• Jackie Downs

Behind the Scenes: Learning to manage a house

Back story of my living situations for the last *almost* 23 years.

I lived in the same house with my family from ages 0-21 and then moved 10 minutes away to a one bedroom apartment by myself for 6 months until my amazing husband moved in! We lived in our little apartment for the next almost 6 months until we found an awesome house and bought it!!

So here we are, been living in this lovely house for almost 6 months, been married almost a year, and it's great! But having a whole house is a lot more responsibility than living alone in a small apartment. I have not only been learning married life, but also trying to make sure our whole house isn't a disaster all the time.

Here are a few things that I've tried to implement to make our lives a little easier.

1. Meal Planning:

For a while, we were either eating out most nights or only having something like cereal for dinner. I realized that to be healthier and actually make dinner a time for us to sit together, I needed to start planning what we would have. I bought a white board that goes up on the fridge and has space for me to write the dates and what we will *most likely* have each night. I will look through our fridge and pantry to piece together various meals with what we have, make a small shopping list for what we need and hopefully be set for the week. Without planning, I was just going to the store, buying a bunch of food, and wasting most of it. Writing out a plan and sticking to it has been very helpful when it comes to food waste!

2. Keeping the Counters Clear:

Seems pretty straight forward, right? How many times have you walked into your kitchen and the chaos of various bowls, cups, food, etc all of the counter just cause a little anxiety? Well I wanted to go into home-ownership strongly by setting the habit of clearing things as I go and trying to wipe everything down at least once a day. Making dinner? Once you're done with a tool, stick it in the sink, or even better, straight into the dishwasher. Establishing this habit with lessen the load when you're done for the day.

3. Laundry on a Regular Basis:

I am definitely one who is not a fan of laundry. For the longest time, I would just live out of the dryer or the pile of clothes on my chair. Now with both my laundry and my lovely husbands, our hamper fills up quickly and if I don't keep a handle on it, a giant pile will develop next to my bed. I have started just doing laundry at least once a week, every monad I will the whole hamper of laundry in, no matter how much is in there. On top of doing it every week, I really try to actually keep it moving and not let the clothes just sit in the washer and/or dryer. Sometimes I will set the timer on my phone to go take the clothes out of the dryer as soon as they are done and get them folded immediately. I hate folding and putting clothes away, but if I don't stay on top of it, all of my clothes will end up in all the piles on the floor.

4. Night Time Clean Up:

I try to do a quick walk through every night before getting ready for bed. Basically grab any cups, trash, laundry, etc that have been left around the house. I will wipe down the kitchen counters super quick with my Thieves Household Cleaner from Young Living (which I will do more posts about them in the future) as well. Creating the habit has helped my husband and I have a more picked up living space. If you knew either of us when we lived with our families, we were definitely not very good at keeping our own rooms cleaned up. We slip up and can go a few days with some chaos in our house, but I wanted to set a clean up standard for us now before we add kids to the mix. (which is not yet!)

5. Stocked Pantry:

If it were up to my husband, we would live off of cereal, candy, and grilled cheese. I feel like we need to have some healthier options, but still easy. I started a snack system for our pantry. There is a box and a couple of easy to grab snack options for both of us. Everything is taken out of the boxes so we can go in a grab a bar or fruit snacks super easy. Every couple weeks, I check the status and discuss which snacks we want for the next few weeks. It almost always includes some type of protein bar for each of us, a type of chips, something sweeter (ie: fruit snacks, pop tarts, etc), and something like popcorn. Making food easily accessible helps prevent us from running to fast food or eating a candy bar when we feel hungry. I also try to stock the fridge with various fruits or veggies already prepped to be grabbed on the go.

This is still a learning process and I am a work in progress, but I will continue to work on each of these habits and make our lives easier, making time for us to have quality time. I hope these ideas are helpful to you and provide you with inspiration or at least the knowledge that we don't have it all together and we never will :). Our house is in shambles more than I like it, but as long as I have goals and continually try to establish these habits, I think we're doing alright.


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