15 Elements to a Complete Homemaker's House (Pt 1)
Hello my dear and welcome back to the blog!
Before we get into the gardening, the canning, or the sewing, a homemaker's home must have foundational items that will help set her up for success. While it's never a bad idea to get the jump on a hobby, my best advice is to focus on the basics before you dive into a ton of creative outlets. After all, what good is having a ton of preserved and canned fruits and vegetables if the shelves you put them on are so disorganized and chaotic that you never remember what you had in the first place!
So this is where we are getting to the foundational items of running a home. I am NOT an expert, but I have been homemaking for almost three years now, tending to the craft on a daily basis and figuring out what works or our family and what doesn't. Here is my best advice, and a list of things I wish I had when I first began.
I will be adding affiliate links with each listing! These WILL bring some kickback to support the blog, however, they do not charge you any extra: it comes from Amazon's pocket.
Oh, how I wish I had registered for a dust buster. We didn't get ours until nearly 2 years into our marriage, and it was a SORELY lacking piece in my homemaking arsenal. Dustbusters are fabulous for small little tasks like vacuuming up a cobweb, a spider, or a small patch of crumbs if you don't feel like getting close to the mess with a rag or hauling out the big vacuum. I use ours every single day and would also recommend it for people with pets.
I cannot stress how much you will use this item. I use it for crumbs near the toaster, piles of dust I've swept up, gravel by the front door, and even for the soot near the fireplace. It is just SO SO SO helpful, I seriously believe we all need to own one LOL.
The model we use: https://amzn.to/2GkhBl9
Lots and lots of baskets: you're going to need them! Baskets to hold blankets in the living room, baskets to organize your pantry, baskets to organize your linen cupboard, and baskets to hold your craft supplies! Scour the local thrift stores for baskets and don't turn your nose up at plastic dollar store baskets either. Honestly, I don't think one can have too many baskets until you get to the point that you have a basket to organize your baskets.
Various size wicker: https://amzn.to/3hQdvPo
Small rope: https://amzn.to/2ESvVAA
Closet baskets: https://amzn.to/3jMZ1Rh
5 Piece set: https://amzn.to/3bhfWrM
7 Piece set: https://amzn.to/3jwJOUb
This modern obsession with paper towels is SO disturbing to me. I keep one roll of paper towels in my house and it is for the sole purpose of drying the bacon before I put it on my husband's breakfast burritos LOL. Rags can be cheap pieces from the store, cut up t-shirts, or a nice swath of microfibre cloths. I have an entire basket and go through them FREQUENTLY cleaning up messes in the kitchen and bathroom daily. Try as they might, paper towels will never be as absorbent, sturdy, OR sustainable as a good old bucket of rags.
100% Cotton: https://amzn.to/2QJElgn
Wood polish for wood. Glass cleaner for glass. Countertop spray for the kitchen, granite or marble-friendly spray for the bathroom, etc, etc. People are going to vary on their use of cleaners, and I tend to go for a less-is-more approach, but I'm not wholly against having a bottle of Windex under my sink. Bonus points for putting them in a cute cleaning caddy!
Wood polish: https://amzn.to/2QHw4JV
Natural stone cleaner: https://amzn.to/32Qajgq
Multi-surface cleaner: https://amzn.to/2EUpLA4
If I come to your home and your silverware is in one single pile in your drawer, I MAY have a minor heart attack sight-on-scene. I completely understand cutting costs and saving money, but if we're discussing a truly functional and thriving home, we're going to need to implement utensil organizers in drawers. It makes finding what you need SO much easier and in general, cuts down on clutter. Bonus points as well for implementing regular drawer dividers as well. I have one separating my regular bras from my sport/sleep bras, and one in my dining room buffet drawer separating my napkin rings from my cloth napkins. I think today, I may even go purchase some more LOL.
Utensil tray: https://amzn.to/3hSe4bu
Now this will be different based on the type of hosting you like to do, but I encourage you to have a full set of dinner serving ware, as well as selected pieces that would work for a cocktail hour, serving tea/coffee, or hosting a dessert hour. Have a nice cheese board for serving charcuterie, pick up some pretty bowls from the thrift store in various sizes to serve side dishes or party mixes, and always always always have a large plain platter dish to hold the main course. The good news is that there are a TON of these kinds of items at any Goodwill you wander into. Everyone in the world is getting so casual these days that they are purging all their good dinnerware... all the better for us I say!
I mirror the above comments with the slight addition that it's good to have matching and attractive coffee/teacups and saucers, as well as a coffee decanter and teapot so that you do not have to constantly get up to go to the kitchen in the middle of hosting a friend. Have serving trays so that you can bring a stack of cookies or crackers and cheese with you to the dining table or the living room in an elegant way. Remember as well to have a variety of trays and fun cake stands in the event that you need to display various appetizers or desserts when you are hosting a small party.
Bamboo Cheeseboard: https://amzn.to/2FpuhHl
Coffee Carafe: https://amzn.to/35GLPJV
Wood serving trays: https://amzn.to/3inuWXT
It's not suitable for you to have no window dressings at all, OR to only have little blinds. Proper window dressings will actually dress up your house, but they will also make your space feel more "done" and elegant. Purchase curtains from your local thrift store as I did, or try your hand at some inexpensive options from Walmart. Curtain rods do not have to break the bank either if you are willing to compromise on rod thickness. Look on Pinterest for the correct heights to hang the curtains as well. Curtains have the power to make an entire room like miles taller if you try.
Solid vacuum cleaner
This is a no-brainer, but I highly recommend you invest in a really good vacuum cleaner. If you can afford it, try to go for an expensive model that will last a long time. We use ours almost every day due to having such a shedding dog but regardless of pet ownership, one cannot go wrong with a good vacuum. Make sure it is not too heavy as you will have to be hauling this baby out for years, and you want it to be light enough that you actually don't mind the task. However, try to not go too light and thus miss out on the higher end models that can actually get the job done in the first round.
My Vacuum: https://amzn.to/35uyLXG
Have a stash of blank greeting cards on hand for a variety of occasions. It is always good to have cards available for birthdays, sympathy, thank-you's, and whatever ether need might arise. Take time to organize them and put them in a convenient location close to the door so that it will be easy to grab on your way out to church or a party.
Blank greeting card: https://amzn.to/3k8gKmc
Blank cards: https://amzn.to/2RgjDoH
Blank cards: https://amzn.to/3hi075G
Buy tablets for the dishwasher and the washing machine to use monthly for a refresh and clean. This will help your appliances last MUCH longer and even improve the quality of each wash.
Dishwasher cleaner: https://amzn.to/33q4GWy
Washing machine cleanser: https://amzn.to/3bXN5JG
Extra Sets of Linens
Have high quality and breathable linens on hand for both your master and guest bedrooms. We spend so much time between the sheets, it's important to invest in sheets that will be the most comfortable for you and your guests. I have purchased both new and used linens, and don't particularly have a preference for either. I just want quality! I also tend to favor patterned linens as these disguise spots without having to resort to dark-toned linens.
Steamers, Iron & Ironing Board
I have a large steamer for my dresses, table cloths, and curtains, and a travel-sized steamer for trips. This is essential if you want your outfit or home to look polished in a gif! Ironing items are of course, also essential in every person's home. More people need to be ironing their clothes, and having this on hand will make sure you always look polished and fresh for your events.
My iron: https://amzn.to/3itZuri
Ironing board with cover: https://amzn.to/2DVADgU
My steamer: https://amzn.to/2GSMQnI
This will absolutely be essential for you as a homemaker. I believe that all full-time homemakers MUST learn how to sew, even in just a basic capacity. Sewing is an incredibly important skill that will bless your entire household. I find myself hemming my husband's pants, altering his shirts, and mending all other sorts of pieces nearly every week. Gaining the skill to make your own curtains, alter your own clothing, and mend pieces for your family members is essential. I could not stress this enough. Buy a sturdy and basic model, and don't shy away from watching tutorials online or simply starting with basic projects like pillowcases. You can do it!
My sewing machine: https://amzn.to/33j1JqQ
Canvas Reusable Totes
I use these for my errands and shopping trips. I have a large canvas gap tote bag and I use it every time. Saying goodbye to plastic bags has been the best change I ever made, not just because of the environment, but also due to the fact that plastic bags are incredibly ANNOYING. They break, they barely hold more than three items, and they are just completely impractical. I adore my large canvas bag and stuff it full with nearly my entire grocery haul. It makes bringing in the groceries a dream!
My tote: https://amzn.to/32nH2L8
Alright, this is only part ONE of this list because I am tiring out from writing today, but I will be back with an extension on this list! Book mark this page ladies if you plan to be a homemaker. You won't regret it!