Tuesday, June 16, 2009


When I first got married I wanted to be the perfect wife. I wanted to have the house sparkling, freshly baked goods always available, to make hot meals every night (or good cool meals when it's hot). My best friend and I had joked before G and I began dating that someday I would be a "Martha Stewart Stepford Wife." I considered it a good goal.

When I first moved over here, I had planned on getting a job so we could save more. But it quickly became apparent that because of G's schedule if we wanted time together, I would have to not work. He works 12 hour shifts, that switch every 4 weeks from nights to days. And with the switching I also saw some of my housewife goals go down the tubes. As the 2 years here have worn on, we've both noticed a decline in energy and health. The schedule is physically draining, and my house shows it.

I am slightly OCD about how things should be in my house (please don't let this put you off, I rarely notice any mess, no matter how huge you may think it is, outside of my own home). I like the place to sparkle, and when I get the energy you can find me scrubbing our stainless steel sink with baking soda to make it shine. I am not above getting down on my hands and knees and scrubbing a floor. In a perfect situation I like everything in drawers folded neatly, and things hung facing the same way in the closet, grouped by type (dresses, shirts, pants, etc.) and color.

But currently I have begun the habit of kicking my shoes off in our tiny entry way so that it's a bit backed up. My bed is rarely made. And my closet is most definitely not color coordinated. So I might have become a bit obsessed with the idea of the move, and the possibility of a normal day job for G. It will mean more energy for both of us, but also a set schedule. When we first switched to days this last time we would get up, work out, eat a fairly large breakfast together. I felt like we connected more even on the days he was working (whereas now we've slipped back into the exhaustion and seem to just be zoned out when he gets home at 10 at night).

I look forward to moving to MD. I look forward to the clean slate, the new start on our home. I've already began a list of things to buy to keep up more organized and the home looking nicer. We've sat down and discussed some rules we are going to set up to keep things looking nice and clean. But if he is on a normal day job, I don't want to ruin his weekend by having Saturday be the day we clean. I plan on keeping it up throughout the week, and then Friday nights just having him help me with cleaning the bathroom and washing the sheets. Those things can be done quickly or while we are relaxing with a movie, and it will leave Saturday and Sunday to relax and enjoy each other. And that is something that right now I very much look forward to, as we are both preoccupied with cleaning and getting things done for the move right now.

Are there any tips you have for keeping your home picked up and running smoothly? Any task you decided to just let go of? Please share, since I am working on getting this housewife thing right.

And if you know of any good organizational or cleaning blogs, please let me know! I'm always looking for tips to make life easier!


  1. Hi, it's such a busy time when you are getting ready for a move. A good website is www.flylady.net - there are lots of tips and you can opt to have emails sent to remind you of things to do. I enjoy reading books about homekeeping (better than actually doing the homekeeping itself!). Here's 3 I can recommend:
    Keeping House - Cindy Harris
    Houseworks - Cynthia Townley Ewer
    How Clean is Your House? - Kim and Aggie (of the tv show)
    They all have great tips and wrinkles and are very nicely laid out, so are a joy to read. Good luck!

  2. Oooh, thanks for the recommendations. I really need to pick up the Kim and Aggie book. We don't have Brit tv to watch them over here, but I was addicted to them when I lived back in the US. They played on BBC America twice a day!

  3. Okay...if you don't have a job outside of your home...why is he helping with housekeeping? Wouldn't you have more time together if those things were done by you while he was away ?

  4. Well, Anonymous.....
    To be honest I usually do do those things I mentioned (cleaning the toilet and washing the sheets) however, before we got married G agreed that the 2 tasks he would take care of were cleaning the toilet and taking out the trash.

    As for the sheets, it just makes it more simple to wash them on nights when he has time to help since we make the bed together so he can do hospital corners. He also currently is in charge of vacuuming the stairs since I've had issues with stumbling with the heavy vacuum on our steep British stairs.

    G is the type of guy who likes to help out around the house (he finds doing the dishes a calm time to zone out and not have to think about anything). So while I do most tasks, we share taking care of our home.