ran my last marathon and I am wondering if that might put me at greater risk of an injury.

I have a training plan and a weight loss plan though so only time will tell if my fears are warranted.

Returning to our favorite restaurant after 22 weeks on the road.

If you are ever in Converse, Indiana–go here!

One other place in our hometown area that isn’t available anywhere else is a meal from Jefferson Street BBQ, the best BBQ I have ever tasted.

My husband and I missed this BBQ place so much that we have been talking about making sure we visited our first week home since we crossed back into the States from Canada back in the beginning of May.

So you can imagine our disappointment when we went to eat there Monday night and realized it was closed Mondays. But that didn’t stop us! Tuesday before noon we were back to get our fill of their amazing food for lunch.

Getting back to daily routine after a 22 week RV road trip.

First day back at work for the hubby.

This wasn’t supposed to happen until Monday, but it ended up happening Friday. That is a picture of my hubby with his work bag slung over his shoulder as he heads back to work as an RN for the first time in almost six months.

The picture makes me sad because I will miss having him around every day and I know the kids will miss him too. We have all grown closer to him these last few months. RNs work long and odd hours meaning family time is often hard to come by.

However, I know he is doing what he is supposed to be doing. He is an excellent nurse.

Town rummage finds our first week back after our 22 week RV road trip.

Spent 3 hours yard sale shopping and filled the back of my SUV.

And this is how I spent my Friday morning. I woke my daughter up shortly after my husband left for work and the two of us headed out to our favorite town rummage of the year.

We promised my daughter that one of the first projects we would do when we arrived home would be to finally change her room from the stuff she picked out when she was 8 to a room suits who she is now. Rummage sales are my favorite places to find items for room makeovers.

The two drawer table is going to get a new coat of paint and be a side table for her couch. The thing with all the pots on it will be an art supply organizer for her desk. The smaller glass bowls will hold bracelets, nail polish, and other teenage girl items.

Not everything in this picture is for her though. The cart I want to give a makeover. I have visions of a beverage cart for backyard parties. I want to measure the top bin and find a cooler that fits. The two bottom bins will hold cups and other drink accessories.

The black blob? well that is a Big Joe chair–for the dog. She refuses to use dog beds and after buying several I discovered she loves the kids’ bean bag chairs, and the kids gladly let her have them. However, those bean bags are now looking really ratty so I was happy to see this like new black one at Friday’s sale.

You can see a video of every item and what I paid here (warning, I talk fast).

So How Does It Feel To Be Home?

I have been asked the above question a lot this week along with the statement, “It must be good to be home.”

Truth: I feel conflicted. I already miss exploring. I already miss how simple and easy it is to tidy up after five people in 300 square feet. Yet I do like having a place to hang out solo early in the morning again. I do love being able to run with my redhead runner again. I adore not having to wear shower shoes. Words cannot describe how much I LOVE having my bathroom back.

The Even Bigger Truth: My definition of home has been completely transformed by this trip. Home is not a building. Home is not a place. Home is where those you love most are. So yes, I am now home, but honestly I never left. My home, at least most of it (I can’t fit all those I love in a 27 foot trailer), came with me for the entire 22 week journey. My home is also on Vancouver Island, my home is in the Okanagan Valley, my home is in Calgary, my home is in Ontario, my home is here in Marion, and my home is in Indianapolis. My home is wherever those I hold close to my heart travel with me or where they move to without me. When my kids are grown and have left the nest I have a feeling my home will continue to grow as I add where they are located to my definition of home. Home is in the heart and it is spread with love and love grows immeasurably.

How To Follow Me Now That The Journey Is Over

If you have been following our trip and you want to stay in touch, you will find me on Instagram where I mostly share daily life moments or on Facebook where I try to share at least a few photos each week of what I and the family have gotten up to as well as links to my latest posts and the occasional bad joke or two.

Want To Catch Up On Our Trip?

If you just discovered our trip, don’t worry, you can still catch up. All the links for the entire 22 weeks of the trip are found on this page.

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What Slow Blogging Is And Why You Might Want To Make The Switch

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When I first heard the words slow blogging I was immediately intrigued. Then I researched it further and found out it could be just what I need to take my blog to the next level.

Slow blogging. How it will help your blog traffic. How it will give you more time for blog tasks that matter most.

 

So What Is Slow Blogging?

I like the definition for slow blogging that I found over at JenCarrington.com

It’s when you commit to focusing on quality over quantity in your blogging process

Slow blogging means you produce fewer blog posts, but those you do produce go into greater depth. So instead of posting daily or even a few times a week you post just once a week, or even less than that.

Why switch to slow blogging?

What Are The Advantages Of Slow Blogging?

More Pageviews Per Post

Producing less content frees up hours in your week to research your blog post topic so that when you do write you provide your readers with a post that will truly help them with their needs instead of something that just scratches the surface of the problem you’re addressing.

When you fully meet the needs of your readers, they tend to naturally want to share your wisdom with others–that means more pageviews per post.

Slow blogging could give your blog a huge boost.

But What If You Already Do Write Detailed Posts?

Perhaps you are like me and you already do write lengthy detailed posts. If so, you and your blog readers can still benefit from slow blogging.

More Time To Be Inspired

If you are not spending as much time writing blog posts, you can spend more of your time doing what inspires you to write.

You can try out new recipes–tweaking them until they have your personal touch and then write a blog post sharing your new creation. You can redecorate your living room, challenging yourself to do it for under $500 and then write a detailed blog post about  how you did it.

Last year I felt like I was losing my blogging spark and couldn’t put my finger on why–until my family took our 22 week RV road trip. During the trip I decided to do just one evergreen style blog post a week and one conversation style trip update. Mostly I did this because I knew I was going to be spending a good chunk of each day exploring with my family  and simply didn’t have time to write more. But it ended up giving me time to really think about why I had lost my blogging spark. I was all words and very little  action. I simply didn’t have time to keep cranking out so many lengthy evergreen posts and live my blog topic.

Now that the trip is over I want to use the time I have been using to explore to live the type of life I blog about. I want to challenge myself to cut our living expenses, to toss more clutter, to create new simple recipes and to essentially transform my life inch by inch like my blog tag line suggests.

More Time For Blog Readers

From day one I have wanted a blog with a close knit community. I don’t want a fast food blog where people take the information and run. I want a slow food blog. One where people stay at the table for hours, engaging in conversation after the meal has been devoured.

For me that means more social media interactions. Notice I didn’t say more social media posts. I have two Facebook groups for my blog. My decluttering one is very active and grows daily. My thrifty themed one is still new and experiencing very slow growth. I want to make sure I spend time talking with the people in both groups as well as those who are a part of my blog’s Facebook page.

I want to share more as it happens pictures, and less scheduled stuff. I want to do regular Instagram stories, and at least a weekly Facebook live video. I want 80% of these posts to be social and only 20% to be business like (promotions of posts and such).

More Time For Product Creation

I have been blogging since 2011 and yet I have only one product, my book, Thrifty & Thriving: More Life For Less Money. This book took me two years from start to finish. Why? Because long, in-depth posts take a lot of time. Some of my longest evergreen posts, which are also some of my most popular posts, are over 2,000 words long and took me as much as 10 hours to complete.

I was publishing two evergreen posts a week. That right there is as much as 20 hours devoted to content creation.

As an at-home mom who homeschools two teenagers, has a house to maintain, and four mouths besides mine wanting food three times a day plus snacks, devoting 20 of my blog hours each week to content creation was leaving me little time to devote to product creation.

Cutting back to one post a week will allow me to devote much more time to product creation.

More Time For Bigger And Smaller Blog Projects

Yes, creating a product is a big blog project, but I am thinking about other types of big blog projects here, like site updates, email subscriber freebies, moving your email list to another email list provider that better serves you and your readers.

And then there are the smaller blog projects such as writing guest posts, updating popular posts for maximum return on their exposure, cleaning up sidebars, redoing your About Me page and the list goes on and on.

More Time To Study How To Be A Better Blogger

I ordered the Ultimate Bundle for bloggers last year and although I have read all the eBooks in it, I have yet to take the video driven courses. Spending less time creating content will allow me to take these courses which will help me improve in areas as a blogger that I need help in. Areas such as how to grow a Facebook page, how to increase my SEO ratings and how to design a better blog.

Slow blogging: what it is and why it works.

The End Result

The end result of slow blogging is a more reader friendly blog with an active community of readers–meaning people love what they find on your blog so much they can’t help but share it and that means more pageviews.

More pageviews leads to more profit, which means you have more money to hire help to create an even better blog reader experience–plus you also get more money for your own personal use, making blogging even more rewarding.

So who is joining me in making the switch to slow blogging? What do you think is the best advantage and why? Let me know in the comment section.

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